The South-West Conference has been well-represented in crossover games this fall, the first in which teams can play as many as four games against nonconference teams.
An effort by league and state officials to create more competitive games by matching up similar programs in out-of-conference tilts has resulted in some down-to-the wire thrillers.
Among the notable contests are three of Newtown's battles, a pair of 21-14 victories over Southern Connecticut Conference foes Fairfield Prep and West Haven and a 34-24 victory over SCC rival Shelton, a team the Nighthawks have seen a lot of in recent years (including some playoff tilts). Newtown toppled FCIAC team Danbury 35-13 in its last crossover contest, on October 25. The Nighthawks are enjoying another unbeaten campaign despite the tougher slate of games, and carry a 6-0 mark into their four remaining contests.
Unbeaten at 6-0, Newtown has racked up the points behind a quarterback platoon of Jack Street and Brandon Lombardo, both of whom have logged over 400 yards passing.
Masuk improved to 4-2 overall and 2-2 against non-SWC teams with a 48-0 triumph over Guilford on October 25. The Panthers lost to Windsor by just one point, 28-27, doubled up Bristol Central 26-18, and fell 52-22 to Cheshire.
The Panthers have piled up the points this fall, beginning with a 43-12 win over New Fairfield in the September 13 opener.
Following its 37-13 win over Bunnell on October 4, quarterback Nick Saccu led Masuk with 300 passing yards, five passing touchdowns, and 350 rushing yards and six TDs on the ground. Jeff Nugent had 251 yards rushing with a pair of TDs on the ground and 100 yards receiving and two TDs in the air. Chris Tilotson compiled 200 rushing yards, including a touchdown and 100 receiving yards. Jordan Becket had 100 receiving yards to go along with a pair of TD catches. Dan Verrastro rushed for 280 yards and three scores Henry Minnick had 100 receiving yards and one TD through the air.
Weston is unbeaten at 6-0, including a 35-6 win over Hillhouse, a 7-6 edging of Northwest Catholic, a 37-34 win over Jonathan Law and a 35-21 victory over Foran.
Joel Barlow is also 2-2 in nonconference games as part of a 4-2 overall record. The Falcons defeated Jonathan Law 34-0, lost to Tolland 35-24, fell to Sheehan 47-14 and bested Branford 35-7.
Notre Dame Fairfield beat Bassick 49-0, lost to Northwest Catholic 22-14 and beat Lyman Hall 36-26. The Lancers are 3-2 through their first handful of games and have been competitive in each, including a 15-7 loss to Barlow.
New Fairfield is also 3-2 overall, including a 2-1 mark against nonconference competition. The Rebels beat Branford 38-22 and shut out East Haven 26-0.
New Milford has picked up two wins, both out of conference, with a 30-29 edging of Hamden and a 20-0 blanking of Wilbur Cross. Bethel picked up its first win of the season with a 28-18 win over Law on October 25.