MERIDEN — Reigning Class LL state football champion and overall No. 1 Greenwich will be paying a visit to Falcon Field come September.
The same night, another gridiron power from Fairfield County, Staples of Westport, will be over at Fontana Field.
Greenwich at Maloney and Staples at Southington in Week 3 are two of the eight area games that will be played during the 2023 season as part of the Connecticut Football Alliance’s showcase of non-league games.
The Alliance, entering its sixth season, has 88 games lined up for 2023 between teams from six of Connecticut’s eight football leagues: the local CCC and SCC, plus the ECC, FCIAC, South-West Conference and Connecticut Technical Conference. Only the Pequot and Naugatuck Valley leagues decline to participate.
All area teams, except for Wilcox-Kaynor Tech, are in the mix for 2023.
On opening night, Sheehan will be on the road at Ledyard, while Cheshire will be at the opposite end of the state taking on Ridgefield.
Week 3 is the Alliance’s busiest, both locally and statewide. Along with Greenwich-Maloney and Staples-Southington, Cheshire will host Glastonbury, Platt makes the long run to Wilton and Lyman Hall travels to East Catholic.
The Trojans play a second Alliance game in Week 9 at home against Tolland.
Specific dates and start times will be set in the spring along with the rest of the 2023 football schedule.
Last year, area teams went a combined 5-4 in Alliance games. The two wins biggest came in Week 3, when Maloney beat Darien 21-9 and Southington edged Greenwich 29-28 in overtime. Both victories came on the road and helped the Spartans and Blue Knights ultimately reach the state playoffs.
For Darien and Greenwich, the losses to Maloney and Southington went against the FCIAC grain. The Fairfield Country league fared the best in 2022 Alliance games, going 21-10. The SCC was second at 24-17.
Cheshire had two of those wins, beating New Milford 35-7 on opening night and following two weeks later with a 34-7 win at Conard.
Lyman Hall split, beating Wilcox Tech 40-14 and falling to E.O. Smith 35-34 in overtime. Sheehan lost 40-21 to New Fairfield and Platt fell 49-0 to eventual Class MM champion North Haven.