WESTON, Conn. Weston Highs football team hosts Joel Barlow on Thursday at 10 a.m. with more than bragging rights on line for the Trojans. Weston (6-3) needs a victory to have a chance to earn a berth in the Class S state tournament.
Even with a victory, the Trojans need help to reach states. Rocky Hill and Haddam-Killingworth play Wednesday night against two of the top-ranked teams in Class S, so playoff prospects still could be within reach. Weston is currently seeded 10th in its class .
States or not, the Trojans are a program on the rise under sixth-year coach Joe Lato. Weston, which leads the series over Barlow, 6-5-4, can reach seven wins in a season for the first time under Lato. The seniors have compiled 18 wins in their three years, the most of any class in at least seven years. Since going 0-10 in his first year in 2006, Lato has made a steady climb. In a conference that includes much larger schools such as Masuk, Newtown and Pomperaug, that is no small achievement.
Even better for Weston, some key players from this years team will return next season. Sophomore running back Dan Rogers has rushed for 596 yards and 10 touchdowns. He has also caught two touchdown passes. In a 42-6 win against Notre Dame of Fairfield on Nov. 5, Rogers ran for 179 yards on just six carries.
Junior quarterback Tyler Hassett has rushed for 492 yards and seven touchdowns and also thrown for six more. He also is among the conference leaders in interceptions (five) while playing on defense. Senior lineman Matt Keeney has 3.5 sacks and leads the team with 76 tackles. Weston has allowed 202 points, the fewest of all conference teams.
Weston has won three of the last four meetings against Barlow, including a 48-12 victory last year. Barlows last win came in 2009, a 28-19 decision.
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