Westhill forfeits help RHS football team's state chances

The Ridgefield High football team did not play Westhill this season.

On Tuesday morning, however, the Vikings impacted Ridgefield’s schedule — in a positive way.

A self-reported violation for using an ineligible player led to Westhill forfeiting four victories earlier this season. Because two of those wins were over teams (Norwalk and Bridgeport Central) that Ridgefield had beaten, the Tigers picked up 20 extra bonus points in the Class LL state playoff point rankings.

And because another of Westhill’s forfeits was to Danbury — Ridgefield’s opponent in the regular-season finale tonight at Danbury — the Tigers can now earn an extra 10 points by beating the Hatters.

Those 30 bonus points are significant: If Ridgefield beats Danbury and Fairfield Prep beats West Haven, the Tigers will more than likely clinch the eighth and final playoff berth in Class LL.

Prior to the Westhill forfeits, Prep (6-3 and currently 11th in the point rankings) could have leapfrogged ninth-place Ridgefield (7-2) with a win over eighth-place West Haven (7-2) on Thursday morning. The Tigers then would have needed a victory over Danbury (3-6) and upsets from several other teams to stay ahead of Prep, if the Jesuits defeat West Haven.

Seven teams have already clinched Class LL playoff berths, and West Haven, which is currently 90 points ahead of Ridgefield, can wrap up the final playoff spot by beating Fairfield Prep. But the Westhill forfeits now put the Tigers in position to secure that last berth even if Prep defeats West Haven.

There is a remote chance that Prep and Ridgefield could end in a tie on points, in which case the Jesuits would get the final spot on a tiebreaker. For that to happen, though, Prep would need to beat West Haven and have several other teams win their games.

“It’s a nice break for us,” said Ridgefield head coach Kevin Callahan, whose team lost to Staples in the Class LL quarterfinals last year. “It makes things less complicated in that we don’t need as many scenarios to happen. We just need to focus on beating Danbury.”

Ridgefield is coming off a 53-16 win over Central, in which Callahan said the Tigers executed well.

“I think we are playing our best football right now,” he said. “We were crisp against Central and we had good practices over the weekend. We’re hoping that carries over into the Danbury game.”

And now, with the Westhill forfeits, there might be a better chance for more carry-over into the state playoffs.

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