Welcome back to SPB’s Masterpiece Theater (ahem), where for our Tuesday matinee we present to you our modest production of Saturday’s St. Joseph-New Canaan game.
You’ll see the media out in force for this Saturday FCIAC clash, but a late-arriving crowd. (Beginning of the game sounded like a mausoleum.)
You’ll see the triumphant return of senior back Tyler Matakevich from a foot injury and his first touchdown of the season, a 1-yard leap on St. Joe’s first drive of the game.
You’ll see St. Joseph senior Pat Mulligan pick off two New Canaan passes in the first half as St. Joseph takes a 7-0 lead at the break. You’ll see St. Joseph extend the lead to 21-7 heading into the fourth quarter on a pair of passes from Joe Della Vecchia to Joe Burns and Quinn Irwin. (You’ll also see Conor Hanratty get his hands on a Della Vecchia pass, with nothing in front of him but turf and the ball slipping through his arms on the last St. Joseph TD drive. Tough break.)
What you won’t see see is a tipped pass interception by St. Joseph’s Nick Adzima early in the fourth quarter (missed it). You won’t see New Canaan’s defense stiffen, keeping the Hogs from putting the game away (editing). You’ll only partially see the Matt Milano-to-John Brainard TD that pulled NC within 21-14 (I lost the play… yeah, this is hardly a masterpiece).
But you will see New Canaan rally to tie the game with a 5-minute drive late in the game. You’ll see the Rams set up for a 2-point conversion with 1:08 remaining, but call time out and kick the extra point.
You’ll see Mulligan return the ensuing kickoff 90 yards to put St. Joseph up 28-21 (and your cameraman getting swamped by delirious St. Joseph players). You’ll see New Canaan march right back, score and this time gofor the 2-point conversion pass.
You’ll see Jerry Kramer, victimized by a few passes on that drive, come up huge and bat the ball away from Patrick Newton at the goal line with 2.8 seconds left.
And, finally, you’ll see the onside kick recovery and one more New Canaan attempt to win the game.
Bizarre stuff. Great game.
We also have a few postgame interviews, including New Cananaan coach Lou Marinelli‘s explanation of the 2-point conversion at 28-27, not 21-20.
If you didn’t catch the replay elsewhere, see it now:
So, as well all know, St. Joseph’s season is taken off life support for the time being. Still plenty of toughies left, vs. Warde, at Norwalk vs. Greenwich, at Trumbull. But they’re sitting at No. 8 in the Class S playoff race.
Once ranked No. 2 in the state polls, New Canaan, now 5-1, finds itself in a precarious position in both the FCIAC and, more importantly, in the Class L race. The Rams are No. 12 in the Class L rankings but have a good shot at making up ground with plumbs like Greenwich, Central and, of course, Darien sitting behing next week’s game vs. Wilton.
There’s no room for error now, for both these teams.