Connecticut High School Football

High School Football news, analysis, commentary and features from the reporters of the Hearst Connecticut Media Group.

Let it snow: New Canaan wins Class L title

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Nick Cacione slides in the end zone after scoring. (Autumn Driscoll/Staff photographer)

Nick Cacione slides in the end zone after scoring.
Photo/ Autumn Driscoll

What a day at Boyle Stadium.

Woke up this morning with snow on the window and the dreadful feeling that they may not play the Class L championship game.

What a shame that would have been.

Boyle was not full and nowhere near the 10,000 that packed it on Thanksgiving in 2008 but both bleachers were over 75% filled and there were people lining the entire south end zone.

The two student sections were particularly boisterous.

If the weather did not keep you home you were treated to a special day in Stamford as New Canaan won the title with a resounding 44-12 win over their rivals.

Alex LaPolice was the star of the game along with the Rams defense.

It was only the second time I have been at a high school football game when it snowed and the previous time was just a passing shower, not the sustained snow we saw this morning.

Is there a better setting for football than in snow? And at Boyle Stadium?

People from outside Fairfield County may not care but, to the people here, Boyle is special and always will be.

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The New Canaan football celebrates its Class L state championship. (Autumn Driscoll/Staff photographer)

It is the best setting for big games in the county.

Sure the scoreboard was not working but that sort of lent an old-timey feel to the contest. (The scoreboard should be working).

Boyle has had problems with the clock all season and did not get it fixed for this game with limited time to prepare. Thankfully it did not hurt the game at all.

  • Huge shout out to FCIAC officials, including Dave Schultz, who were out with the snow blowers all game, clearing the sidelines and yard lines when they could.
    Schultz even came onto the field during a timeout and cleared a spot for New Canaan kicker Peter Swindell on his 30 yard fg try.
    I was told FCIAC representatives worked hard securing and getting Boyle ready when the plan to move the game due to weather came to be.
  • Another shout out to Jamar Greene and his players from Stamford High who cleaned out the locker rooms Thursday so the teams could use them.
  • Rams defense was once again stellar, allowing just 12 points the entire state tournament. That is no easy task when facing the best teams in the state.
  • What a great job by Rob Trifone and the Blue Wave to even be here after losing so many players to graduation and being on nobody’s radar to start the season. The Wave players may not want to hear it now but they accomplished a lot this season including wins over Greenwich, Ridgefield, Hillhouse, New Canaan, Hand and Middletown. That is an impressive resume.
  • New Canaan’s is even more impressive with wins over Class M champion St. Joseph (twice), Hand, Greenwich, Staples, Farmington, North Haven and Darien.
    The Rams lone loss came to the Blue Wave with just 4 days to prepare after the FCIAC final. And they nearly won that, coming up 9 yards short in the quest for an unbeaten season.
    Are the Rams No. 1 in the state? Who knows. I think they are the best team but totally get that Ansonia is an unbeaten state champion and the first 15-0 team in state history. I will vote New Canaan No. 1 but at the end of the day it doesn’t really matter who gets the honor.
    New Canaan, Ansonia, St. Joseph and the eventual LL winner all deserve credit for great seasons.
  • The win gave Lou Marinelli 9 CIAC state championships and was the Rams  19th state title overall.

 

 

Scott Ericson

4 Responses

  1. GHS Fan says:

    New Canaan is obviously the best team in Connecticut. They have beaten all the other best teams teams in Connceticut, and they did it with several different weapons, and they have done it in every game situation.
    Some notes from the game:
    The “Star Spangled Banner” recording played before the game worked only intermittently. That is, it would cut in and out at random. I was very, very pleased to hear the student cheering sections from both New Canaan and Darien loudly and enthusiastically “fill in” when the recording would cut out. I like to think the Greenwich students would have sounded better (we have better voices) but kudos to both New Canaan and Darien students! You make me feel like we are doing something right.

    Now just clean up your potty mouth when you disagree with the ref. (Ha ha just kidding! By and large I agreed with your objections. Tell the refs what you think!)

    Darien offensive line looked really awesome. I can see where Darien would give NC a lot of trouble on a fast track. That is, I saw the lanes open on running plays, but it seemed the Darien backs couldn’t get their feet under them to hit the hole.

    New Canaan backs looked like they were greased before the game. I saw plenty of Darien “form” tackles (ie the Darien kids wrapped up on the runner) only to see the NC back squrim out of the tackle somehow. Amazing running from several different guys.

    New Canaan recievers made several catches they should not have made. I was on the Darien side and on a couple of the catches everyone just looked at each other in bewilderment. The defense was there, pass was rushed, the ball was wet, etc. etc., but the NC reciever just kept coming down with the ball. You can’t beat that.

    Game was in play until about halfway through the third quarter. That is, it appeared that if Darien could catch a lucky break, they could overcome what was (at that point) a 17 point deficit. A step here, a step there and who knows. But NC got them down and then nailed them to the floor. Ended the game like true champions.

    Thanks to the CIAC for doing the right thing and moving the game. Thanks to the Boyle crew and Stamford for getting it ready. It was a great football day.

  2. RAY BROWN says:

    coach marinelli quote”hats off to ansonia,no.1 team in state”.if there ever was a argument for a first place tie,this may be the year

  3. Observer says:

    I didn’t see that quote, but maybe its recorded someplace :)

    Darien had a great deal more trouble moving the ball this time against NC. Wyper still hurt the Rams several times, but not as much as on Thanksgiving. Throwing yards were much tougher to come by for the Wave. It was surprising to me that both teams threw quite a bit, despite the weather. The NC receivers have been making tough catches all year, and continued it Saturday. It made a big difference.

    The tackling was the same as through the year. Cognetta is particularly tough to bring down, and he can slip or power out of tackles that would bring other runners down. I think its a contagious skill, which affects the attitude of other runners on the team.

    There were plenty of hard hits by both defenses. The idea that the FCIAC is all finesse football is not grounded in the facts.

    Very nice job by Stamford to have the nearby gym open at halftime as a super “warming hut”, which was much appreciated.

    I watched the Ansonia game on TV friday. Very impressive team. Great line, with downfield blocking, and Newsome’s most impressive skill is staying behind his blockers for as long as possible before going on his own. To play against that power game you need defenders to take out the blockers early on. Easier said than done.

  4. GHS Fan says:

    Ray – I missed the Marinelli quote – can you say what article it was in? I would like to understand the context.

    I am going to miss screaming at you. Hopefully we will be flaming each other next year. Congratulations to Ansonia for 2013 and hope 2014 goes well. Not as well as Greenwich’s, but well enough that I can debate you.

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