STAMFORD — Nate Quinn threw three first quarter touchdown passes and New Canaan High School held off a late comeback bid to defeat Darien and win the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference championship, 28-20, before a crowd of 9,500 at Boyle Stadium Wednesday morning.
It was the first league title since 2000 for the Rams (11-0), who will be the No. 1 seed in the CIAC Class MM playoffs, which begin Tuesday. They are the No. 1 team in both state polls and will be attempting to win their third straight CIAC championship.
Darien, which is now 10-1, slipped to the third seed in the Class MM Tournament, meaning with semifinal wins the teams could meet again in eight days for the state title.
The much-hyped game, dubbed the Turkey Bowl in both towns, saw the two teams enter Wednesday’s game unbeaten. It drew what is believed to be the second largest crowd for an FCIAC final, surpassed only by the 1966 game between Stamford Catholic and Rippowam.
Wednesday’s game appeared as if it would be a blowout early, as Quinn, the Rams’ dynamic quarterback, completed a 21-yard scoring pass to Mike DiRocco just over two minutes in. Before the first quarter had ended, he had connected with his favorite receiver, Kurt Ondash, on touchdowns of 67 and 30 yards to give New Canaan a 21-0 lead.
But the Blue Wave battled back and got within 21-14 on Nikki Dysenchuk’s 1-yard touchdown run on the opening play of the fourth quarter.
After the Rams blocked a field goal attempt, Chris Sciarretta secured the victory with a 28-yard touchdown run with 3:54 remaining.
Darien got a touchdown on the game’s final play.