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If New Canaan wins a state championship this season, the Rams will need to play and conceivably win 15 games. That puts Week 8 and just over half a season. So why is the question of best New Canaan football team ever already coming up?
Because the Rams continue to beat up on the best teams in the state.
After crushing Daniel Hand to start the season, Greenwich a couple weeks later, and Staples last week, it was Week 8 and St. Joseph that was finally supposed to test New Canaan, even for a little bit. It didn’t happen. New Canaan routed the Cadets 62-21 in front of a huge crowd at New Canaan’s Dunning Stadium.
“I’ve have never seen anything like this honestly,” New Canaan coach Lou Marinelli said about the blowouts. “We have a ton of weapons and we play really well together, it’s just a pleasure to come out and work with them every day.”
One of those weapons at Marinelli’s disposal is quarterback Nick Cascione. The senior tossed six touchdown passes and rushed for another in his best career performance. He threw for 382 yards and completed 19 of 25 passes.
“I didn’t have a great game last week and I tried to make as many corrections as possible tonight,” Cascione said. “I knew I had to over exaggerate certain throws and my receivers and offensive line helped out tremendously.”
New Canaan jumped out to a quick 10-0 lead thanks to a Mike DiCosmo interception, a Pete Swindell 34-yard field goal, and a Cascione to Alex LaPolice touchdown pass, but the Cadets answered. Aided by a multitude of New Canaan penalties, St. Joseph drove down the field and scored on a Jordan Vazzano touchdown pass to Lars Pederson. After Cascione hit LaPolice for another touchdown pass, the New Canaan defense completely turned the game around.
Cole Harris sacked Jordan Vazzano on the very first play of the second quarter and forced a fumble. Connor Buck scooped up the loose ball and flew down the sideline for a 56-yard touchdown and a 24-7 lead.
“I can’t even remember a thing about the play in all honesty,” Buck said. “It was all fuzzy and I remember thinking this isn’t real life. It’s the type of play the defensive player have fantasies about.”
It was yet another game-changing play for a defense that’s had a season full of them already. The Rams forced four turnovers on the night including an interception by Michael Root and a fumble recovery by Harris.
It was the offense’s night though.
Cascione hit Cole Turpin for an 18-yard touchdown, and Swindell drilled a long 45-yard field goal to send the Rams to the half up 34-14 in a game that didn’t feel that close.
Cascione hit nine different receivers on the evening including five different players for touchdowns. Jack Gilio caught four passes for 117 yards and Cole Turpin added 83 yards receiving. Kyle Smith and Robby Paul also caught touchdowns for the Rams. New Canaan punted just twice, both times in the second half and led 48-14 at the break. The offense racked up 518 yards in total.
St. Joseph’s high-scoring attack did the most damage to the Rams all season, but couldn’t finish drives and the four turnovers hurt. Mufasha Abdul-Basir rushed for 139 yards on 26 carries and scored a touchdown. Jordan Vazzano completed 19-of-42 passes for 222 yards and two touchdows to Pederson. Shane Miller added seven catches for 116 yards.
If there was a negative to New Canaan’s performance it was 14 penalties for 117 yards.
“We can absolutely be better, our kids and coaches do a great job of being focused,” Marinelli said. “This was a special night in New Canaan, I hope we can run the table because that’s the goal, but we can be better.”
Scary words from a team which has dominated everyone and looking to be the best ever.
“I’d like to think we’re the best team at New Canaan, I want that honor,” Cascione said. “We’re just doing us and executing.. Whatever happens happens. It’s what we aspire to be, so if we’re the best, then yea, I want to be the best.”
“We had a complete team effort tonight, but I’m happy to know that we can do better,” Buck added. “We can continue to get better from here.”
Words that may be even scarier.
Email John Malone at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @MSGV_Malone