Football: Trumbull Eagles lose to New Canaan Rams
If there is anyone in the FCIAC who might question the scoring prowess of the New Canaan Rams football team, just refer to Trumbull head coach Marce Petroccio for clarification.
The Rams turned what was briefly a tight game into a blowout in a remarkable six-minute stretch at the end of the second quarter, scoring three times in quick succession en route to a 48-7 win over the Eagles Friday night at McDougall Stadium.
“We couldn’t stop them,” Petroccio said. “It’s 13-7, we’ve got momentum and we’re excited and as quick as we got the momentum is as quick as they took it away. They’re a very, very good football team. They’re big and physical and our kids tried to match their physicality and we did for a while. But when you can’t stop people it makes for a long, long night.”
New Canaan racked up 517 yards of total offense.
Junior quarterback Drew Pyne and senior wide receiver Quintin O’Connell had perhaps their best games ever in a Rams’ uniform.
Pyne was flawless, connecting on 20-of-22 passes for 388 yards and five touchdowns. O’Connell also had five scores, three receiving and two on the ground, catching nine passes for 175 yards.
Sophomore wideout Zach LaPolice also had a huge night with five receptions for 101 yards and a touchdown.
New Canaan’s defense held Trumbull to 198 yards of total offense and only 28 rushing yards. The Rams also had two interceptions — both of which led to quick touchdowns that put the game away in the second quarter. New Canaan minimized any self-inflicted damage, committing just five penalties on the night.
“It was really a team effort,” New Canaan head coach Lou Marinelli said. “I thought up front we played pretty well and the defense played excellent. I’m pleased with the way we’re coming along. It’s a work in progress. We just have to keep on working and getting better each week.”
The Rams set the tone early, as a 20-yard touchdown pass from Pyne to O’Connell capped off a 15-play, 61-yard drive with 4:09 left in the first.
After forcing a Trumbull three-and-out, the Rams added to that lead when O’Connell ran it in from seven yards to put New Canaan up 13-0 with 1:39 to go in the opening quarter.
The Eagles responded on their ensuing drive.
Senior quarterback Colton Nicholas moved Trumbull 77 yards on 13 plays, hitting junior receiver Kyle Atherton on pass plays of 39 and 11 yards to convert two third downs.
On third-and-goal, Nicholas found senior Chris Briganti for a five-yard TD and Ryan Cranston’s hit the PAT to pull Trumbull to within 13-7 with 6:38 to play in the half.
New Canaan countered with a 68-yard Pyne-to-O’Connell scoring strike to make it 20-7 Rams with 5:43 to go in the second. After junior Drew Guida picked off a tipped Nicholas pass to set up the Rams at the Trumbull 40, the Rams took four plays to find the end zone again. A 30-yard shovel pass from Pyne to LaPolice put New Canaan up 27-7 with 4:19 left in the half.
Another tipped pass from Nicholas led to yet another New Canaan interception with sophomore Christopher Canet coming up with the pick at the New Canaan 41 with 2:11 remaining in the second. Less than a minute later O’Connell made a spectacular one-handed grab of a Payne pass for an 18-yard touchdown and a 34-7 lead.
New Canaan added two more scores early in the second half.
It was the second straight game New Canaan (2-1) put up more than 40 points after being shut out by St. Joe’s in Week One.
Trumbull (1-2), which has mixed a blowout win over Ludlowe with big losses to Greenwich and New Canaan, will look to get right the ship next week against Trinity Catholic.
“We’ve got great senior leadership and great kids,” Petroccio said. “We’re going to get ready for Trinity and try to get back on track. We’ll get back to the drawing board and watch film and make the corrections and hopefully get better and ready to go.”