New Canaan overcomes Trumbull for fourth straight win
NEW CANAAN — The New Canaan football team extended its win streak to four games and kept its Class L playoff hopes alive, but Trumbull certainly didn’t make it easy.
Quarterback Drew Pyne passed for three touchdowns and ran for one more, as the Rams held off the Eagles for a 48-28 victory Friday night at Dunning Field.
New Canaan put up 505 total yards and scored on eight of its drives, but the Eagles made some noise against the Ram defense, with junior quarterback Riley Simpson passing for 245 yards and three touchdowns strikes.
The Rams (6-2) have a big game coming up against Wilton next week, and coach Lou Marinelli said they’ll need to play better going forward.
“Trumbull did some great things,” Marinelli said. “We have to make some corrections and play better than this. Wilton is coming in next week and that’s going to be a great game on our senior night, so we’ve got to get those things straightened out.”
The Eagles (2-6) have lost five straight since opening the season with two wins in three games, but they showed no quit against New Canaan, even scoring twice in the fourth quarter.
“We were able to run the ball a little bit more than we have in the past,” Trumbull coach Marce Petroccio said. “We really couldn’t stop them but the good thing is we’ve got a lot of young kids out there and they’re battling, and the seniors are doing a great job with leadership. I thought Riley played pretty well tonight, and the offensive line for the most part did a nice job. It’s a process here and we’re trying to get better every week.”
Offensively, New Canaan looked solid. Pyne was on point again, completing 15-of-23 passes for 259 yards and three touchdowns, giving him 17 for the year. The Rams led by just 10 points at halftime, but Pyne marched them downfield on the opening drive of the second half, scoring on a 27-yard run to make it 35-14.
“Drew made some passes tonight that were unbelievable, and under duress too,” Marinelli said. “Guys were coming through and he was able to get free and find the open receiver. Some of the balls he threw tonight, you could see why Notre Dame has recruited him. He threw some great balls tonight, he really did.”
With lead runner John Wise out after tweaking his ankle this week, juniors Christian Carson and Hayden Shin took over New Canaan’s rushing duties and were both stellar. Carson had 10 carries for 95 yards and a touchdown, and Shin had 11 carries for 91 yards.
Senior Zach LaPolice racked up 119 receiving yards and two touchdowns on three catches.
For Trumbull, senior Kyle Atherton had a huge night with eight receptions for 140 yards and a touchdown. Senior Hunter FitzGibbons and sophomore Billy Colbert also had TD catches.
The Rams jumped out to a 17-0 lead in the first half.
On New Canaan’s second play from scrimmage, Pyne threw a short pass to LaPolice, who took it 52 yards to the house for a 7-0 lead.
A 36-yard field goal by Nick Radman made it a 10-point game after one quarter, and then LaPolice struck again, this time for a 58-yard TD run after a catch, to put the Rams up by 17 with 9:07 to play in the half.
The Eagles responded with a long drive, capped by a 15-yard touchdown pass from Simpson to FitzGibbons.
After Pyne hit Christian Sweeney for a 23-yard New Canaan touchdown, Simpson and the Eagles answered, as a six-yard touchdown reception by Colbert closed the gap to 24-14 at halftime.
The Rams opened up the second half with a scoring drive and, after Radman booted a 25-yard field goal and Carson ran for an 18-yard score, the lead was 41-14 early in the fourth quarter.
Trumbull scored twice in that final frame.
Jack Ligouri blocked a punt and LJ Ciambriello scooped it up and returned it for one touchdown, and Simpson hit Atherton for a 54-yard strike with 1:41 remaining for the game’s final score.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Drew Pyne, New Canaan. The Rams’ four-year starting quarterback was again brilliant, as he had 259 passing yards, threw for three touchdowns, and ran for a 27-yard score. Pyne now has 17 touchdown passes this season, and 98 in his career.
“(Playing hard) is not an issue for us at Trumbull High School. These kids work their tails off all week long. They come out for practice and they’re enthusiastic. They love football and that’s why I’m so happy that I’m here. I love football and I love coaching them.” - Trumbull coach Marce Petroccio
NEW CANAAN 48, TRUMBULL 28
Trumbull 0 14 0 14 - 28
New Canaan 10 14 10 14 - 48
NC - Zach LaPolice 52-yard pass from Drew Pyne (Nick Radman kick), 9:26
NC - Radman 36-yard field goal, 0:21
NC - LaPolice 58-yard pass from Pyne (Radman kick), 9:07
T - Hunter FitzGibbons 15-yard pass from Riley Simpson (Andrew Ilie kick), 3:22\
NC - Christian Sweeney 23-yard pass from Pyne (Radman kick), 1:24
T - Billy Colbert 6-yard pass from Simpson (Ilie kick), 0:05
NC - Pyne 27-yard run (Radman kick), 7:50
NC - Radman, 25-yard field goal, 0:35
NC - Christian Carson 18 yard run (Radman kick), 9:32
T - LJ Ciambriello 11-yard blocked punt return (Ilie kick), 6:37
NC - Vincent Cognetta 12-yard run (Radman kick), 2:58
T - Kyle Atherton 54-yard pass from Simpson (Ilie kick), 1:41
Records: Trumbull 2-6; New Canaan 6-2