NEW CANAAN — Amid all the hype and hoopla leading up to New Canaan’s unbeaten showdown with FCIAC rival St. Joseph, New Canaan coach Lou Marinelli tried his best to convince his players this was just another game.
Turns out he was right all along. This was just another game. It was a typical New Canaan rout.
Nick Cascione threw six touchdown passes and New Canaan’s defense harassed St. Joseph’s into four turnovers — all of which turned into points — in a 62-21 beating Friday night at Dunning Stadium.
“This is definitely statement game,” said linebacker Cole Harris, who recovered a fumble and forced a fumble that end Connor Buck took 56 yards for a back-breaking 56-yard touchdown on the first play of the second quarter. “ It’s us flexing our muscles, playing another full game, another full four quarters and showing the whole state what we can do.”
New Canaan isn’t buying into any ranking talk, however. Not yet, anyway.
Asked if this was the best team in the state, Buck a 6-foot-5, 244-pound senior captain said simply, “We’ll find out.”
New Canaan (8-0) certainly looked the part. It amassed 520 yards of total offense and scored on all of its first-half possessions. The closest St. Joseph could get was 10-7 midway through the first quarter before the Rams responded with 24 unanswered points to close the half up 34-7.
“We gave them 17 points off turnovers and we dropped three touchdown passes,” St. Joseph coach Joe Della Vecchia said. “We had a lot of opportunities but we didn’t finish and that was the difference.
“They’re not bad. They’re fast and they don’t make too many mistakes.”
Cascione completed 20-of-26 passes for 379 yards and ran for a touchdown. Six of his touchdown passes went to four different receivers.
“He was on tonight,” Marinelli said. “He works hard and his receivers, they’re not the biggest, but they’re quick and they run good patterns. Our receivers did a tremendous job running their patterns and setting things up for us.”
St. Joseph quarterback Jordan Vazzano completed 19 of 42 passes for 222 yards, but was intercepted twice by Mike DiCosimo and Michael Root. Mufasa Abdul-Basir ran for 129 yards.
“They’re a very good football team,” Marinelli said of St. Joseph. “I was very impressed watching them on film. We were able to take advantage of them defensively and that was the difference.”
ST. JOSEPH 7 7 0 7 — 21
NEW CANAAN 17 17 14 14 — 62
NC—Swindell 34 field goal
NC—Alex LaPolice 10 pass Nick Cascione (Swindell kick)
SJ—Lars Pedersen 5 pass Jordan Vazzano (Kevin Bortnick kick)
NC—LaPolice 29 pass Cascione (Swindell kick)
NC—Connor Buck 56 fumble recovery return (kick failed)
NC—Cole Turpin 18 pass Cascione (Swindell kick)
SJ—Mufasha Abdul-Basir 1 run (Bortnick kick)
NC—Swindell 45 field goal
NC—Cascione 4 run (Swindell kick)
NC—Paul 14 pass Cascione (Swindell kick)
SJ—Pedersen 7 pass Vazzano (Bortnick kick)
NC—Gilio 75 pass from Cascione (Swindell kick)
NC—Kyle Smith 5 pass Cascione (Swindell kick)
Team records: St. Joseph 7-1, New Canaan 8-0