NEW CANAAN — To New Canaan coach Lou Marinelli, Friday night marked the beginning of a new season for the Rams.
After its second loss of the season, to Greenwich a week ago, New Canaan needs every win it can get the rest of the way in order to qualify for the postseason.
That journey started at home Friday with a 42-6 rout of Trinity Catholic.
“I think we’re getting better,” Marinelli said. “I told them, it’s a new season, we’re 1-0 and we’re forgetting everything that happened before and we’re going to take it from here.”
That message must have stuck with the Rams leaders and playmakers, because they came out in the first half locked in.
Drew Pyne threw touchdown passes of 28 yards to Quintin O’Connell and 10 yards to Patrick Metzger in the first quarter, and finished off the opening frame by running one in from nine yards out.
In the second, Pyne squeezed a pass into a football-sized window and Justin Greco dashed 49 yards to pay dirt. Pyne then put an emphatic exclamation point on a dominant first half by dropping a 19-yard dime to O’Connell.
“We went in to Greenwich — and they’re a great team — but we weren’t serious enough,” O’Connell said. “And it bit us in the butt. This week we’re looking at the season like it’s playoffs now.”
Senior Zach Fishman finished the scoring for the Rams (4-2) in the fourth with a 15-yard touchdown pass to Wyatt Wilson.
Defensively, the Rams were just as stout, forcing four turnovers on the day. None bigger — literally — than the first one, an interception by defensive tackle Seamus O’Hora.
“I wish I could tell you I work on that with him,” Marinelli laughed. “But, we don’t.”
Obviously, Trinity (2-4) was outmatched, starting with the sheer size of the rosters alone. But, Dwayne Liles’ 11-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter confirmed what coach Donny Panapada already knew about his team.
“One thing I can always say about my kids is they play hard,” Panapada said. “Unfortunately, New Canaan is a very good football team. I told my kids that may the best two loss team in the country, never mind the state of Connecticut. But our kids played hard and that’s all you can ask for, obviously we were overmatched and it is what it is.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Pyne, New Canaan. The sophomore quarterback finished with four passing touchdowns and one rushing — all in the first half — in what may have been his most complete performance of the season.
“I thought Drew had a great game” Marinelli said. “…we changed a few things and got him a little bit more settled down and I thought he had some unbelievable throws tonight.”
SEEING THE FIELD
Because of the lopsided win, New Canaan was able to play guys that may not normally see the field. Players like Mikey Gentile, Sam Gilman and Nate Sibbett made the most of their chances.
“Unfortunately, we made some mistakes,” Panapada said. “It wouldn’t have changed the outcome, but moving forward, there isn’t another New Canaan on the schedule. So hopefully if we can clean some stuff up, we can be more successful going forward and that starts next week with Westhill.”
NEW CANAAN 42, TRINITY CATHOLIC 6
TRINITY CATHOLIC 0 0 0 6—6
NEW CANAAN 21 14 0 7—42
Records: Trinity Catholic 2-4; New Canaan 4-2.
NC-Quintin O’Connell 28 yard pass from Drew Pyne (Grant Morse kick)
NC-Patrick Metzger 10 pass Pyne (Morse kick)
NC-Pyne 9 run (Morse kick)
NC-Justin Greco 49 pass Pyne (Morse kick)
NC-O’Connell 19 pass Pyne (Morse kick)
NC-Wyatt Wilson 16 pass Zach Fishman (Morse kick)
TC—Dwayne Liles 11 rub (PAT failed)