DANBURY — Like a week ago, Friday night’s game got off to a rocky start for New Canaan.
This time, however, the Rams righted the ship in a hurry.
New Canaan gave up a nine-yard touchdown run to Danbury’s Solomon Jones on the first drive of the game, but went on to score six unanswered touchdowns in its 42-7 defeat of the Hatters.
“Our kids were like, ‘oh my god,’ when they came down and scored like that,” New Canaan coach Lou Marinelli said.
But, the Rams responded on the next drive with a nine-yard touchdown pass from Drew Morris (21-32, 275 yards, three touchdowns, two interceptions) to Quintin O’Connell.
J.R. Moore scored from four yards out early in the second to give the Rams the lead, and after throwing an interception on the ensuing drive, Pyne rebounded to hit O’Connell (eight receptions, 77 yards, two touchdowns) for a 16-yard score with just 1:40 remaining in the half.
The Rams carried that momentum into the second half, scoring on the first drive via a 48-yard pass to a wide-open Owen Shin (10 carries for 74 yards, two catches for 59 yards, two touchdowns).
Shin ended the third quarter with a 10-yard touchdown run, and Moore put a bow on it in the fourth from five yards out.
“When I first got the start, I took full advantage,” said Shin of his new role. “Me and J.R. have been putting in a lot of work and we’ve been trying to step up and take a leadership role this year. I give total credit to the line, they do an amazing job and I think we’re on the right track of picking up from last weekend.”
Danbury was without the services of quarterback Diante Vines, but senior Jordan Khuth stepped up admirably in his absence. The senior, operating the Wing T offense, ran 10 times for 89 yards and intercepted a pass from his safety spot.
Khuth was unable to finish the game because of cramping issues.
“He did a great job,” Danbury coach Alex Trasacco said of Khuth. “My hat’s off to him.”
PLAYERS OF THE GAME
Owen Shin and J.R. Moore, New Canaan. Coming into the season, running back was a virtual unknown for the Rams, who lost their top two rushers from a season ago. Shin and Moore haven’t missed a beat in the early going, combining for 185 all-purpose yards and four touchdowns against Danbury.
“They’re different kinds of runners,” Marinelli said of the tandem. “Owen can dance and JR can plow. To get them carries really bodes well for us.”
ALONE AT THE TOP
With 332 wins, Lou Marinelli now stands alone as the winningest coach in Connecticut high school history.
“It’s a little anticlimactic because we would have loved to have done it last week, but we did it and it’s over with so we can go back to concentrating on football and letting our kids get the credit,” Marinelli said. “I’ve been very fortunate to have the staff that I do and that I’ve had throughout the years…I’m in a great place, New Canaan is a wonderful place.”
SURVIVAL OF THE FITTEST
Danbury’s numbers are down, but that’s partially by design for Danbury coach Alex Trasacco, who wants Danbury to be represented by athletes with complete dedication to the program and culture.
“We’re a young team and we’re small in numbers,” Trasacco said. “It’s not easy to play football here. We’re trying to run this like a college program and a lot of guys don’t want to put the time in, so that’s why we have the small numbers. But they play like warriors.”
NEW CANAAN 42, DANBURY 7
NEW CANAAN 7 14 14 7—42
DANBURY7 0 0 0—7
Records: New Canaan 1-1; Danbury 0-2.
D—Solomon James 9 yard run (Lucas Amaral kick)
NC—Quintin O’Connell 4 yard pass from Drew Pyne (Grant Morse kick)
NC—J.R. Moore 4 run (Morse kick)
NC—O’Connell 16 pass Pyne (Morse kick)
NC—Owen Shin 48 yards pass Pyne (Morse kick)
NC—Shin 10 run (Morse kick)