The rematch went to New Canaan.
Darien might have ruined New Canaan’s perfect season on Thanksgiving, but the Rams earned a bigger prize Saturday: the Class L state championship.
Senior Nick Cascione threw two touchdowns passes and rushed for another as third-seeded New Canaan cruised to a 44-12 victory over the top-seeded Blue Wave at Boyle Stadium in Stamford. The Rams certainly exacted revenge on their rivals after Darien knocked off New Canaan, who was then unbeaten and ranked No. 1 in the Register Poll, 28-24 in the Turkey Bowl on Thanksgiving.
The Rams (14-1) won their ninth title, and first since 2009. It was the second victory for New Canaan over Darien in a state championship game. The Rams defeated the Blue Wave 26-7 in the Class MM final in 2008.
Darien, which has not won a state title since 1996, falls to 4-7 in state championship games. New Canaan leads the overall series with the Blue Wave 49-35-2.
The Rams, who won 14 games in a season for the first time in school history, entered the playoffs ranked fifth in the Register Top 10 Poll, even though many believe New Canaan is the best team in the state.
It was a complete victory for the Rams, who scored on their first possession and built a 17-0 halftime lead. While the New Canaan offense was effective despite snowy conditions, the Rams also scored on special teams (a 42-yard punt return by Alex LaPolice) and on defense (a 35-yard interception return by Zach Allen). Cascione ended his career by completing 14 of 24 passes for 226 yards and rushing 11 times for 76 yards.
Frank Cognetta scored on a 1-yard run on New Canaan’s opening drive. In the second quarter, Cole Turpin caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from Cascione and Peter Swindell kick a 30-yard field goal to give the Rams a 17-0 lead at halftime.
The Rams went 10 quarters without allowing a touchdown in the playoffs before Darien’s Silas Wyper scored on a 35-yard run in the third quarter. The extra point attempt was muffed, and the Blue Wave trailed 17-6. Wyper’s touchdown came after Will Hamernick intercepted a Cascione pass. New Canaan shutout Farmington 46-0 in the quarterfinals and North Haven 17-0 in the semifinals.
On the ensuing New Canaan possession, Cascione connected with Alex LaPolice on a 49-yard touchdown pass. Swindell’s extra point put the Rams on top 24-6. LaPolice added a 42-yard punt return touchdown in the fourth quarter.
Wyper scored again, this time from 6-yards out, in the fourth quarter, well after the game was decided, while Cascione scored on a 42-yard touchdown late in the fourth quarter.
New Canaan 44, Darien 12
New Canaan 7 10 7 20 — 44
Darien 0 0 6 6 — 12
N—Frank Cognetta 1 run (Peter Swindell kick)
N—Cole Turpin 23 pass from Nick Cascione (Swindell kick)
N—Peter Swindell 30 FG
D—Silas Wyper 35 run (run failed)
N—Alex LaPolice 49 pass from Nick Cascione (Swindell kick)
N—Alex LaPolice 42 punt ret
D—Silas Wyper 6 run (pass failed)
N—Nick Cascione 42 run (kick failed)
N—Zach Allen 35 int ret (Swindell kick)
Team records: Darien 12-2; New Canaan 14-1