Zach Allen, one of the state’s most dominant players in 2014, was named the Gatorade Connecticut Football Player of the Year Thursday.
He is the second New Canaan High School player to win the award. He joins his New Canaan defensive coordinator, Chris Silvestri, a former running back and defensive back who received the honor in 1993. Allen is the first FCIAC player to win the award since John Sullivan of Greenwich in 2002.
Allen, a 6-foot-6, 248-pound senior defensive end, linebacker and tight end has led the Rams to a 9-1 record and a berth in the Class L-Large state semifinals against Wethersfield.
Allen has made 83 tackles, 12.5 sacks, seven forced fumbles, 10 pass break-ups and two interceptions, returning one for a touchdown.
On offense, Allen caught seven passes for 75 yards and three touchdowns through 10 games.
Last season, Allen was an All-State first team selection by the Connecticut High School Coaches Association and a New Haven Register All-State second team player.
“In our preparation for New Canaan, we were sometimes in awe of the things Zach does on the football field,” Wilton coach Bruce Cunningham said in a release. “He makes the entire defense better. As one coach put it, ‘Maybe Ohio State or Michigan has someone to block him, but we do not.’”
Allen has maintained an A average in the classroom. He has volunteered locally as part of multiple fundraising campaigns to benefit cancer and diabetes research in addition to donating his time as a youth football coach and mentor.
He is committed to play football at Northwestern next season.