NEW CANAAN — Drew Pyne has put up record-setting passing numbers in his four years as the quarterback of the New Canaan football team.
But on a Friday night when he was honored for his selection to the Under Armour All-America Game, and then threw five touchdown passes in the Rams’ 42-0 victory over Brien McMahon at Dunning Field, Pyne first pointed to the defense as the key to the game
“We had a short field for a reason and that’s because our defense did such a great job (forcing) four turnovers,” Pyne said. “(McMahon’s Jermayne Daniel) looked like Jerome Bettis out there; he’s a really hard runner and the heart of their team, and our defense did a really good job of stopping him. They gave the offense a pretty easy job to do. All credit to the defense.”
New Canaan (5-2) dominated the game, taking advantage of four Senators’ turnovers in the first quarter. Each one led to a touchdown pass by Pyne, who connected with Luke Morton, Zach LaPolice, Drew Guida and Christian Sweeney for a 28-0 lead.
“When we have a short field like that, we’re able to capitalize and that helped us out tonight,” New Canaan coach Lou Marinelli said. “Drew broke out and threw for five touchdowns and ran for one, so he had a career night.”
The Rams added two more scores, first on an 8-yard run by Pyne in the second quarter and then an 11-yard pass from Pyne to Sweeney in the third.
For McMahon, the game never got off the ground, as the Senators were unable to continue the success they had during a 40-15 win over Stamford last weekend.
“You’re not going to go out and win like that all the time,” McMahon coach Jeff Queiroga said. “These games are more telling on your character than the ones that you win like that. Our sideline was upbeat and positive and cheering each other on, and that’s kind of keeping me calm right now. I’m proud of their character.
“It’s not easy to come into these games and lose like this, so we’re going to go and prepare to play Ridgefield next week.”
Pyne finished the night completing 16-of-22 passes for 224 yards. The five touchdowns give him 95 for his career, extending the program record he set last week when he hit 90. Sweeney and LaPolice had matching stats with five receptions for 49 yards each.
For McMahon (2-5), Daniel was involved in the bulk of the plays, rushing 19 times for 46 yards, but as a whole, the Seantors managed just 100 yards of offense.
The game featured the return to the lineup of Guida, a New Canaan senior co-captain, wide receiver and safety who had missed the first six games with a broken collarbone. Guida made a fantastic play in the first quarter, laying out to make a diving catch for a 38-yard touchdown which made it 21-0.
“Drew’s unbelievable,” Pyne said of Guida. “I’m really happy I was able to connect with him tonight and he looked great on defense. His presence in practice and during games has been just as much as if he had pads on, and when he has pads on, he’s pretty darn good, so we’re excited to have him back.”
“He’s a captain and he’s been waiting all season after he broke his collarbone in practice,” Marinelli said. “He’s a helluva a football player and to have him back really helps our team.”
As for Pyne, Marinelli said he’s come a long way as a player since he joined the team as a freshman and helped the Rams win a state championship in 2016.
“It’s been great having him here and watching him grow,” Marinelli said. “He’s really grown into a leader for us. Some people on social media are really tough on him, so he’s had to overcome some of that and he’s done it all with class and dignity. I’m just so proud of him and all that he’s accomplished.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Drew Pyne, New Canaan. The Rams’ senior QB threw five touchdown passes to four different receivers, and also ran for an eight-yard score in the second quarter. He finished with 224 passing yards.
“I didn’t know that (the Under Armour jersey) was coming, so that was really nice. All thanks to coach Marinelli giving me the chance to play here since my freshman year. Without him, who knows where I’d be? He’s believed in me since day one, so that jersey is as much for him as it is for me.” — New Canaan’s Drew Pyne.