No. 3 St. Joseph dominates No. 1 New Canaan in early showdown

Photo: Krista Benson
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St. Josephs Darren Warren (8) makes it through a trio of New Canaan defenders, from left, Stephen Golia, Christian Sibbett and Drew Guida during the St. Joseph football game, Sept. 8, 2018.

St. Joseph’s Darren Warren (8) makes it through a trio of New Canaan defenders, from left, Stephen Golia, Christian Sibbett and Drew Guida during the St. Joseph football game, Sept. 8, 2018.

Photo: Krista Benson / For Hearst Connecticut Media
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St. Joseph quarterback David Summers looks for the throw despite pressure from New Canaan’s Harrison Skyrm.

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St. Joseph students celebrate their team durin gthe New Canaan at St. Joseph football game, Sept. 8, 2018.

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St. Joseph’s Justin Williams, left, tackles New Canaan’s Christopher Canet during their game on Saturday. St. Joseph won 28-0.

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St. Joseph’s Davee Silas (5) celebrates his interception against New Canaan Saturday in Trumbull.

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New Canaan’ss Drew Pyne looks to make a pass against St. Joseph on Saturday in Trumbull. At left is teammate Wyatt Wilson.

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St. Joseph’s Jesse Bike, right, makes a reception for a first down in front of New Canaan’s Nate Sibbett during their game Friday in Trumbull. The Cadets won 28-0.

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St. Josephs Jaden Shirden (20) carries the ball durin gthe New Canaan at St. Joseph football game, Sept. 8, 2018.

St. Joseph’s Jaden Shirden (20) carries the ball durin gthe New Canaan at St. Joseph football game, Sept. 8, 2018.

Photo: Krista Benson
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New Canaan at St. Joseph football action, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan quarterback Drew Byne during the New Canaan at St. Joseph football game, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan’s Christopher Canet, left, makes what appears to be an interception but is called for pass interference, in front of St. Joseph’s Darren Warren during their game on Satuday.

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St. Joseph quarterback David Summers during the New Canaan at St. Joseph football game, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaans Nate Sibbett (21) makes an interception in the end zone in front of St. Josephs Jesse Bike during their football game at St. Joseph, Sept. 8, 2018.

New Canaan’s Nate Sibbett (21) makes an interception in the end zone in front of St. Joseph’s Jesse Bike during their football game at St. Joseph, Sept. 8, 2018.

Photo: Krista Benson / For Hearst Connecticut Media
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St. Joseph’s Cole DaSilva runs with the ball after making an interception against New Canaan on Saturday.

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New Canaan quarterback Drew Byne during the New Canaan at St. Joseph football game, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaans Christopher Canet (40) escapes St. Josephs Jesse Lawson (11) during their football game at St. Joseph, Sept. 8, 2018.

New Canaan’s Christopher Canet (40) escapes St. Joseph’s Jesse Lawson (11) during their football game at St. Joseph, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan at St. Joseph football action, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan at St. Joseph football action, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan at St. Joseph football action, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan at St. Joseph football action, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan at St. Joseph football action, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan at St. Joseph football action, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan at St. Joseph football action, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan at St. Joseph football action, Sept. 8, 2018.

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St. Joseph makes a fumble recovery at the New Canaan at St. Joseph football game, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan at St. Joseph football action, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan at St. Joseph football action, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan at St. Joseph football action, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan at St. Joseph football action, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan at St. Joseph football action, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan at St. Joseph football action, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan at St. Joseph football action, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan at St. Joseph football action, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan at St. Joseph football action, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan at St. Joseph football action, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan at St. Joseph football action, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan at St. Joseph football action, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan at St. Joseph football action, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan at St. Joseph football action, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan at St. Joseph football action, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan at St. Joseph football action, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan at St. Joseph football action, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan at St. Joseph football action, Sept. 8, 2018.

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New Canaan at St. Joseph football action, Sept. 8, 2018.

TRUMBULL — The St. Joseph football team is a reoccurring nightmare for New Canaan.

Last season the Rams started the year ranked No. 1 in the state and lost by three in a shootout with the Hogs.

Saturday, New Canaan once again sat at No. 1 in the GameTimeCT / New Haven Register Top 10 poll, this time No. 3 St. Joseph left no doubt, shutting out the Rams 28-0 in front of its home crowd.

“They’re loaded,” St. Joseph coach Joe Della Vecchia said of a Ram team with four Division I commits. “I told the guys before the game that they’re the same kids we played against last year. You could have four Division I guys, but we’re going to come as a team and have 60 guys together and that was the difference; our guys hung together the entire time.”

Jeff Jacobs: No. 1 New Canaan’s upset ‘more stunning’ than last year’s

After missing a field goal on its first possession and squandering good field position for the entire first quarter, the Hogs finally broke through early in the second.

A Cole DaSilva interception set up the Hogs at midfield and St. Joseph took advantage of a New Canaan unsportsmanlike conduct penalty and a defensive pass interference that negated an interception leading to Jaden Shirden (31 carries, 108 yards, two touchdowns) scoring from two yards out.

Two possessions later, the Hogs rode Shirden four-straight plays, loosening up the defense to allow David Summers (11-29, 184 yards, one touchdown, three interceptions) to hit Will Diamantis with a 40-yard strike.

“It just felt like we were too emotionally charged, so we tried to calm things down a little bit and see what Jaden could do,” Della Vecchia said. “Just try to keep them off-balance and see if they could run the ball…if you give him the ball, he’s going to make some positive things happen.”

St. Joseph went in to the half with a 14-0 lead, but neither team was especially excited about their performance, as they combined for six turnovers in the first two quarters.

“We have all year to get ready for a game like this and to play like that, there’s definitely something wrong and I don’t blame our kids for that,” New Canaan coach Lou Marinelli said. “I think we have to look at what we’re doing. We have great kids and to play like that, I don’t understand it.”

It was the Hogs that had it figured out in the second half, keeping the vaunted New Canaan attack off the board and holding Notre-Dame bound quarterback Drew Pyne to 164 yards and three turnovers.

Shirden added his second score in the third quarter from four yards out and Summers put the exclamation point on the route with a two-yard scamper in the fourth.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Shirden, St. Joseph. The junior running back ended up being the difference in the game, running for 108 yards and two scores for the Hogs.

“I wanted to do my best to make my team win the game,” Shirden said. “I want to thank God, my line, my coaches, the best quarterback in the state and probably the best defense. I’m so happy right now.”

SELF-INFLICTED WOUNDS

Like a season ago, New Canaan’s biggest downfall came at the hands of New Canaan. The Rams turned the ball over four times, had problems getting the snap off all day in the rainy conditions and were penalized seven times for 87 yards.

“You’re talking to a guy that’s more surprised than anybody, because I thought we were ready,” Marinelli said. “I thought we were going to be competitive and we weren’t even competitive and we shot ourselves in the foot again. We as coaches have to look at ourselves and I particularly need to look at what we’re doing, because to put that on the field is embarrassing, and that’s not to take anything away from St. Joe’s, they brought it to us.”

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