NEW CANAAN, Conn. – New Canaan High School rolled past Darien, 44-12, on Saturday to win the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Class L football championship at Boyle Stadium in Stamford.
Nick Cascione threw for two touchdowns and ran for another to lead the Rams (14-1), who set a school record for wins. Darien (12-2), which beat New Canaan in the team’s match-up on Thanksgiving, saw its nine-game winning streak snapped.
The Rams dominated from the outset, building a 17-0 lead at halftime. Darien closed to within 17-6 on a 35-yard touchdown by Silas Wyper in the third quarter, but New Canaan answered with a touchdown on the ensuing drive. Cascione’s 47-yard touchdown pass to Alex LaPolice put New Canaan up 24-6.
LaPolice had a big game for New Canaan as well, catching four passes for 86 yards. He also scored on a 43-yard punt return.
Frank Cognetta scored on a 30-yard touchdown run in the first quarter, and Cascione threw a 23-yard touchdown pass to Cole Turpin in the second quarter. Peter Swindell’s 30-yard field goal made it 17-0 at halftime.
Even the snow could not stop Cascione, who completed 14-of-26 passes for 226 yards and two touchdowns. He rushed for 76 yards and was the game’s leading rusher.
Darien seemed to have trouble with the conditions. The Blue Wave managed just 208 yards of total offense and turned the ball over three times. Quarterback Silas Wyper was 10-of-34 for 107 yards. The Blue Wave managed 101 yards rushing on 42 attempts. Miles Ridder led the way with 44 yards on 12 carries. Wyper also scored on a 6-yard run in the fourth quarter for Darien.
New Canaan won its first state championship in four years and its 19th overall. The Rams have won seven state titles since 2000.
Darien also lost in the 2008 state championship game to New Canaan. Darien’s last state title came in 1996, and the Blue Wave have now lost five straight championship game appearances.
Darien's 12 wins ties a school record, last accomplished in 1996. After heavy graduation losses from the 2012 team, the Blue Wave made a surprising run this fall under coach Rob Trifone and went unbeaten for more than two months. Darien's only losses this year were to St. Joseph's and New Canaan. Both of those schools won state titles.