Collins Ties State Record With 9 TD’s as New Canaan Football Trounces Trumbull 69-26


There’s not a whole lot more you can write about New Canaan senior quarterback Michael Collins that hasn’t already been written.

That said, after the Rams’ 69-26 win over Trumbull Friday night, there’s one more accolade that can be added to Collins’ resume…


Collins threw an incomprehensible nine touchdown passes, shattering legendary New Canaan quarterback Kurt Horton’s single-game school record of seven set 45 years ago in 1970. In the process he matched a state record for TD passes in a game (tying Bloomfield’s Jason Manson’s mark set in 2000) and moved within one score of tying Matt Milano’s NCHS single-season mark of 42 that was set in 2010. He also became the Rams’ all-time leader by throwing the 76th touchdown pass of his remarkable career, one better than Milano’s 75.

“That’s unbelieveable,” New Canaan head coach Lou Marinelli told “He’s worked so hard to get where he is, so I’m really pleased and happy for him.”

“It’s cool, but we can definitely improve on a lot of things,” Collins said. “We had mistakes all over the place—I was making stupid decisions and pointless incompletions and risks.”

Collins might have been his biggest—and only—critic at Dunning Field, as the senior co-captain finished his historic night completing 18 of 29 passes for 483 yards, with 308 of them coming in the first half. The 483 yards was the second-highest single-game total in Rams history.

“He’s a great quarterback and an amazing guy,” fellow co-captain Gardner Read said. “He just kept pushing us to keep going. I don’t know if he had the record on his mind, but he just wanted to keep going.”

Lost in the excitement over Collins’ unforgettable performance was the fact that for the first time all season New Canaan actually trailed in the contest. Trumbull came out strong on its opening drive, scoring a touchdown on a Markeese Woods 11-yard run with 8:57 left in the first quarter.

New Canaan, however, would answer immediately…and repeatedly.

On their second play from scrimmage the Rams found pay dirt as Collins hit senior Matt Cognetta on a 44-yard catch and run for a touchdown to tie the game at seven with 8:34 to go in the first. Senior co-captain Mike Cognetta then picked off a pass on the ensuing Golden Eagles offensive possession, setting New Canaan up at the Trumbull 22. Collins hit senior receiver Thomas Williams for a 6-yard score and a 14-7 New Canaan lead.

New Canaan’s defense would come through again on the next Trumbull series as junior Tommy Root picked off a pass and returned it to the Eagles’ 6-yard line. Matt Cognetta took it in from there, running untouched to the end zone as the Rams took a 21-7 lead with 7:03 left in the opening quarter.

Collins would throw two more touchdowns—a 19-yarder to junior Ryan O’Connell and a 60-yarder to senior Andrew Jahns—in a 14-second span, as New Canaan’s defense came up with yet another turnover, this time recovering a Trumbull fumble to give Collins and the Rams offense a short field with which to work. When the smoke finally cleared as the first quarter came to a close, New Canaan had scored 34 unanswered points for a 34-7 lead.

“I think they’re the most underrated part of our team,” Collins said of the New Canaan defense, which entered Friday’s game having shut out its opposition in the first half in each of the previous six games. “They’re amazing and they make the offense’s job really easy.”

Collins sandwiched two touchdown passes in the second quarter around a Trumbull score to extend the Rams lead to 48-14 at the half. Scoring strikes to seniors Kyle Smith (37 yards) and Peter Swindell (56 yards) gave Collins six TD passes at the intermission.

Trumbull would not go away quietly, scoring two third quarter touchdowns of its own to stay in the game.

However, they also kept Collins on the field.

Three additional touchdown passes—one for 17-yards to Mike Cognetta, one for 25-yards to Brian Macalla and a 32-yard score to Jahns—capped off an incredible offensive display for Collins and the Rams (7-0) who faced their toughest challenger yet in Trumbull (5-2) and passed the test with flying colors, thanks in large part to their record-setting quarterback.

“The kids settled in,” Marinelli said. “We did some stupid things and lost our focus there for a little bit. But all in all, I was really happy with the way they played. But if we don’t have Michael Collins, it’s a whole different game.”

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*T – Markeese Woods 11-yd. run (kick good)
*NC – Matt Cognetta 44-yd. reception from Michael Collins (Peter Swindell kick)
*NC – Thomas Williams 25-yd. reception from Collins (Swindell kick)
*NC – Matt Cognetta 6-yd. run (Swindell kick)
*NC – Andrew Jahns 60-yd. reception from Collins (kick blocked)
*NC – Ryan O'Connell 18-yd. reception from Collins (Swindell kick)
*NC – Kyle Smith 37-yd. reception from Collins (Swindell kick)
*T – Woods 38-yd. reception from John McElroy (kick good)
*NC – Swindell 56-yd. reception from Collins (Swindell kick)
*T – Dustin Siqueira 25-yd. reception from McElroy (kick blocked)
*NC – Mike Cognetta 17-yd. reception from Collins (Swindell kick)
*T – Danny Hoffmann 23-yd. reception from McElroy (kick blocked)
*NC – Brian Maccalla 25-yd. reception from Collins (Swindell kick)
*NC – Andrew Jahns 32-yd. reception from Collins (Swindell kick)

Key Stats:

*Michael Collins: 18-29, 483 yds., 9 TD's (ties State record, sets NCHS program record for TD's passes in a single game)
*Matt Cognetta: 10-123, TD rushing; 6-157, TD receiving
*Mike Cognetta: 2-54, TD receiving; INT
*Peter Swindell: 3-72, TD receiving; 9-10 PAT's
*Andrew Jahns: 2-92, TD receiving
*Total Offense: NC - 654; Trumbull - 294
*Turnovers: NC - 3; Trumbull - 6

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