Darien Football Edges New Canaan 37-34 in Overtime Turkey Bowl Thriller

It was one of the most memorable chapters in a long and storied rivalry—a rare high school football game that not only lived up to but exceeded its hype as the top-seeded Darien Blue Wave escaped New Canaan with a breathtaking 37-34 overtime win over the No. 2 Rams Thanksgiving afternoon in front of nearly 5,000 fans at Dunning Field. Darien senior co-captain Finlay Collins was named the game’s MVP, rushing 10 times for 87 yards and two touchdowns and sealing the Wave’s thrilling win with an interception of New Canaan quarterback Drew Pyne in overtime at the Wave five-yard line. “Hats off to New Canaan, they played a hell of a game.” Darien head coach Rob Trifone told NewCanaanite.com.

New Canaan-Darien Turkey Bowl: Where Loyalties Lay For Those With Ties To Both Towns

New Canaan’s rivalry with next-door neighbor Darien finds perhaps its rawest form of expression in the Turkey Bowl, the annual Thanksgiving morning football game between two ultra-competitive and athletic high schools. Set for 10:30 am. this Thursday, at Stamford High School’s Boyle Stadium, the 2015 Turkey Bowl again doubles as the FCIAC championship game (both teams are undefeated this season) and follows a shocking comeback victory for the Blue Wave one year ago. The Rams would regroup and post their own late-game win vs. Darien in the 2014 state final, though many would say there’s something extra-special about the Turkey Bowl itself—a local tradition that sees thousands of NCHS and DHS alumni gather during the family holiday.

‘There’s No Better Ending’: New Canaan Football Overcomes Darien to Win Class L-Large State Title


On Thanksgiving Day, the Darien Blue Wave stunned the New Canaan Rams, turning a two-score halftime deficit into a 28-21 win to steal the FCIAC Championship. Two and a half weeks later it was the Rams who turned the tables on Darien. Trailing Darien 20-7 at halftime on Saturday morning, New Canaan scored 14 unanswered points in the second half en route to a 21-20 win to capture the Class L-Large state championship at West Haven High School’s Ken Strong Stadium. The win marked the second consecutive state title for the Rams, and the 10th for head coach Lou Marinelli, who handed the previously unbeaten Blue Wave (12-1) their first loss of the season. “It doesn’t get any better than this,” Marinelli told NewCanaanite.com on a windswept field packed with jubilant New Canaanites, moments after the big win.

Turkey Bowl Essentials: A Breakdown of the New Canaan-Darien FCIAC Championship


If Thursday’s FCIAC Championship between New Canaan and Darien is indeed the final conference title game, you couldn’t dream up a more fitting coda to what was once the centerpiece of the Connecticut football world. From the inaugural game in 1966, to the classic New Canaan-Stamford games of the late ’60s-mid ‘70s, right on up through the dominance of Greenwich in the ’80s there was no bigger game in the state—save Harvard-Yale—than the FCIAC Championship when it was played on Thanksgiving at Boyle Stadium. The game would lose some of its luster when the league decreed Thanksgiving to be a day of “rivalry” games in 1994. But for most of us who grew up in the area, the real Turkey Bowl was the FCIAC Championship of old. Now a scheduling mandate from the CIAC might do away with the contest altogether.