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.

2016 Turkey Bowl Essentials: A Breakdown of New Canaan vs. Darien

Thursday morning will mark the third straight year New Canaan and Darien collide in the Turkey Bowl as the top two teams in the state. And if the previous two Thanksgiving match-ups—both won by Darien by a score of 28-21—are any indication, this year’s game will be another classic chapter in a historic rivalry that dates back to 1928. As was the case last year, this will be the only time the No.1 Wave and No. 2 Rams face one another as Darien will defend its state Class LL title while the Rams are looking to win their fourth straight Class L crown. Even with the absence of an official FCIAC Championship game this season, stakes will be high on Thursday as the game will count toward CIAC rankings, impacting the probability of a state semifinal home game.

New Canaan Football Rolls Over Ludlowe 48-6

In a game where they were missing two of their top playmakers due to injuries, the New Canaan Rams needed someone to step up. Enter Graham Braden. The senior running back scored four touchdowns—three on the ground and one in the air—as the No. 2 Rams (9-0) dismantled Fairfield Ludlowe 48-6 Friday night at Taft Field. New Canaan outgained the Falcons 506 to 125 in total offense, racking up 371 of those yards on the ground with Braden leading the way with 177 yards on 15 carries. “It was great,” Braden told NewCanaanite.com.

‘There Might Be Something Special Here’: New Canaan Football Routs Trumbull 44-14

Ryan O’Connell has unquestionably been New Canaan’s most important player in 2016, leading the team on both sides of the ball and in the locker room all season long. This fact makes the No. 2 Rams’ 44-14 win over Trumbull (5-3) on Friday night all the more impressive considering New Canaan (8-0) played virtually the entire game without its senior co-captain, who was sidelined with an ankle injury suffered on the team’s opening offensive series. “Other kids just picked it up,” New Canaan head coach Lou Marinelli told NewCanaanite.com. “I think that’s why there might be something special here.

New Canaan Football Blanks Norwalk 43-0

It was one heck of a way to start a football game. Ryan O’Connell had a season’s worth of highlights in the game’s early moments, scoring three touchdowns in the first quarter and adding three interceptions in the first half—including a pick-six on the game’s first play from scrimmage—to lead New Canaan to a 43-0 win over the Norwalk Bears Friday night at Dunning Field. “He’s been everything,” New Canaan head coach Lou Marinelli said of his senior co-captain. “He’s the best around on both sides of the ball since [current New Canaan defensive coordinator and former star player] Chris Silvestri’s been here.” High praise indeed.