‘This Is Why We Play’: New Canaan Football Tops Windsor 35-20 for Fourth Straight Class L Championship

As darkness enveloped New Britain’s Veterans Memorial Stadium, Lou Marinelli stood alone at midfield, long after his New Canaan Rams defeated Windsor 35-20 for their fourth straight Class L championship. “I don’t want to leave,” Marinelli said. “We’re counting down the minutes on the sidelines and I’m saying, ‘Damn, I can’t wait until it’s over.’ But now I don’t want it to be over.”

For Marinelli, the time to reflect is well-deserved. The win marked the 12th state title in his 36 years as head coach of the Rams and his 331st career victory, tying former West Haven and St. Joseph coach Ed McCarthy for the most wins in state history.

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.

Second Half Surge Propels New Canaan Football Over Greenwich 40-16

The first half of what was coined the “Marinelli Bowl II” seemed to follow the script of the first meeting between father and son head coaches last year. Lou Marinelli’s New Canaan Rams got out to an early lead, then John Marinelli’s Greenwich Cardinals came back to pull close. The Rams were on their heels, clinging to a 13-8 lead over the Cardinals at intermission. But as the fog rolled across Dunning Field, so did the offense for the Rams as No. 2 New Canaan (6-0) put up 27 unanswered points in the third and fourth quarters en route to a 40-16 win over the Cardinals (4-2) Friday night.

‘It Doesn’t Get Any Better Than This’: 2016 New Canaan Rams Football Preview

For the first time in recent memory, the New Canaan Rams will be heading into their season without a defined quarterback situation. It’s a scenario that may be amplified for the Rams—who will look to defend their three consecutive Class L State Championships—given the graduation of All-State signal caller Michael Collins, who has taken his considerable talents to the University of Pennsylvania this fall. It’s not that New Canaan head coach Lou Marinelli lacks choices. In fact, as many as eight QB’s were in the running for the starting job through the summer—a talent pool that has been whittled down to five as New Canaan’s opening game against Trinity Catholic approaches this Saturday. “We’ve started all over again,” Marinelli told NewCanaanite.com.

New Canaan Rams Football Names 2016 Captains

There’s a saying that there is no off season for someone on the road to being a champion, and the Class L State Champion New Canaan Rams began their journey down that road last Thursday night as they announced their captains for the 2016 season. James Freyre, Teddy Hood, Ryan O’Connell and Tommy Root were selected by their teammates to lead New Canaan’s title defense next season as the Rams will try to win their fourth consecutive state crown. Freyre emerged as New Canaan’s top tackler in 2015 as the junior linebacker had 84 total stops, including 50 solo tackles and two tackles for negative yardage. As a result New Canaan’s defense was able to answer major question marks this past season after being decimated by the graduation of 2014 stars Zach Allen, Alex LaPolice and Michael Kraus, and suffering season-ending injuries to starters Cass Knox and Jarrett Torromeo.  

Hood was a stalwart of New Canaan’s offensive line, a unit that gave record-setting quarterback Michael Collins substantial protection as the Rams scored 523 points in 2015, averaging more than 423 yards per game.