New Canaan dismantles Staples in FCIAC showdown
WESTPORT -- Another week, another runaway win for the New Canaan football team.
For the seventh time in as many games to start the season, the Rams offense was virtually uncontainable while their defense routinely blew plays up in the backfield.
The only difference on Friday night was that it was up against fellow perennial powerhouse Staples. You know, the same Staples team that won the FCIAC title the past two seasons? And the Rams still won going away by a final of 43-7.
"It helps tremendously when you have a short field to work with. It limits the playbook a little bit, but it makes it easier to punch it in," said New Canaan quarterback Nick Cascione, who threw a touchdown and ran for two more. "We could have done a lot more damage, but I'm happy with the end result: Forty-three points and a win. Can't complain."
New Canaan once again benefitted from outstanding field position all night, and following a Staples three-and-out to start the game, the Rams went 34 yards in six plays, taking the lead when Cascione threw a quick pass to Alex LaPolice in the slot, who took a hit but still found the end zone on a 19-yard catch-and-run over the middle.
Seven plays later, the Rams were back in the end zone on a seven-yard designed run up the middle by Cascione for a 14-0 lead.
On the second play of their next possession, the Wreckers seemingly got back into the game on a 47-yard run through the New Canaan defense by Jack Greenwald. Save for this one explosive play, the Wreckers could get precious little going on offense.
"Physically up front, we kind of got worn down. We couldn't protect (quarterback) Jack (Massie), and when you can't protect the quarterback it's hard to get any sort of passing game going," Staples coach Marce Petroccio said. "You're caught between a rock and a hard place because you want to run the ball, but you really can't."
Cole Turpin returned the ensuing kickoff 58 yards to the Staples 27, and three plays later, Frank Cognetta went 12 yards for the score and a 21-7 lead.
New Canaan kicker Peter Swindell had a big night, going three-for-three in field goals, including a 26-yarder and a 33-yarder to boost the Rams' lead to 27-7 at halftime. Swindell's final field goal was a 30-yarder at the start of the fourth.
Staples will look to rebound next Friday with another marquee game on the road against Trumbull at 7 p.m.
New Canaan once again puts perfection on the line when it plays host to unbeaten St. Joseph on Friday at 7 p.m. in what could be the most anticipated game of the season.
"I thought our defensive staff did a tremendous job of stopping their option attack. I don't know when the last time was that they were held to seven, but it was a tremendous team effort," New Canaan coach Lou Marinelli said. "I think our coaching staff did a tremendous job. I don't think we've ever held them to seven points, and I think we just caught them right tonight."
firstname.lastname@example.org; Twitter @jchik17
NEW CANAAN 43, STAPLES 7
NEW CANAAN 21 6 13 3--43
STAPLES 7 0 0 0--7
NC--Alex LaPolice 19 pass Nick Cascione (Peter Swindell kick)
NC--Cascione 7 run run (Swindell kick)
S--Greenwald 47 run (Mike Gifford kick)
NC--Cognetta 12 run (Swindell kick)
NC--Swindell 26 field goal
NC--Swindell 33 field goal
NC--Cognetta 18 run (Swindell kick)
NC--Cascione 10 run (kick failed)
NC--Swindell 30 field goal
Records: New Canaan 7-0 (6-0 FCIAC); Staples 5-2 (5-1 FCIAC)