TRUMBULL — The New Canaan football coaching staff has had a vision of the offensive possibilities ever since last season ended. A dominant offensive line would give an accurate quarterback time to find a strong stable of receivers. This would be complemented by a solid running game defenses would have to respect.
It took until the third week before what was drawn up on grease boards transformed into execution on the field.
Tested for a little over a quarter, the Rams finally broke out tonight, highlighted by several spectacular performances. The result was a 48-7 win over Trumbull.
“It all starts up front,” said New Canaan quarterback Drew Pyne as he listed each of the starting offensive linemen. “I feel as safe as ever back there. Those guys have my back no matter what and it showed today. Q had an amazing game and we shared the wealth a little bit so it was a good all around team win.”
Pyne was almost flawless, completing 20 of 22 passes for 388 yards and five touchdowns. Q — Quintin O’Connell — caught three of them and ran for two more scores. O’Connell had nine catches for 175 yards.
And promising junior Zach LaPolice had his coming out party. LaPolice finished with five catches for 101 yards, and broke several tackles on a 30-yard score.
O’Connell has seven scores the last two weeks and proved impossible to cover.
“Him and I have worked on having trust with each other for three years,” Pyne said. “I think it’s a lot of hard work we’ve put in after practice. Running extra routes. We did yesterday and the day before that. Zach LaPolice had a great game. Everyone contributed.”
New Canaan (2-1) averaged over five yards a rush and finished with 517 total yards.
The Eagles (1-2), in a rebuilding mode under new coach Marce Petroccio, were in the game midway through the second quarter. Colton Nicholas’ 1-yard touchdown pass to Chris Briganti brought them to within 13-7 with 6:38 in the half.
That momentum lasted for less than 90 seconds, as Pyne hit O’Connell on a 69-yard scoring play. One minute after that a Drew Guida interception led to LaPolice’s score.
By halftime New Canaan had a 34-7 lead.
“They’re a great football team,” Petroccio said. “For us, I thought things were looking good at 13-7. They put out that fire pretty quickly with a big play. They’re very hard to defend. We really didn’t stop them all night and offensively we did just enough to shoot ourselves in the foot a little bit. We’ll keep getting better. There’s a lot of football left.”
Trumbull dropped defenders at the expense of being able to generate an offense.
And with other players stepping up, it will become even more difficult for defenses to focus on O’Connell.
“He’s hard to defend and we’re getting to the point now if you do double him we have some other options, like Wyatt (Wilson), (Zach) LaPolice, (Luke) Morton,” said Marinelli. “And I thought defensively we played very well. It’s a work in progress.”
Trumbull is 0-2 against the Marinelli family, following its opening loss to Greenwich, but the schedule will become more accommodating and Petroccio, even in defeat, is seeing positive signs.
“They battled for four quarters,” Petroccio said. “Some kids didn’t play as well as we would have liked but we will keep working hard. That’s all we can do. It’s hard for a team like us to battle a team like that with the players we have.”