Fairfield Warde rammed by New Canaan, 34-13
If New Canaan's football team thought it would walk into Fairfield Warde for a cakewalk Friday night, it was sadly mistaken.
However, after the first play of the game, the Rams got all of the waking up they would need.
New Canaan scored 34 straight points after the Mustangs returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown. Led by quarterback Matt Milano's three touchdown strikes the Rams beat the Mustangs 34-13 at Tetreau/Davis Field in Fairfield.
"I was glad to see the way the kids fought back," New Canaan coach Lou Marinelli said. "They punched us in the mouth early and we fought back."
New Canaan, in winning its 16th straight game, also got a pair of rushing touchdowns, one each from Joe Costigan and Conor Goodwin to improve to 4-0 on the year. Milano threw for 255 yards in the game, with very little pressure from the Warde defense.
"The pass blocking has been great," Marinelli said.
However, the game was not easy from the start.
The Mustangs' Craig Lowery took the opening kickoff 91 yards, dodging New Canaan tacklers and kicker Collin Shapiro on his way to the end zone for a 6-0 Warde lead just 17 seconds into the game.
"Absolutely," Marinelli said when asked if the return was a wake up call. "I was glad to see us come back at the end of the half to be up like we were."
"I was elated," Warde head coach Duncan Della Volpe said. "I thought that was exactly what we needed."
That was the first of Lowery's two kickoff returns for touchdowns in the game. The other was an 89-yard scamper after the Rams had built a 34-6 lead.
"He's a special kid," Della Volpe said of Lowery.
"I can never imagine two kickoffs run back on us in the same game," Marinelli said.
New Canaan quickly awoke after allowing the first return with an eight-play, machine-like drive that spanned 63 yards and was capped by a 15-yard touchdown pass from Milano to Connor Kilbane to give the Rams the lead 7-6.
"As soon as we missed the extra point, man it got sour fast," Della Volpe said. "I thought if we had gotten a stop on defense, that would have spurred us on more."
After a Mustangs' punt, the Rams and Mustangs traded turnovers on back-to-back plays. New Canaan got the ball back at its own 48 and scored two plays later when Costigan bulled in from three yards out to put the Rams up 13-6.
After a Warde three-and-out, New Canaan took control of the game with a 10-play, 67-yard drive that was keyed by a pair of third-down conversions. Goodwin went through the pile untouched from a yard out to put the Rams up 20-6.
"We battled them," Della Volpe said. "But, that's what New Canaan does to you.
Milano put his stamp on the first half, with a 27-yard pass to Patrick Newton to put the Rams ahead 27-6 at the half.
Warde (2-2) will play a divisional game at Wilton on Saturday at 4 p.m.
"I think that's going to be a classic game," Della Volpe said.
The Rams will play an interconference battle with NVL foe Seymour at Dunning Stadium at 7 p.m.
"Those kids are always tough kids," Marinelli said of Seymour. "Our kids have to be ready."
New Canaan 34, Warde 13
NEW CANAAN13 14 0 7 -- 34
WARDE 6 0 0 7 -- 13
Records: New Canaan 4-0; Warde 2-2.
W--Craig Lowery 91 kickoff return (kick failed)
NC--Connor Kilbane 15 pass from Matthew Milano (Collin Shapiro kick)
NC--Joe Costigan 3 run (Pass failed) NC- Conor Goodwin 1 run (Shapiro kick)
NC--Patrick Newton 27 pass from Milano (Shapiro kick)
NC--Peter Kraus 24 pass from Milano (Shapiro kick)
FW--Lowery 89 kickoff return (Alan Gray kick)