"Football is an incredible game. Sometimes it's so incredible, it's unbelievable." - Tom Landry
Despite solid play on both sides of the ball, highlighted by a furious 2nd half comeback, the New Canaan 3rd Grade Red football team dropped their season opener against a tough Ridgefield Black 3's squad on Saturday at Dunning Field, 20-12.
After falling behind 20-0 late in the 3rd quarter, New Canaan finally broke through. QB Giovanni Cascione threw a perfect back-shoulder pass to Trey Hartnett. Sprung by a block from Griffin Gentner, Hartnett outran the Ridgefield secondary for a spectacular 55-yard TD, cutting the lead to 20-6.
From there, the Red defense took over. Led by Ryan Connolly, Henry Scott and Richie Whitcomb, New Canaan stopped Ridgefield in their tracks throughout the second half, keeping them within striking distance. Jason Pastushan, Brian Balkun and Colin Tiscornia started getting significant backfield penetration, and the secondary tandem of Matthew Mercede and Sean Watchmaker held Ridgefield to zero passing yards the entire game.
With the momentum swinging, New Canaan mounted another scoring drive. Behind solid blocking from Charlie Harrison, Charlie Besgen and Andrew Rittenberry, and strong runs from Gentner, Max Budnick and Matt Salmini, the Red 3’s marched 60 yards, capped off by a 5-yard TD run by Cascione. New Canaan was suddenly one possession away from tying the game.
Time, however, was not on NC’s side.
With just 48 seconds left in the game, and New Canaan left with no timeouts, Ridgefield was able to run out the clock, preserving the 1-TD win.
The New Canaan Red 3’s (0-1) will next take on Fairfield (0-2) on Saturday at Dunning Field. Kickoff is at 10:30am.