Lions, Tigers…it doesn’t matter.
If anyone thought the New Canaan Rams football team was ready for a letdown after last week’s demolition of two-time defending Class L champion Hand, it didn’t take long for the Rams to prove them dead wrong.
Led by Nick Cascione’s career-high 4 TD passes and another dominant performance by their vaunted defense, New Canaan picked up where they left off, defeating Bassick 42-20 Thursday night at Bridgeport's Kennedy Stadium.
In fact, the only thing preventing New Canaan from scoring was the 30-minute delay at the start of the game; word on the street was that officials were waiting for the sun to set behind the grandstands, as players looking directly west were virtually blinded.
Once the game did start, the Rams wasted little time in showcasing their knack for being in the right place at the right time. Senior captain Connor Buck gathered in a Bassick fumble on the opening drive, setting New Canaan up with a short field at the Lions’ 28-yard line.
The quick-strike Ram offense needed only 5 plays to score, capped off by a 10-yard TD run by junior Frank Cognetta.
After Bassick went 3-and-out on their ensuing possession, the Rams moved 55 yards in 4 plays, as Cascione found a wide open Jack Gilio in the end zone for a 17-yard score, giving New Canaan a 14-0 lead.
Less than 4 minutes later, the Rams scored again, this time on a 32-yard Cascione-to-Cole Turpin hookup. At the end of the 1st quarter, New Canaan was up 21-0.
The Rams would not slow down from there.
After the defense stymied Bassick yet again, highlighted by a Connor Buck sack of Lions QB Vochan Fowler, Kyle Smith set up New Canaan with a 21-yard punt return to the Bassick 30-yard line. Two plays later, Cascione hit Carson Armstong in the corner of the end zone, giving the Rams a 28-0 lead.
The defense again stopped Bassick in their tracks, and again…New Canaan would score - this time relying more on the running game. Chris Andrews and Morgan Carson pulled off impressive gains, with Andrews finishing off the 7-play, 35-yard drive with a 4-yard run to put New Canaan ahead, 35-0.
New Canaan put the exclamation point on the game on their first possession of the second half, as Cascione threw TD #4 to Gilio, this time for 65 yards and a 42-0 lead.
From that point, New Canaan rested starters, content with running out the clock. Bassick would score 3 unanswered TD’s in the second half but it was far too little, and far too late.
Cascione finished a near-perfect night 15-20 for 262 yards and 4 TD’s, most of which came in the first half. Eight different receivers caught the ball, with Gilio topping them all with 5 receptions for 126 yards and 2 TD’s. New Canaan also gained more than 100 yards on the ground with Andrews leading the way with 42 yards on 10 carries and a TD.
1 2 3 4 TOT
NEW CANAAN 21 14 7 0 42
BASSICK 0 0 6 14 20
NC – Cognetta 10-yd. run (Swindell kick good)
NC – Cascione 17-yd. pass to Gilio (Swindell kick good)
NC – Cascione 32-yd. pass to Turpin (Swindell kick good)
NC – Cascione 8-yd. pass to Armstrong (Swindell kick good)
NC – Andrews 4-yd. run (Swindell kick good)
NC – Cascione 65-yd. pass to Gilio (Swindell kick good)
B – Fowler 5-yd. run (2-pt. conversion no good)
B – Snell 1-yd. run (2-pt. conversion no good)
B – Fowler 29-yd. run (2-pt. conversion good)
New Canaan will take on Greenwich next in a showdown of FCIAC powerhouses on Saturday, 9/28 at 4pm. The game will be played at Greenwich High School.