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Class L Football Championship 2-minute drill

Updated 5:18 pm, Wednesday, December 18, 2013
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Players of the Game

Alex LaPolice (New Canaan junior receiver): LaPolice hauled in four receptions for 88 yards, including a 49-yard touchdown. LaPolice also returned a punt 46 yards for a touchdown and returned the opening kick 60 yards to the Darien 30.

Nick Cascione (New Canaan senior quarterback): Cascione completed 14-of-24 passes for 226 yards and a pair of touchdowns. Cascione added another 76 yards on 11 carries, including a 41-yard touchdown run.

Frank Cognetta (New Canaan junior running back): Cognetta carried the rock 12 times for 68 yards, including a one-yard touchdown and his only reception of the day went for 31 yards.

Zach Allen (New Canaan junior defensive lineman): Allen was all over the field with six tackles and 1.5 sacks, and his 42-yard pick six put the exclamation point on New Canaan's win.

Nick Lombardo (Darien senior receiver): Lombardo caught a team-high five passes for 47 yards.

Non-scoring plays of the game

LaPolice sets the stage: On the opening kickoff, LaPolice faked a reverse before exploding down the field, eluding a few Darien defenders and making it all the way to the Blue Wave 30 to set up the Rams' first score of the day.

New Canaan converts fourth-and-four on opening possession: The Rams were in business after LaPolice's kick return, but the Blue Wave defense allowed just six yards on New Canaan's first three plays. A fourth down stop could have given momentum right back to Darien, but Kyle Smith made a one-handed catch over the middle to move the chains, eventually setting up a touchdown.

"That was fantastic. That fourth down catch by Kyle Smith was a one-handed catch and it was a hell of a catch," Cascione said. "It's not a sophomore grab, but that really gave us some momentum and helped us score on that drive."

New Canaan defense holds on fourth down: Trailing 14-0, Darien originally faced fourth-and-one on the New Canaan eight, but a delay of game penalty moved the Blue Wave back. On the next play, Graham Wagner notched a drive-killing sack.

"I thought the refs did a wonderful job, but that didn't help," Darien coach Rob Trifone said. "That's a penalty that I never take. When that back judge's hand goes up, I bang a timeout. I had no 25-second clock, I had no clock, but I thought the refs did a wonderful job. But that play hurt at a critical time in the game."

Michael Root's interception: Darien was looking to crack the scoreboard for the first time with time dwindling in the half. The Blue Wave had marched from their 26 to the 47, but were derailed when linebacker Michael Root came up with a drive-killing interception, and the half ended three plays later with the Rams still leading 17-0.

Will Hamernick's interception: In desperate need of a spark, Darien got one when Hamernick stepped in front of a pass on New Canaan's first possession of the second half to set up the Blue Wave at the Rams' 35. Silas Wyper went 35 yards for the score on the next play, cutting New Canaan's lead to 17-6.

"Nick spends a lot of time in the film room, and he's worked very hard to get where he is," New Canaan coach Lou Marinelli said. "He's undersized but he's got a tremendous arm and he's smart. He'll make mistakes, but the great thing about him is that he doesn't let it bother him."

-- JON CHIK