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New Canaan football team dominates Daniel Hand

Updated 2:37 pm, Thursday, September 12, 2013

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  • New Canaan's Cole Harris, # 2, at right, scores a touchdown on an second quarter interception during football game between New Canaan High School and Daniel Hand High School, at New Canaan, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. At left, Daniel Hand's Tim D'Annolfo, # 21, closes in for the tackle but Harris has already crossed the goal line for the score. Photo: Bob Luckey / Greenwich Time
    New Canaan's Cole Harris, # 2, at right, scores a touchdown on an second quarter interception during football game between New Canaan High School and Daniel Hand High School, at New Canaan, Wednesday, Sept. 11, 2013. At left, Daniel Hand's Tim D'Annolfo, # 21, closes in for the tackle but Harris has already crossed the goal line for the score. Photo: Bob Luckey

 

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NEW CANAAN -- Pick a stat. Just about any from New Canaan's season-opening demolition of Daniel Hand would probably give you a pretty good idea of how the game went.

Whether you go with New Canaan's new school record of 88 offensive plays, the fact that the Rams did not punt until the fourth quarter or Hand's eight three-and-outs, it all added up to a stunning 50-21 triumph over the defending Class L champions.

New Canaan's opening drive stalled at the Hand 2 after failing to convert on fourth-and-goal. However, Hand's first play from its own 1 resulted in a safety when Cole Harris dropped the runner in the backfield.

"It was one of those players where you kind of just feel it in the back of your mind," Harris said. "You get a feeling in the back of your mind. I guessed right and trusted my reads."

"On the very next play after we make the stop we get tackled in the end zone," Hand coach Steven Filippone said. "There's no excuse for that. It's terrible football. That was a turning point in the game. That gave momentum back to them and we had our back to the wall all day. It was the kind of stuff we did all night long."

After the free kick, New Canaan boosted its lead to 8-0 when quarterback Nick Cascione hit Alex LaPolice up the middle for a 14-yard touchdown, Cascione's first of three scoring strikes and LaPolice's first of two touchdown receptions.

"Our offense was clicking and it's tough to stop when we're clicking," Cascione said. "I was actually shocked that we ran that many plays. We were having fun with it. We beat them by this margin and we're happy about it, but they showed some real class and fought us to the very end."

Harris made another big play on defense on Hand's next possession when he picked off a pass before weaving 37 yards into the Hand end zone for a 15-0 advantage.

"(Harris) has a knack. He covers very well aside from playing the run tough," New Canaan coach Lou Marinelli said. "He has a knack for covering the pass and he just knows where to go."

Moving the ball seemingly at will New Canaan found the end zone three times out of its next four possessions to boost its halftime lead to 36-0.

New Canaan ran its lead to 43-0 on its first possession of the second half on a 12-yard touchdown run by Morgan Carson, and the enormous lead allowed Marinelli to get all of his reserves some playing time.

"Never. I never in all my wildest dreams thought this would happen," Marinelli said. "We were expecting a good game and I was just hoping we could eke it out because that is a hell of a football program."

For much more on New Canaan's season-opening win, visit http://blog.ctnews.com/hssports/

jchik@bcnnew.com; Twitter: @jchik17

Daniel Hand 21, New Canaan 50

DANIEL HAND 0 0 7 14--21

NEW CANAAN 8 28 14 0--50

NC--Safety, Hand's Connor Dowd tackled in end zone

NC--Alex LaPolice 14 pass Nick Cascione (kick failed)

NC--Cole Harris 37 interception return (Peter Swindell kick)

NC--LaPolice 19 pass Cascione (Swindell kick)

NC--Morgan Carson 7 run (Swindell kick)

NC--Jack Gilio 15 pass from Cascione (Swindell kick)

NC--Carson 12 run (Swindell kick)

DH--Nick VanDell 36 run (Tyler Phan kick)

NC--Chris Andrews 10 run (Swindell kick)

DH--VanDell 2 run (Phan kick)

DH--Conor Dowd 12 run (Phan kick)

Records: Daniel Hand 0-1; New Canaan 1-0.