New Canaan rolls over Trinity with 41 unanswered points
STAMFORD -- After causing his opponents irritation and an extra 10 minutes to wait for the second half to begin, New Canaan High School football coach Lou Marinelli was assessed a seldom-called penalty for keeping his team in the locker room too long.
It may have been the best 15 yards he has ever spent.
The Rams started the third quarter with a long kickoff return and scored on the following play. Before the period was over they had tacked on three more touchdowns, part of a run of 41 unanswered points that carried the defending state champions to a 48-8 rout of Trinity Catholic.
"I don't understand where that came from but I should thank the officials," Marinelli said after his team improved to 2-0.
"I think we kind of felt them out in the first half and then came out firing in the second," said Costigan, who finished with 76 yards on 11 carries, a 35-yard TD catch and an interception. "We worked hard all week in practice and it was nice to see the results. The offensive line busted their butts."
Costigan said the Rams did not receive the kind of verbal lashing one might have expected during their extended break.
"We didn't get yelled at," Costigan said. "We just came out with confidence. We came out hitting in the second half."
It was a stunning turnaround for the Crusaders (0-2), more so than a week ago, when they stayed with Staples in the early going before giving up 31 straight points and then falling, 31-16.
Trinity took the opening kickoff and after seven straight runs had marched 52 yards to the New Canaan 23. But after two incompletions, quarterback Patrick Murphy was sacked by John Brainard on fourth down.
Trinity went ahead four plays later on Mike Davis' 39-yard run and Shaquan Howsie's two-point conversion.
That was the end of the highlights for the Crusaders, who were hampered by an injury to star running back Mike Rivas on their second series of the day. Rivas opened the game with a 29-yard run and had 46 yards when he sprained his right ankle.
Rivas tried to come back several times, but had just four more carries for 12 yards the rest of the game.
New Canaan took the lead for good when Milano hit Macari on a beautifully executed stop-and-go pattern from 18 yards out with 1:13 left in the half.
Then came the onslaught.
"I don't know in the 20 years I have been a football coach that I've ever seen a team go south so quickly," Trinity coach Pete Stokes said. "There was a huge momentum swing with that second half kickoff. Whatever Lou said at halftime, he should bottle it."
Milano, in his second game as starter, completed 10 of 18 passes for 158 yards. He had touchdown passes of 35 yards to Costigan and 39 to Peter Kraus.
"Matt's a young quarterback and he's learning every day," Marinelli said. "He's getting better. You see we don't go to one guy. We have a number of guys who can score."
New Canaan was forced to do some shuffling when running back Conor Goodwin sustained a cut in practice Friday that required six stitches and forced him to miss the game.
The Rams' tight end, Connor Kilbane, was injured in the second quarter with what Marinelli said was a dislocated right shoulder. He was going for tests to see if it was separated.
Stokes said he reacted badly to the Staples loss, but came into Saturday's game bristling with confidence.
"I had a bad week," he said. "Personally, I was on edge and upset with the kids. I was pushing them too hard. Today I walked in all giddy. I thought we were going to win the game. I really did. I let it all hang out."
NEW CANAAN 0 13 28 7--48
TRINITY CATHOLIC 0 8 0 0--8
NC--Kevin McDonough, 3 run (Collin Shapiro kick).
TC--Mike Davis, 39 run (Shaquan Howsie run).
NC--Kevin Macari, 18 pass from Matt Milano (pass failed).
NC--Joe Costigan, 35 pass from Milano (pass failed).
NC--Costigan, 3 run (Patrick Newton pass from Milano).
NC--Peter Kraus, 39 pass from Milano (Shapiro kick).
NC--Willie Gould, 50 run (Brianna Valente kick).
NC--Bobby Distler, 19 run (Valente kick).