New Canaan football holds off Wilton for 5th straight win
Updated 8:15 pm, Wednesday, October 31, 2012
NEW CANAAN -- Teddy Bossidy had been relegated to extra unwanted time on the sideline the past few weeks, the result of a strategy dictated by the New Canaan High School football team's bounty this season of having two quarterbacks capable of running the offense.
The Rams' expressed strategy has been to go with the player possessing the hot hand, and most recently that had been Nick Cascione.
Bossidy sat quietly and awaited an opportunity to demonstrate his skill sets.
And when the call came from the bullpen Saturday afternoon, Bossidy made the most of it.
His 46-yard touchdown run provided what proved to be the winning margin in a 21-14 home win over Wilton, and a long 3rd-down completion in the closing moments proved to be the unsung play of the day.
"It was great to get back out there. If you go back to last week, I wouldn't have done anything different because Nick did a great job and deserved to stay in there," said Bossidy, referring to a come-from-behind win over St. Joseph in which Cascione appeared to tighten his grip on the starting job.
With the offense seemingly in a rut, Bossidy made his second appearance late in the third quarter and provided the necessary spark to lift the Rams (6-1) to their fifth straight win.
"Teddy had the hot hand today and he ran the ball well inside," Marinelli said. "The thing we have to do when one is at quarterback, the other one has to be in. I think we are a better team when both of them are in."
Bossidy came in for the second time with 31 seconds left in the third quarter, with the Rams at their own 23-yard line and holding onto a 14-7 lead. Five plays later, which included three runs by Bossidy and an 11-yard completion to Seth Neeleman, the junior quarterback snaked his way into the end zone, running up the middle, following his blocking to get outside and down the left sideline while outracing the Warriors.
"I got some good blocking and that was the key to that play," said Bossidy, who carried the ball 11 times for 103 yards and was 6 of 7 passing for 76 yards.
"I think we stopped ourselves more than they stopped us," Bossidy said.
Cascione finished with 64 yards rushing and completed 10 of 16 passes for 86 yards, including a pair of touchdown passes to Grady Lynch.
In all, New Canaan finished with 405 yards, 243 of them coming on the ground.
"Teddy's a gamer, and how many people in the FCIAC, when their quarterback is not going well, can put in a quarterback just as good?" Marinelli said. "I think they did a pretty good job shutting us down as well."
Still, the Rams had some anxious moments as Wilton (3-4) refused to go away. The Warriors answered with a 12-play, 65-yard drive, resulting in John D'Elisa's 1-yard touchdown run with 4:33 remaining that made it a one-score game.
Bossidy, on 3rd down from his 47, hit Grady Lynch on a 35-yard play. That proved critical when the Rams, with Wilton letting the clock run down, inexplicably ran a play that resulted in a fumble. The Warriors got the ball back on their 13 with 34 seconds left, but three illegal procedure penalties sealed their fate.
"I'm proud of them," Wilton coach Bruce Cunningham said. "We fought our tails off. We had a big problem throwing the ball last week and I think we did a better job today."
Brett Phillips completed 18 of 32 passes for 174 yards, while Weston Wilbur had 7 receptions for 76 yards and a score.
"The two of them played great," Cunningham said. "I thought we came out in the second half and were able to match them."
The outcome might have been different had Wilton capitalized on a 16-play drive that lasted almost seven minutes to start the third quarter. But a 4th-down play from the Rams' 28 resulted in a fumbled snap.
"I thought the play I had called there was going to work," said Cunningham of an intended post pattern.
Instead, the Rams did enough to continue their march toward a state playoff berth.
"In the end the win is what counts," Marinelli said. "I'm just a little disappointed in the way we played."
NOTE: The Rams had a scare in the first half when receiver Ryan Minaglia sustained a concussion after a. The game was delayed for 15 minutes as Minaglia was taken away in an ambulance. Marinelli said after the game the report was that Minaglia sustained a concussion but nothing more serious.
NEW CANAAN 21, WILTON 14
WILTON 7 0 0 7--14
NEW CANAAN 6 8 0 7 --21
NC--Grady Lynch, 5 pass from Nick Cascione (kick failed)
W--Weston Wilbur, 11 pass from Brett Phillips (Ben Rappaport kick)
NC--Lynch, 8 pass from Cascione (Cascione pass to Michael Root)
NC--Teddy Bossidy, 46 run (Neal Koller kick)
W--John D'Elisa, 1 run (Rappaport kick)
Records: Wilton 3-4; New Canaan 6-1