O’Connell-New Canaan rips Norwalk
NEW CANAAN — If there was any inkling that New Canaan would have a letdown after last week’s dominating — yet emotional — victory over Greenwich, Ryan O’Connell put a silence to it in a hurry.
The Rams’ Mr. Everything picked off a Norwalk pass on the first play of the game and returned it for a touchdown, setting the tone for a 43-0 New Canaan victory.
“It was great,” O’Connell said of the fast start for the 7-0 Rams.. “We knew after last week that this was a business trip and after a big win we couldn’t come out asleep, so we came out firing, did our job and got it done quick.”
O’Connell was far from done.
The senior captain intercepted another pass on the ensuing possession and capped off the offensive drive with a four-yard touchdown run, giving the Rams a 13-0 lead seven minutes into the game.
“There’s a maturity about these kids,” Ram coach Lou Marinelli said. “And Ryan is certainly one of our leaders with James Freyre, Tommy Root and Teddy Hood. All the seniors really are on a mission and I hope it keeps up.”
After a Norwalk safety on an attempted punt that saw the Bears snap the ball out of the end zone O’Connell had his third touchdown of the day, a 54-yard catch-and- run on a screen pass from Drew Pyne to cap off the first quarter.
The second saw another O’Connell touchdown; this time, however, it was Ryan’s younger brother, Quintin.
The sophomore hauled in an 11-yard touchdown from the freshman Pyne just two plays after the young duo connected on a 55-yard streak down the sideline.
Ryan would get back into the spotlight quickly as midway through the second he snagged his third interception of the game.
“It’s nice to have Superman,” laughed Marinelli of O’Connell’s video game-like numbers. “I can’t say enough about him; and as good of a football player he is he’s a better kid and better student—he’s a coach’s dream.”
Coming in at 3-3 and with a slew of injuries the Bears knew they had their work cut out for them. But O’Connell made sure whatever thoughts they had of an upset were dispelled almost immediately.
“They’re the No. 2 team in the state for a reason,” Norwalk coach Sean Ireland said of New Canaan. “I don’t know how much of a difference it would have made, but we’re out there with our backup QB (starter Krishtjan Frrokaj is out with a concussion) and our third and fourth string receivers…credit to them though, they’re unbelievable.”
Ireland thought his defense played well, but didn’t capitalize on the few chances it had to create turnovers and going forward hopes they’ll learn from the defeat as, aside from New Canaan and Darien (6-0), the rest of the league is wide open.
“When we’re healthy we feel we’re a good team,” Ireland said. “We have to get some guys back but we’re always going to show up and play hard —that’s something as the Norwalk High football program we take pride in.”
NEW CANAAN 43, NORWALK 0
NORWALK 0 0 0 0—0
NEW CANAAN 22 7 14 0—43
NC—Ryan O’Connell interception return (PAT failed)
NC—O’Connell 4 run (Grant Morse kick)
NC—Norwalk fumble out of the end zone for a safety
NC—O’Connell 54 pass from Drew Pyne (Morse kick)
NC—Quintin O’Connell 11 pass Pyne (Morse kick)
NC—Patrick Metzger 8 pass Pyne (Morse kick)
NC—Owen Shin 10 run (Morse kick)
Records: Norwalk 3-4; New Canaan 7-0