Short-handed New Canaan beats McMahon
NEW CANAAN -- Nick Cascione missed an open receiver late in Friday night's game. His socks as he came off the field appeared slightly uneven.
And that was pretty much the extent of the imperfections on what was a near-flawless night for the junior quarterback, who ran for three touchdowns and passed for two others in a 38-14 home win over Brien McMahon.
"It feels phenomenal," said Cascione, who completed 12 of 18 passes for 93 yards and carried the ball 14 times for 108 yards. "I got an ample amount of reps this week. I felt good tonight. I am going to die in my shower now."
The victory put to an end what New Canaan coach Lou Marinelli said was a tumultuous week for his team. Marinelli suspended 10 players, including six starters, for the game because of what he said was a violation of team rules.
But the makeshift offensive line dominated, Cascione shone under the spotlight, the Rams got back two key players, running back Louis Hagopian and linebacker Michael Root, and a team that started the year as an unknown quantity proved again that, at the very least, it is resilient.
"It has been a terrible week," Marinelli said. "Just a lot of distractions. I'm proud of the kids the way they really hung together. Even the kids who were in trouble, they hung around, played on the scout team and did whatever they could."
Marinelli saved his strongest praise for his quarterback.
"He did a great job," Marinelli said. "I think he's happy to have a full game under his belt."
New Canaan (3-1) finished with just a 294-208 advantage in total yards. But while the Rams were sharp with their execution, the Senators fumbled the ball away on their fourth play, the first of five turnovers.
A week after a 55-14 loss to Staples, the Senators fell to 2-2.
"You are playing two of the top teams perennially in the FCIAC," McMahon coach A.J. Albano said. "It's tough, but we have to keep working. We have six games left and we have to become better."
In Kyle Jordan and Trevon Forney, the Senators have two of the most dangerous players in the conference. Jordan finished with 70 yards rushing, while Forney had 125 total yards, including a 39-yard scoring run and 16-yard touchdown reception.
But save for two plays, neither had the chance to get into the open field, where they are most dangerous.
"He's got an X on his back and we are going to have to be able to do other things," Albano said, referring to Forney. "Offensively, I thought we did a halfway decent job. We moved the ball a little bit and the defense hung in there for what they could."
Containing Cascione, a dual threat, proved more problematic. Following the opening fumble, Cascione scored on a 13-yard keeper. On the Rams' next possession, he broke loose, got to right sideline and rambled 42 yards into the end zone.
"I just made something out of nothing because the line was doing it's job," Cascione said.
McMahon got to within 14-7 on Matt Downey's scoring pass to Forney, but New Canaan answered with a methodical 11-play drive, climaxing on a beautiful 8-yard reception in the right corner of the end zone by Grady Lynch, who had his arms fully extended and kept his feet in bounds.
Cascione made the score 28-7 at the half when he carried a defender into the end zone from 11 yards out.
Most impressive was a 62-yard drive by New Canaan to open the second half in which all the yards came on the ground before Cascione hit Jack Barfuss for a 12-yard touchdown.
New Canaan is back in action tonight when it plays host to Norwalk at 7 p.m.
NEW CANAAN 38, BRIEN MCMAHON 14
MCMAHON 0 7 0 7--14
NEW CANAAN 14 14 7 3--38
NC--Nick Cascione, 13 run (Neal Koller kick)
NC--Cascione, 42 run (Koller kick)
BM--Trevon Forney, 16 pass from Matt Downey (Henry Limon kick)
NC--Grady Lynch, 8 pass from Cascione (Koller kick)
NC--Cascione, 11 run (Koller kick)
NC--Jack Barfuss, 17 pass from Cascione (Koller kick)
NC--Koller, 32 field goal.
BM--Forney, 39 run (Limon kick)
Records: Brien McMahon 2-2; New Canaan 3-1