Greenwich football overpowers New Canaan 42-14 at Dunning

New Canaan’s AJ Rakoczy (8) and Jack Defrancesco (14) wrap up Greenwich’s Tysen Comizio (40) during Saturday night’s football game at Dunning Field. — Dave Stewart photo
Saturday night’s Greenwich-New Canaan showdown was hyped as a heavyweight battle of two premier FCIAC football programs.
And for the 3,000-plus fans that packed Dunning Field, the Cardinals essentially scored a first-round knockout, racing out to a 21-0 first quarter lead en route to a 42-14 rout of the Rams.
“That was a butt-kicking,” New Canaan head coach Lou Marinelli told the Advertiser. “They were like a machine. You can’t make mistakes against a team like that. They jumped right on us and never looked back. We could have given them a game, but I don’t even know what to say. Give them all the credit — that may be the No. 1 team in the state.”
Greenwich was virtually unstoppable, racking up 368 yards of offense and taking advantage of two costly New Canaan turnovers in the first half to help put the Rams in a hole out of which they were unable to dig.
Senior running back Tysen Comizio had a monster game for the Cardinals, picking up 90 yards on 20 carries and a touchdown while also hauling in three receptions for 115 yards and a score. Senior quarterback Gavin Muir also had a solid game for Greenwich, completing 13 of 20 passes for 241 yards and five touchdowns — three passing and two rushing.
The game marked the fourth time Lou Marinelli matched up against his son, Greenwich head coach John Marinelli. After New Canaan took the first two “Marinelli Bowls,” the Cards have won the last two meetings.
With the win, the No. 2 Cardinals improved to 4-0 while the Rams, ranked seventh in the state with a three-game winning streak coming into the contest, dropped to 3-2.
Greenwich set the tone from the start, marching 69 yards on eight plays for a score on its opening possession. On third-and-six, Muir found a wide-open Lance Large in the end zone for a 7-0 lead with 9:51 left in the first quarter.
After a New Canaan three-and-out, the Cardinals quickly added to their lead. A one-yard touchdown run capped off a three-play, 41-yard drive that gave Greenwich a 14-0 advantage with 7:02 remaining in the first.
A Ram fumble on the ensuing kickoff was recovered by Greenwich, setting up the Cardinals with possession on the New Canaan 32. Muir needed just one play from there, hitting senior Stephen Bennett for a touchdown and a 21-0 lead with 6:44 still on the clock in the opening quarter.
The Rams responded on their next possession with a sustained drive as junior quarterback Drew Pyne hit senior J.R. Moore for a 10-yard completion and followed up with a 27-yard hookup with senior Wyatt Wilson, setting New Canaan up with a first-and-goal from the Greenwich seven. The Rams were unable to capitalize however, as four incompletions led to a turnover on downs.
New Canaan did seize some momentum in the second quarter. A Greenwich personal foul set up the Rams with a first-and-10 deep in Cardinal territory. Three plays later, Pyne hit senior co-captain Quintin O’Connell in the back of the end zone for a 17-yard touchdown, cutting the Greenwich lead to 21-7 with 11:13 to go in the first half.
The Rams made it a one-possession game later in the second as Pyne found O’Connell again, splitting the Cardinals’ double coverage for a 19-yard touchdown to pull to within 21-14 with 2:54 left in the second quarter.
New Canaan was poised to build on that momentum after forcing a Greenwich punt on its ensuing possession, but the Cardinals recovered a fumble on the return to regain possession at midfield. Six plays later, Muir ran it in from the four to put Greenwich back up, 28-14, with just 10 seconds remaining in the half.
The Cards continued to roll in the second half. Muir connected with Comizio on a 29-yard touchdown to go up 35-14 with 8:37 left in the third quarter. And a four-yard Comizio run gave Greenwich a 42-14 lead with just over 10 minutes left in the fourth, which held up as the final score.
Meanwhile, the Rams offense was shut out in the second half. The Cardinals defense sacked Pyne three times in the contest and held New Canaan to just 223 yards of total offense, including just 22 net yards rushing.
Pyne put up solid numbers for the Rams, completing 23 of 37 passes for 201 yards and two touchdowns. O’Connell had eight receptions for 100 yards and two scores and Wilson added six catches for 53 yards.
Despite the loss the Rams are still alive in the Class LL playoff hunt, but will likely need to win their remaining five games in order to qualify for the postseason.
“We need to regroup,” Marinelli said. “Obviously there are some things we need to make adjustments to, which we will. And then we have the second half. It’s unfortunate that half the season is gone already, but we got beat by two very good football teams and maybe we’re not as good as everybody thought we were.”
New Canaan 48, Trumbull 7
Saturday, Oct. 6 at Dunning Field
Greenwich 21-7-7-7 42
New Canaan 0-14-0-0 14
First Quarter
G – Lance Large 23-yard pass from Gavin Muir (Ben Howarth kick)
G – Muir 1-yard. run (Howarth kick)
G – Stephen Bennett 32-yard pass from Muir (Howarth kick)
Second Quarter
NC – Quintin O’Connell, 17-yard pass from Drew Pyne (Nick Radman kick)
NC – O’Connell 19-yard pass from Pyne (Radman kick)
G – Muir 4-yard run (Howarth kick)
Third Quarter
G – Tysen Comizio 29-yard pass from Muir (Howarth kick)
Fourth Quarter
G – Comizio 4-yd. run (Howarth kick)
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