New Canaan senior co-captain Quintin O’Connell (20) celebrates a touchdown with Luke Morton (3) and Zach LaPolice (7) during the Rams’ win over Shelton in the Class LL quarterfinals on Tuesday, Nov. 27. — David G. Whitham photo
The Class LL football final between the New Canaan Rams and Greenwich Cardinals has been moved to Stamford’s Boyle Stadium.
No. 8 New Canaan (10-2) and No. 2 Greenwich (12-0) will now kick off at 10 a.m., Saturday, Dec. 8, the CIAC announced on Wednesday afternoon.
Administrators from the two schools had requested the move of the game, which was originally scheduled for Shelton High School.
The CIAC also shifted the Class M final between No. 1 St. Joseph (11-1) and No. 3 Berlin (11-1) to a 2 p.m. start at Shelton High School. That game has originally been slated for the morning.
A statement by the CIAC said “the schedule changes come as a result of heavy online ticket sales for the Class LL final creating concerns of the ability of the site to accommodate multiple high-attendance games at one venue. Maintaining the 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. time frame provides the possibility of viewing games at multiple venues. The CIAC football committee chairperson, CIAC football tournament director, the host athletics directors who graciously offered their sites on short notice and CIAC staff all agreed on the decision to vary from the plan of having two football championship sites given the circumstances in this instance.”
“CIAC policy remains to not alter championship predetermined venues or schedules based on the geography or requests of the participants, but in this instance the circumstances of having a predetermined site change late in the process and another venue becoming available led to the decision to make this change,” CAS-CIAC Executive Director Glenn Lungarini said. “As always, the focus is on providing the best and most appropriate championship experience possible for the qualifying teams, and we believe this decision provides that opportunity and we are grateful for those facilities that have offered their sites for our championship contests.”
The Class LL finals pits No. 8 New Canaan (10-2) against No. 2 Greenwich (12-0) and features a father-son coaching match-up between Lou Marinelli, who has led the Rams since 1981, and his son John, the head coach at Greenwich since 2015.
The two teams met earlier this season, with the Cardinals winning 42-14 at Dunning Field. Since then, the Rams have won seven straight games to reach the state finals.
Both teams won their semifinal games handily, as Greenwich defeated Newtown 50-0, and New Canaan knocked off Fairfield Prep 38-7 last Sunday.
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