Weekend Game Plan: Darien, New Canaan Ready To Rumble (Plus 8 Other Contests)

The Turkey Bowl between Darien and New Canaan is always the biggest game of the FCIAC regular season.

It is the final game of the season for all but 32 teams in the state. At least three and possibly six FCIAC schools will be playing December football.

Game Of The Week

New Canaan (7-2) at Darien (9-0), Thursday, 10 a.m. The granddaddy of them all and the biggest game annually on the FCIAC sports calendar.

The storyline appears to be the same as the past two years: the Blue Wave are unbeaten and trying to clinch the top seed in Class LL, while the Rams have two losses and are trying to ride a winning streak into the state tournament. This year New Canaan is in good shape with a loss and indeed could have a berth clinched by kickoff, depending on what happens Wednesday night.

“I hope it’s a good game,” New Canaan coach Lou Marinelli said. “It’s always a game that both communities look to. It’s a classic. In a game like this you can never tell so we are going to show up and see what happens. They are a great team. Nobody’s beaten them yet. We have our hands full.”

The Rams’ offense has been consistent, with quarterback Drew Pyne looking to receiver Zach LaPolice and John Wise handling the running.

Peter Graham has had a great season at quarterback for Darien, helped by having a stable of five equally reliable receivers. Will Kirby handles the ground game.

Will Bothwell and David Evanchick make a strong 1-2 pass rush attack for Darien while Chris Carratu fills that role for New Canaan.


“You’re looking at a team that’s very hungry. They do have two losses and I think they’re playing their best football of the year for sure,” Darien coach Rob Trifone said of the Rams. “And there’s the overall pride of the Turkey Bowl. You win that game and it’s one feather in your cap regardless of the season that you’ve had.”


Danbury (5-4) at Ridgefield (7-2)6 p.m. The Tigers are on the verge of making a return to the Class LL playoffs and stand a good chance to qualify with a loss, but they want to storm down the door. The Hatters, coming off two tough losses, would love to pull the upset and finish with a winning record.



Greenwich (8-1) at Staples (2-7)10 a.m. The Cardinals are still trying to get a top-four seed and the chance to start at home as they set out to defend their state title.

Wilton (6-3) at Trinity/Wright Tech (1-8), 10 a.m. A win and state playoff berth would be an incredible accomplishment for the Warriors, whose only losses are to other playoff qualifiers or contenders.

With Three Teams In State Playoffs, FCIAC Hoping To Double That Total

Trumbull (3-6) at St. Joseph (9-0), 10:30 a.m. The Cadets seem to be on a crash course with Daniel Hand for No. 1 team in the state. The Eagles have a lot of returning players next season.

Norwalk (4-5) at Brien McMahon (2-7), 10:30 a.m. The Bears had higher hopes but can finish up a .500 season with a win.

Fairfield Warde (4-5) at Fairfield Ludlowe (6-3), 10:30 a.m. No one expected the Falcons to be anywhere near another seven-win season. The Mustangs would love to knock off their town rival to finish with a three-game win streak and .500 record.

Stamford (3-6) at Westhill (1-8), 10:30 a.m. The Black Knights will try to end a four-game losing streak. The Vikings would make their season with an upset.

Harding (3-6) at Bridgport Central (0-9), 10:30 a.m. The last chance for the Hilltoppers to end their losing streak.