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FCIAC well-represented on All-State football teams, final state poll

The FCIAC had three teams ranked among the top five in the final 2014 GameTimeCT / New Haven Register Top 10 Football Poll and the conference also had many players who were chosen to all-state teams.

Southington was the unanimous No. 1 after it finished 12-0 and received all 27 first-place votes in the final poll that was decided by a vote among 27 polling media members after the conclusion of the state playoffs. The Blue Knights rolled to a 49-0 victory over Norwich Free Academy in the championship game of the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference Class LL-Large Playoffs.

New Canaan was ranked No. 2 while fellow FCIAC members Darien and St. Joseph were ranked fourth and fifth, respectively.

New Canaan’s Rams finished 11-1 when they rallied back from a 20-7 halftime deficit for a 21-20 victory over Darien in the Class L-Large championship game. That also avenged their only loss of the year as Darien utilized a big comeback to win the FCIAC championship with a 28-21 overtime victory over the Rams. Darien had a 21-0 deficit in the second quarter of this year’s conference championship game.

Last year New Canaan won the Class L crown with a 44-12 victory over Darien. Coach Lou Marinelli has guided the Rams to 10 state championships, including six in the last nine years.

Windsor (12-0), which defeated Notre Dame-West Haven, 38-16, in the Class L-Small championship game, was No. 3 in this year’s final Top 10.

Darien finished 12-1. St. Joseph also won a second straight state championship and finished 11-2, with its only two losses coming at Darien (21-17 on Oct. 2) and at home against New Canaan (41-14 on Nov. 1). St. Joseph defeated Ledyard, 27-7, to win the Class M-Small championship.

Coach Joe DellaVecchia and his Cadets have won four state titles in the last six years. Last year they rolled to a 54-16 triumph over Brookfield in the Class L final. They previously won the Class S championship in 2010 and the Class SS title in 2009.

Xavier (9-3) was ranked sixth and followed by Shelton (12-1), Valley Regional/Old Lyme (13-0), Newtown (12-1) and Brookfield (12-2) in this year’s final Top 10.

The Connecticut High School Coaches Association selected 13 players on offense and 13 players on defense to its 2014 Connecticut All-State Football First Team and there were six players from the FCIAC who were so honored.

Zach Allen of New Canaan was the Gatorade Connecticut Player of the Year and he was chosen to the all-state first team on defense as a defensive lineman. Lars Pedersen (defensive back) of St. Joseph and Mark Evanchick (defensive lineman) of Darien were the other two conference players on the all-state first team on defense.

The three FCIAC players who made all-state first team on offense were Alex LaPolice (wide receiver) and Lucas Niang (offensive line) from New Canaan and St. Joseph’s Mufasha Abdul Basir (running back).

The CHSCA also selected all-state teams in Class LL, Class L, Class M and Class S.

The FCIAC players who made Class LL all-state offense included Austin Longi (running back) and Scooter Harrington (tight end) of Greenwich. The FCIAC had five players among the 13 on the Class LL all-state defense. They included Will Newman (defensive line), Ryan Fitton (defensive line) and Nick Esposito (linebacker) of Staples, Danbury’s Anferny Ith (defensive back) and Brien McMahon’s Kentrell Snyder (defensive back).

New Canaan had four players and Darien had two as the conference had six selections on the Class L all-state teams. Mike Collins (quarterback) and Jim Keneally (offensive lineman) of New Canaan and Darien’s Jack Griffiths (offensive lineman) made the Class L all-state offense while Mike Kraus (defensive back) and Sterling O’Hara (defensive back) of New Canaan and Darien’s George Reed (defensive lineman) made the Class L all-state defense.

Troy Vazzano (offensive lineman) of St. Joseph was selected to the Class M all-state offense and his teammate, Cameron Ryan (linebacker), was chosen to the Class M all-state defense.

There were no FCIAC players on either of the Class S all-state teams.

All-State First Team Offense

RB – Mufasha Abdul-Basir, St. Joseph

WR – Alex LaPolice, New Canaan

OL – Lucas Niang, New Canaan

All-State First Team Defense

DL – Zach Allen, New Canaan

DL – Mark Evanchick, Darien

DB – Lars Pedersen, St. Joseph

All-State Class LL Offense

DL – Scooter Harrington, Greenwich

DB – Austin Longi, Greenwich

All-State Class LL Defense

DL – Ryan Fitton, Staples

DL – Will Newman, Staples

LB – Nick Esposito, Staples

DB – Anferney Ith, Danbury

DB – Kentrell Snyder, McMahon

All-State Class L Offense

QB – Mike Collins, New Canaan

OL – Jack Griffiths, Darien

OL – Jim Keneally, New Canaan

All-State Class L Defense

DL – George Reed, Darien

DB – Mike Kraus, New Canaan

DB – Sterling O’Hara

All-State Class M Offense

OL – Troy Vazzano, St. Joseph

All-State Class M Defense

LB – Cameron Ryan, St. Joseph

All-State Class S Defense

LB – Thomas Costigan, Trinity Catholic

New Canaan’s Zach Allen (44) was named the Gatorade Connecticut Player of the Year this season. (Dave Stewart/Hersam Acorn Newspapers Photo)

New Canaan’s Zach Allen (44) was named the Gatorade Connecticut Player of the Year this season. (Dave Stewart/Hersam Acorn Newspapers Photo)

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