Quintin O’Connell was preparing for New Canaan’s showdown with Shelton in the Class LL football quarterfinals on Tuesday night when he received some words of wisdom from linebackers coach Jason Miska.
“Play like a champion,” Miska said, “and we’ll win this game.”
O’Connell and the Rams made those words ring true.
It was a record-setting night for O’Connell when No. 8 New Canaan won a slugfest with top-seeded Shelton, 42-34, and advanced to the state semifinals for the 14th straight season. The senior co-captain had 14 receptions for 172 yards and three touchdowns, and set three new program marks, surpassing the legendary Pete Demmerle in two categories, and current defensive coordinator Chris Silvestri in another.