Darien’s convincing 42-7 victory over Fairfield Prep in the championship game of the CIAC Class LL Football Playoffs convinced the voters enough that Darien was voted No. 1 by a wide margin in the Final 2021 GameTimeCT Top 10 Football Poll which was released Dec. 13.
Coach Mike Forget’s 12-1 Blue Wave fell just one vote shy of being the unanimous pick for No. 1.
Darien, which rebounded in a big way from its 12-7 loss at New Canaan on Thanksgiving Day, received 21 first-place votes and 656 polling points from the 22 voting media members.
Darien has won four Class LL state championships in the last six years, having previously won three straight titles from 2015-17, and Darien was No. 1 in the final state poll after all four of those championships.
Darien was seeded third in the 2021 Class LL playoffs and the Blue Wave outscored its three opponents by a 112-36 margin. The Blue Wave began with a 46-19 quarterfinal victory over sixth-seeded Hamden and then avenged its Thanksgiving Day loss with a 24-10 semifinal victory over second-seeded New Canaan before that impressive 42-7 championship triumph over top-seeded Fairfield Prep.
There were four FCIAC teams in the final Top 10.
New Canaan (10-2) was ranked fourth, St. Joseph (10-2) was No. 6 and Greenwich (7-4) was 10th.
Maloney was ranked second after winning the Class L state championship with a 35-21 victory over Windsor to finish 12-1. Maloney received 596 polling points, 60 less than Darien.
Fairfield Prep (11-2) was ranked third and followed by New Canaan, Windsor (11-2), St. Joseph, Class M state champion Killingly (12-0), Shelton (9-3), Class S state champion Cromwell/Portland (13-0) and Greenwich.
Seventh-ranked Killingly received that other first-place vote which prevented Darien from being the unanimous No. 1 choice.
Windsor defeated St. Joseph, 35-31, in the Class L semifinals to prevent defending champion St. Joseph from winning a fourth consecutive state championship. Coach Joe DellaVecchia’s Cadets won the Class S crown in 2017, the Class M championship in 2018, the Class L title in 2019, and there was no CIAC football played during the 2020 pandemic fall season.
There were 25 team statewide which received votes. The FCIAC had four of the 15 teams in the “Others receiving votes” category and all four of those teams finished with 7-3 records. Norwalk received the 17th most polling points, Wilton got the 18th most, Staples the 19th most, and Trumbull received the 21st most polling points.