Week One FCIAC Football Round-Up: St. Joe’s upsets NC, Darien wins (again), and more

And we’re off.

The first week of the FCIAC football season is in the books, and we’ve already had plenty of impressive performances, a big upset of the top-ranked team, and a game which featured 115 points.

Without further delay, here is the rundown of scores to kick off the campaign…

Week 1 FCIAC Scoreboard

Friday, Sept. 8

Trinity Catholic 27, Danbury 13

St. Joseph 38, New Canaan 35

Darien 38, Ridgefield 12

Warde 28, Stamford 27

Norwalk 68, Hamden 57

Wilton 42, Brien McMahon 21

Staples 52, Central 0

Saturday, Sept. 9

Westhill 50, Ludlowe 27

Greenwich 70, Trumbull 16

Video on demand and upcoming broadcast schedule

The HAN Network carried two games: St. Joseph at New Canaan on Friday, and Greenwich vs. Trumbull on Saturday. Both of those games are available on demand by clicking here.

An HAN Network doubleheader is on deck for week two as well.

On Friday, Sept. 15, HAN will be in Norwalk as the Bears take on the Westhill Vikings. The FCIAC Tailgate show will be on at 5 p.m., with kickoff scheduled for 7 p.m.

On Saturday, Sept. 16, the Greenwich Cardinals will face the Trinity Catholic Crusaders at Gaglio Field and that game will be carried live by HAN. The pregame show is at 1 p.m., with kickoff to follow at 1:30 p.m.

A big start

It didn’t take long for the state’s preseason No. 1 team to fall from its lofty perch as the St. Joseph Cadets delivered a stunning performance en route to a 38-35 victory over the No. 1 New Canaan Rams under the Dunning Field lights on Friday.

The Cadets had a fine performance from new quarterback David Summers, who threw for 315 yards and four TDs, and, of course, wide receiver Jared Mallozzi was on point with 11 catches for 165 yards and two touchdowns, including the game-winning 46-yard strike with 4:57 remaining.

The most impressive thing about the win was the way the Cadets responded after the Rams rallied from a 24-7 halftime deficit and gained the lead twice in the second half. St. Joseph didn’t let up and came out with the victory against the four-time defending Class L champs.

“You come in to play the No. 1 team in the state, and you’ve got a big shot to do something good,” Cadets’ head coach Joe DellaVecchia told the Trumbull Times. “They’re a super, super team; a super program. I don’t know the last time they lost to anybody besides Darien. It’s quite an accomplishment for our kids.”

“It’s one game,” New Canaan head coach Lou Marinelli told the New Canaan Advertiser. “I take my hat off to them. They just came in here and took it to us. They did a great job. I’m proud of our kids and the way they fought back. I think we have some kids who haven’t played and haven’t been in a fight like this. But it’s okay. We’ll be fine, we just have to regroup.”

Breaking news: Darien wins a football game

While this year’s preseason No. 1 was falling, the team that ended last year ranked No. 1 in the state was busy taking care of business, as the Darien Blue Wave topped the Ridgefield Tigers, 38-12, at Tiger Hollow. The Wave will likely move back into the No. 1 spot in the polls this week.

Brian Minicus had two pick sixes for the Wave, which stretched its state-best win streak to 26 games. Darien hasn’t lost since the 2014 Class L final.

“Our defensive line definitely came up huge,” Minicus told the Darien Times. “Christian Evans, Mike Neary, (John) Lochtefeld and (Drew) Evanchick. They put pressure on the quarterback, put him in a bad position; we just made him blindly throw it and we just happened to be there.

Crusaders light it up

A young Trinity Catholic Crusaders squad turned on the new lights at Gaglio Field and defeated the Danbury Hatters, 27-13, in their season opener on Friday.

New QB Sam Aldof tossed three touchdown passes in the win.

“Sam did some good things in his first varsity start. We had a lot of guys out there for the first time,” Trinity Catholic coach Donny Panapada told Rich DePreta of the Stamford Advocate. “Everyone played their hearts out. It was a great fight.”

Offensive performance

Two teams that are popular picks to move from losing records last year to winning campaigns this year staged a slugfest as the Norwalk Bears defeated the Green Dragons in Hamden, 68-57 on Friday.

Norwalk QB Kyle Gordon passed for 319 yards and three TDs to lead a Norwalk offense which had 525 total yards and led 60-33 at halftime.

“Just by watching them on film, we knew we’d be able to move the ball,” Norwalk head coach Sean Ireland told John Nash of the Norwalk Hour. “But 60 points in a half? We didn’t think we’d do that.”

Cardinals Rule

In a Saturday afternoon game featured on the HAN Network, the Greenwich Cardinals trailed Trumbull, 10-7 early in the second quarter, but reeled off 55 unanswered points to win in a rout, 70-16, at Sacred Heart University.

Quarterback Gavin Muir threw five touchdown passes to four different receivers — Tyler Comizio caught two — and had 364 passing yards.

“We did some things really well,” Cardinals head coach John Marinelli told David Fierro of the Greenwich Time. “Their defensive scheme gave us problems in the first quarter, but then we figured it out, which says a lot about a young team. I don’t think the score is indicative of how good we are as a football team. They are a good football team that’s very well coached and we have to continue to get better and better.”

Some very cool story links from Week One of the FCIAC football season…

• St. Joseph football knocks off top-ranked New Canaan, 38-35 (Trumbull Times)

• Top-ranked New Canaan fall to St. Joe’s in football opener (New Canaan Advertiser)

• Darien football opens season with 26th consecutive victory (Daren Times)

• Darien drubs Ridgefield in season-opener (Ridgefield Press)

• Darien football beats Ridgefield, runs win streak to 26 (Stamford Advocate)

• Trinity Catholic tops Danbury in first home game under the lights (Stamford Advocate)

• Norwalk football survives an action-packed road trip (Norwalk Hour)

• Trumbull loses big to Greenwich Cards (Trumbull Times)

• Greenwich routs Trumbull top open season (Greenwich Time)

• Westhill puts up 50 points, defeats Ludlowe (Stamford Advocate)

• Staples football routs Central (Ct Post)

• Wilton runs past McMahon (Norwalk Hour)

St. Joseph’s Jared Mallozzi catches a pass from David Summers for a touchdown pass during the first half of Friday’s game in New Canaan. — Dave Stewart/HAN Network photo

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