Photo: John McCreary / For Hearst Connecticut Media
The New Canaan Rams and Greenwich Cardinals will clash for the CIAC Class LL football championship on Saturday at 2 p.m. Let’s takes a look at some of the impressive stats for both teams, as well as some key facts about the final.
38-7: Score of the Rams’ victory over Fairfield Prep in the CIAC Class LL semifinals Sunday at Rafferty Stadium in Fairfield. New Canaan led 17-0 at halftime and after Prep closed the gap to 17-7 in the third quarter, the Rams scored the final 21 points to blow it open.
50-0: Score of Greenwich’s semifinal win over Newtown on Sunday. The Cards led 33-0 en route to the shutout.
10-2: New Canaan’s record heading into the Class LL final against the unbeaten Greenwich Cardinals (12-0) on Saturday.
24-1: Record of the Greenwich Cardinals over the past two seasons. Greenwich’s only loss during that span was a 31-22 defeat at the hands of the Darien Blue Wave in last year’s Class LL title game.
20-15-3: New Canaan’s historical advantage against Greenwich. The Rams’ last win against the Cards was a 40-16 game in 2016. Greenwich has won the last two meetings, 36-21 in 2017 and 42-14 this season.
8: New Canaan’s seed in the tournament. The CIAC began qualifying eight teams in each class in 2015 and the Rams are the first No. 8 seed to reach the final. Only three No. 7 seeds have reached the state finals with two of those coming this year: Maloney in Class L and Haddam-Killingworth in Class S.
2: Greenwich’s seed in the tournament. Since 2015, No. 2 seeds have won more state championships that any other spot, collecting seven of 12 titles. Greenwich is the only No. 2 seed to reach the finals this year. No. 1 seeds have won two state championships during the past three years: Darien in Class LL in 2016, and Killingly in Class M in 2017.
16: Appearances in the CIAC finals for the Greenwich Cardinals, who have won seven championships. Their last title came in 2007 when they defeated Shelton 28-14.
17: Appearances in the CIAC finals for the New Canaan Rams, who have won 12 championships. The Rams won four straight titles starting in 2013, a run which was capped by a 35-20 victory over Windsor in the 2016 Class L final.
35-10: John Marinelli’s record since taking over as head coach of the Greenwich football program in 2015. The Cards were 4-5 his first year and have gone 31-5 since.
331-98-6: Lou Marinelli’s record as the head coach of the New Canaan Rams’ football team. Marinelli, who joined the Rams in 1981, has led New Canaan to 12 CIAC championships and is the winningest high school football coach in Connecticut history.
80-41: Combined score of New Canaan’s two state tournament victories. The No. 8 Rams defeated No. 1 Shelton 42-34 in the quarterfinals, and then knocked off No. 5 Fairfield Prep 38-7 in the semis.
99-13: Combined score of Greenwich’s two state tournament victories. The No. 2 Cardinals defeated No. 7 New Britain 49-13 in the quarterfinals, and then knocked off No. 3 Newtown 50-0 in the semis.
7: Straight wins for the New Canaan Rams since a 42-14 loss to Greenwich in week five of the regular season. The Rams have outscored their opponents by a 263-76 margin during that streak, which averages out to an approximately 38-11 per game score.
545-54: Greenwich’s points scored and points allowed this season. The Cardinals have an average margin of victory of 40 points, and amazingly their closest game was their 28-point win over New Canaan on Oct. 6.
25: Receptions in two state tournament games for New Canaan wide receiver Quintin O’Connell. A senior co-captain, O’Connell had 14 catches for 172 yards and three touchdowns against Shelton, and 11 catches for 76 yards against Prep.
239: Rushing yards in the tournament for the Rams’ JR Moore. Moore carried 12 times for 92 yards and one TD against Shelton, and had 23 carries for 147 yards and two TDs against Prep.
537: Passing yards in two tournament games for Greenwich QB Gavin Muir. Muir had 321 yards and three TDs against New Britain in the quarterfinals, and threw for 216 yards and four TDs against Newtown in Sunday’s semifinal game.