STAMFORD - Coming in as the two-time defending Class LL state champions, the Darien football team may have been the third seed against top-seeded Greenwich on Saturday morning, but that was the last thing on the mind of the Blue Wave.
Darien controlled the clock and played mistake free football as captured its third-straight state championship by beating the Cardinals 31-22 amid the snow.
The Blue Wave took a 21-13 lead into halftime and never looked back. Darien quarterback Jack Joyce provided a rushing a two passing and one rushing score in the first half.
Joyce connected with Tyler Hergert for a 29-yard touchdown early in the first quarter and later hit TJ Cornacchia for a 15-yard score at the start of the second quarter. The quarterback ran for a 40-yarder touchdown in between the score passing scores and finished his day completing 11 of his 24 passes for 102 yards.
Greenwich managed to cut its deficit to 21-16 after Zach Moore’s 25-yard field goal provided the only points of the third quarter.
Offensively, the Cardinals were a threat coming in led by quarterback Gavin Muir. Against Darien, Muir had 280 passing yards on 15-for-34 passing with a pair of touchdowns. He also threw a pick in the game.
While the quarterback play was comparable, it was the ground game that was the difference and moving the chains.
The Blue Wave had 42 rushing attempts throughout the game for 202 yards and two touchdowns.
Joyce got on the board with a 40 yard touchdown run as well, accounting for three of the four Darien touchdowns and ran the ball 20 times for 113 yards in the game as the offense ran through him.
Outside of big plays for Greenwich through the air, not much was there. Muir completed four passes that went for over 30 yards and averaged 18.7 yards per completion.
The Cardinals once again attempted to stage a comeback in the fourth, but had to settle for two more Moore field goals (36 and 38 yards), leaving room for Mitch Pryor to seal the Blue Wave win with a 3-yard rushing touchdown.
Overall, both teams played strong but Darien made just enough out of its 15 offensive possessions to walk away with another state championship win.
Dan Orencole can be reached at 860-973-1811 or firstname.lastname@example.org
On Twitter: @OrencoleDan