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Darien Football Victorious in 2017 State Championship

Edward Gibson and Nick Otis, Staff Writers

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On Saturday, Dec. 9, the Greenwich Cardinals faced off against the Darien Blue Wave for the class LL football Championship. It was a traditional December game, with snow falling at a good pace and chilly temperatures. Game time was moved up an hour to 10 a.m., but that did not stop thousands of Greenwich and Darien fans from piling into the stands at our very own Boyle Stadium.  

When the teams took the field the atmosphere was electric. Darien quarterback Jack Joyce led his team to two quick touchdowns, giving Darien a 14-0 led midway through the first quarter.  The snow began to accumulate onto the field making it difficult for the Greenwich offense to get anything going.  Finally, with about a minute left in the first quarter, Greenwich was able to score a touchdown and cut the score to 14-7.  

Both offenses came out strong in the second quarter, but were unable to find the end zone. Darian finally broke through and scored their third touchdown of the game midway through the quarter.   Greenwich was on the verge of scoring yet again, but a costly fumble close to the end zone ended their drive. With only a couple of minutes left in the half, the Greenwich defense was able to come up with a key stop and get the ball back with a few minutes left. On third down the Greenwich quarterback unleashed a Hail Mary throw to the end zone, which was miraculously caught by one of their wide receivers. The game was now 21-13 and Greenwich tried to put more pressure on the Darien team by attempting a two point conversion.  The attempt was initially ruled successful but was later overturned, keeping the score at 21-13.

With only about a minute left on the clock, Greenwich forced another quick stop and got the ball back with good field position. However, a fumble set up Darien only a few yards from the end zone. But Greenwich was able to make a key stop as time ran out to keep the game within one score going into the half. The third quarter was relatively uneventful. The only scoring came by virtue of Zach Moore’s 25-yard field goal for Greenwich. Trailing by only 5 points, Greenwich kept the pressure on Darien.

Early in the fourth quarter, Darien added a field goal to their score, stretching the lead back out to 8. Moore added two more field goals for Greenwich, a 36-yarder and a 38-yarder, which brought the score 24-22 late in the fourth.  A couple of costly penalties moved Greenwich deep into their own territory with two minutes left in the fourth, allowing Darien to seal the game with a short touchdown run with under a minute remaining. This capped a third straight class LL championship for the Darien team.

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Darien Football Victorious in 2017 State Championship