Everyone who has seen New Canaan play this year, knows that Michael Collins is a good quarterback. And most of the FCIAC defenses that have had to face him have quickly gotten used to watching the backs of receivers run past the goal line. But did anyone expect the night Collins had on Friday, Nov. 6, against a good Trumbull football team?
New Canaan’s offense (with the help of three early turnovers by its defense) was so efficient in the first quarter on Friday, the Rams scored five touchdowns in just 51 seconds of possession time. That’s a touchdown every 10.2 seconds.
Watch all nine TD passes (as called by HAN’s Rob Adams):
With New Canaan up 48-14 at halftime, the only question was how much Collins and the rest of the starters would play in the second half. With history in reach, it was longer than many expected — but not as long as some hoped.
In the third quarter, Collins tied Kurt Horton’s 45-year-old school record of seven touchdowns in a game. His eighth touchdown gave him the New Canaan record. And he eventually tied Jason Manson’s 15-year record of nine touchdowns in a game. The Bloomfield quarterback set the mark against William Hall-West Hartford in 2000.
Collins and the offense did come out one more time after the ninth touchdown pass but the Trumbull defense forced a punt and Collins took the rest of the night off.
The nine TD passes gives Collins 74 for his career with the Rams. He is one TD pass away from tying the school record held by Matthew Milano, who set it from 2009–11. Milano’s 75 touchdown passes has him tied for 10th on the all-time Connecticut list, according to the 2015 Connecticut High School Football Record Book. The state career record was set by Tanner Kingsley of Woodland in 2013. He threw for 113.
The New Canaan offense on Friday night at 654 total yards. Collins was 18 for 29 with 483 yards passing and 9 touchdowns.
After the game, like his passes, Collins had a lot of praise to spread around for his record-setting night.
“That’s just credit to our coaches who had a great game plan coming in,” he told HAN’s Chris Kaelin on the field. “I think we scored a couple times on just one or two plays. And to the to linemen and guys around me who are just doing a great job. The line was exceptional. You know, Lucas Niang, Jake O’Neill, Gardner Read, Teddy Hood, Will Conley — and then the receivers. A bunch of guys had a bunch of receptions so that was great.”
When asked if he knew he was chasing his history he said he didn’t. “We were just focused on winning the game, keeping our focus. We lost a little bit in the second half. However many touchdowns I threw tonight, it doesn’t really matter. We got the win but it was a sloppy win. I have a lot to improve on and we still have a lot to improve on going forward.”
New Canaan has two “regular season” games left. Next week they host Fairfield Ludlowe, which battled back from 20-0 Friday night to beat Bridgeport Central 21-20. And then the Rams either play the next Saturday in the FCIAC Championship or they play Darien in the Turkey Bowl/FCIAC Championship on Thanksgiving.
If rival Darien and New Canaan both finish the season undefeated, the championship game is moved to Thanksgiving. If Darien falls to Staples next Saturday (a game that will be carried on live.HAN.Network), then New Canaan would play Staples in the FCIAC Championship before the Turkey Bowl. That would give Collins an extra game before the three-round state tournament.
If the regular season ended today, New Canaan (7-0) would get the No. 2 seed in the Class L state tournament behind No. 1 North Haven (8-0). See the seedings here.
Along with daily news at 11 a.m. and sports talk at 2 p.m., the HAN Network’s live sports broadcasts over the next week include:
Saturday, Nov. 7, 4 PM: Girls Volleyball FCIAC Championship: Fairfield Ludlowe vs. Darien, pay-per-view event
Saturday, Nov. 14, 1:30 PM: FCIAC Football: Staples vs. Darien
Saturday, Nov. 21, noon: FCIAC Football Championship
Thanksgiving, Thursday, Nov. 26, 10:30: New Canaan vs. Darien
The HAN Network, formerly known as Hersam Acorn Newspapers, is the exclusive FCIAC broadcast partner through the spring of 2018. HAN Network’s broadcasting division replaced HANRadio.com with a new focus on live video streams of high school athletics along with the Network’s news and lifestyle programming.
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