NEW CANAAN, Conn. – It may not be pretty, but New Canaan High School keeps finding ways to win. The Rams put together another gritty team effort to hold off Wilton, 28-14, on a chilly Friday evening and move a step closer to a conference football championship.
The depth of the Rams’ bench was on full display as they didn't miss a beat after Connor Kilbane went down with an injury during warm-ups. Senior quarterback Matt Milano just spread the love around, connecting with seven different receivers on the evening.
Milano added another sparkling performance to his résumé, throwing 19 for 28 for 283 yards and three touchdowns. He found Peter Kraus for a pair of long scores and Duke Repko for one. Kevin McDonough's two-yard rushing TD was the eventual game-winner.
“We’re so deep at wide receiver this year," Kraus said. "That’s something we really pride ourselves on. We don’t have that one Kevin Macari-type player. One guy gets hurt and the next one steps up. We have a lot of heart and know how to win.”
Wilton tried to pound away at New Canaan’s line with a steady running attack. Quarterback Sean Carroll, returning from an injury that forced him out of last week’s game, rushed for both of Wilton’s scores. But he couldn't find consistency in the air, and New Canaan was able to halt Wilton’s running game in the fourth quarter.
Penalties dogged New Canaan as they have much of the season. Two touchdowns were called back that would have provided breathing room in what was a tight game until the fourth quarter.
A third-down play midway through the fourth quarter seemed to encapsulate the Rams' season. With his team leading 21-14, Milano found Kraus on a short screen pass play that Wilton appeared to stop short of the first down.
Kraus was far from finished, however. The 5-foot-11, 175-pound senior kept breaking tackles and somehow ground out a game-changing 30 yards. As in so many games this season, just when a team thought it had the Rams on the ropes, New Canaan found a way to win.
Patrick Newton's interception sealed it for the Rams with just under two minutes to play.
“We’re a hard-working team. We’re not just going to go down easy,” Newton said. “When it’s a close game, we’re still going to work as hard in the fourth quarter as we did in the first through third.
It now looks like nothing will stop the 7-0 Rams from reaching the conference championship. New Canaan travels to Stamford next Friday for a 7 p.m. game.