By Dave Stewart
Can’t get enough of the New Canaan-Darien football rivalry? Your fall season could be twice as nice this year.
After three years of playing in different divisions, the Darien Blue Wave and New Canaan Rams will finally be in the same tournament again, as the Rams join Class LL for the 2018 campaign.
New Canaan has an enrollment of 679 boys, which will make it the smallest school in Class LL. Darien, with 704 boys, is also on the smaller size of Class LL schools.
The move creates the possibility of two clashes between the rivals. New Canaan will be the home team for the annual Turkey Bowl which will be played at Boyle Stadium on Thanksgiving morning. Should both teams qualify for the state playoffs, a second possible match-up could be on deck.
The rivals have played twice in a season three times during the past 11 seasons, meeting in the state finals each of those times.
New Canaan won the the Turkey Bowl and the Class MM championship in 2008. Darien won the Turkey Bowl in 2003 and 2014, with New Canaan coming back to defeat the Wave in the state final each time — Class L in 2013 and Class L-Large in 2014.
The Blue Wave moved up to Class LL in 2015 and has claimed three straight titles over Shelton 39-7 in 2016, Ridgefield 28-7 in 2017, and Greenwich 31-22 last fall.
New Canaan had won four consecutive state championships heading into last season, but fell to Masuk 28-14 in the Class L semifinals.
Darien has a slight edge in the rivalry in recent years, winning four of the seven meetings since 2013. The Blue Wave is 62-4 during that span, while New Canaan is 56-7.
Taking games against each other out of the equation, Darien and New Canaan are a combined 111-4 against the rest of the state. The Wave is 58-1, while the Rams are 53-3.
From:: Darien Times