Nineteen-year wait over early for Wave in 39-7 LL title win

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WAVE 86’s ’96 — A rare sight, rare no more, as Wave celebrates with state title plaque at New Britain on Saturday. Steven Buono

FOOTBALL

When Christian Trifone intercepted the ball on the first play of the game, and scored, it felt like the game was already over.

Right now these boys, and their coach, are on cloud nine.

Rob Trifone

Several short plays later, when Mark Evanchick sacked Zachary Tuskowski, knocking him out of the game, there were no feelings about it — except for the way Tuskowski must have felt as he lightly stepped from the field, never to return — it was over.

Minus its starting quarterback, as you would imagine, Shelton’s offense never showed up, shutdown 39-7 in the Class LL final at Veterans Memorial Stadium at New Britain’s Willow Brook Park on Saturday.

“Right now these boys, and their coach, are on cloud nine,” said Darien coach Rob Trifone.

“It’s so great — we’ve all wanted this — it feels so great, it’s so surreal,” said senior Colin Minicus. “It’s a blessing to play with every single one of these kids. The senior class was really tight this year. And it shows on and off the field.”

David Wells took over after the injury to the first-string QB just minutes into the game. But all that happened was that the Wave took it to them.

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Christian Trifone races in, scoring on an interception, to set the eventual outcome in stone just 16 seconds into the game. Courtesy Darien Athletic Foundation

The lopsided win, just like all but one game this season at the FCIAC final, earned Darien (12-0) its first state crown since winning it back in 1996 in Class S.

“A long time coming — pretty exciting — with this senior class,” said senior Hudson Hamill. “We made it a goal in third grade, and we were able to get FCIAC Championship, state championship; state’s No. 1 ranking. And that’s pretty impressive.”

Top seed Shelton (12-1) could not find the handle on one threatening scoring drive; the Wave’s well-known defense was that tight.

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Bobby Trifone runs in his interception touchdown to bookend his brother’s opening score. Courtesy Darien Athletic Foundation

Bobby Trifone added a touchdown off an interception, similar to his brother’s 25-yarder, to make it two-for-the-Trifones; Shelby Grant ran in two touchdowns on short gains; Timmy Graham tossed two TD passes to Hudson Hamill; and Riley Stewart kicked three PAT.

Darien tried two two-point conversions and failed, and Stewart’s first kick was blocked.

Shelton scored on a pass with five minutes to go to break the shutout.

The Wave led 18-0 at the half, in a score that did not fully reflect the all-Darien way the game was going.

Graham set up each score with his expected expert advancing of the ball on moderate gains in the air, rather than the usual spicing up of the proceedings with bomb after bomb, prompting coach Trifone to comment on how the offense was not up to total snuff on this occasion.

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Quinn Fay (No. 83) rings in a sack with sack-task-master mentor, Mr. CT Sack himself, Mark Evanchick (No. 90) at his side. Courtesy Darien Athletic Foundation

“This is the greatest feeling; I’ve never been able to feel this before in football,” said Graham. “Winning a state championship has been our goal since third grade, and we accomplished it tonight.”

And that kind of says it all for Wave 2015 — off kilter slightly on offense, still scoring near 40 points.

“We’ve won a lot of lacrosse state championships, but not in football,” said Graham. “I think it means the world.”

“We knew coming in it was one of the best teams we ever put together,” Trifone added.

See video of Trifone’s presser posted here now, and a full video rendition of Darien’s history day in football posted Sunday night.

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Santa Claus came to town. Courtesy Darien Athletic Foundation

 

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Darien Times Sports Editor since 2000

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