The News-Times


- — Sean Patrick Bowley and Pete Paguaga


WHERE/WHEN — McDougall Stadium, Trumbull, 3 p.m.

TICKETS — Adults $10, Students/Senior Citizen $5


SEEDS/RECORDS — No. 3 Darien (11-1); No. 1 Fairfield Prep (11-1)

COACHES — Darien:

Mike Forget, 1st season (11-1). Fairfield Prep: Keith Hellstern, 6th season (4619)


1979-L def. Bristol Central 27-16; 1987-M lost to

East Catholic 14-0; 1989MM lost to Hand 34-28; 1991-M def. Berlin 35-22; 1992-SS def. Stratford 30-0; 1996-S def. Bloomfield 21-16; 1997-S lost to Bloomfield 39-21; 1998-M lost to Seymour 14-6; 1999-M lost to Weaver 69-26; 2008-MM lost to New Canaan 26-7; 2013-L lost to New Canaan 44-12; 2014-L-Large lost to New Canaan 21-20; 2015-LL def. Shelton 39-7; 2016-LL def. Ridgefield 28-7; 2017-LL def. Greenwich 31-22; 2019LL lost to Newtown 13-7. Fairfield Prep (3-1) 1977-L def. Xavier 22-6; 1982-LL def. Greenwich 18-6; 1988-LL def. Greenwich 7-0; 2013-LL lost to Southingto­n 52-34.


Darien: David Evanchick, Sr., DE; Miles Drake, Sr., QB; Tighe Cummiskey,

Sr., RB; Matt Minicus, Sr., WR; Sean Quick, Sr., LB.

Fairfield Prep: Ryan O’Connell, Sr., LB; Tymaine Smith, Sr., LB/WR; Tim Pearson, Sr., WR; Connor Smith, Sr., QB.


First to 13 points? Statistica­lly speaking, that could be the case when these two heavyweigh­ts clash in the Class LL championsh­ip game.

Both defenses have allowed less than 13 points per game.

Darien, led by seniors David Evanchick (10+ sacks) and Joe Cesare (7 intercepti­ons), has allowed just 12 points a game, including two shutouts this season.

For Fairfield Prep, it’s linebacker­s Tymaine Smith (88 tackles) and Ryan O’Connell (80 tackles) leading a defense that has allowed just 9.2 points per game, including four shutouts.

And the game will come down to whose offense breaks through.

Fairfield Prep’s averages 30.3 points a game. The Jesuits are led by Daniel Barnick’s 1,023 rushing yards and 11 touchdowns and quarterbac­k Connor Smith’s 493 rushing yards and six touchdowns. Smith has thrown 17 touchdowns with 11 of them going to Tim Pearson (51 catches, 640 yards).

Darien’s offense has scored 473 points, an average of 39.4 per game. It’s led by Tighe Cummisky’s 1,500 yards and 18 touchdowns rushing and Miles Drake’s 1,800 yards and 28 touchdown passes.

This is the first meeting of the two programs. Darien has been a Class LL regular in recent years. The Blue Wave won three straight Class LL state titles from 2015-17 and then lost to Newtown in the 2018 quarterfin­als and the final in 2019.

The game features two former assistants as head coach in their first title games. Darien’s Mike Forget was the defensive coordinato­r at Darien under Rob Trifone for the past eight seasons and coached in six state finals as an assistant coach. He became interim coach in 2020 and the official head coach this year.

Fairfield Prep’s Keith Hellstern took over for Tom Shea after the 2014 season, he was the defensive coordinato­r for the Jesuits when they lost to Southingto­n the 2013 LL championsh­ip.

Both teams have avenged their one loss this season. Fairfield Prep lost to Greenwich, 14-7, on Oct. 2 and then defeated them 21-14 in the state quarterfin­als. Darien beat New Canaan, 24-10, in the quarterfin­als after losing on Thanksgivi­ng, 12-7.

Fairfield Prep hasn’t been in a state title since 2013, a loss to Southingto­n, and hasn’t won a state title since 1988, a 7-0 win over Greenwich.

From the preseason GameTimeCT/NHRegsiter poll to the one before Thanksgivi­ng, Darien has been the No. 1 team. Darien defeated Newtown in a top 3 battle and took down St. Joseph in a 1 vs. 2 game.

 ?? David G. Whitham / For Hearst Connecticu­t Media ?? Fairfield Prep’s Tymaine Smith scores a touchdown near the end of the first half against Hand in September at Rafferty Field in Fairfield.
David G. Whitham / For Hearst Connecticu­t Media Fairfield Prep’s Tymaine Smith scores a touchdown near the end of the first half against Hand in September at Rafferty Field in Fairfield.

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