Football: Foran continues mastery over Law

The Foran High football team captured its ninth straight Thanksgiving Day victory over crosstown rival Jonathan Law, posting a 43-21 win at the Vito DeVito Sports Complex.
It was a record-setting day for the Lions (7-3), who finished off their fifth consecutive winning season.
“I remember my first two years, we lost our first 17 games,” Foran head coach Jeff Bevino said. “It’s come a long way. It’s a tribute to our kids for buying in and trusting us… We have a boatload of staff. I have a great group of coaches and our kids are awesome.”

Senior halfback/defensive back Brett Huber caught four passes for 40 yards, breaking the state record for single-season receptions of 102. Huber’s first reception of the game from Lion quarterback Lance DiNatale went for negative yardage late in the first quarter. That gave Huber, who also owns the career reception record of of 208 catches, 103 receptions on the season, shattering the record of the late Pete Demmerle — a former New Canaan High legend that went on to star collegiately at Notre Dame in the 1970s.
“He does everything,” Bevino said of Huber. “He returns kicks, he throws passes for touchdowns, he runs the football, he catches the football."

Foran put away the Lawmen by running off 22 unanswered points across the second and third quarters.
Law quarterback Mitchell Smith halted that run with a 4-yard touchdown pass to Ethan Saley with 3:39 left in the contest, but it was too little, too late.
Two of those touchdowns came on the defensive side of the ball for Foran, as Huber and Mark Wootton returned Smith interceptions for second-half scores. Huber’s 65-yard pick six made it 36-14 with 9:52 left in the third, before Wootton picked off a pass in the Lion end zone and returned it 100 yards to make it 43-14 Lions with 7:59 left to play.
“We’ve played good defense the last five or six weeks. I really felt that we would catch up,” Bevino said. “Law is scary. They do a lot of great things… They’ve got a lot of good players. We were confident we could continue to score and I knew our defense was going to step up.”

Both teams started off quickly on offense, trading touchdowns at a frenzied rate in the first quarter.
Foran (7-3), which was eliminated from Class M state playoff contention on Wednesday night, received the opening kickoff and marched 71 yards in 10 plays. DiNatale snuck around the left side for a 4-yard touchdown at the 8:48 mark, with Pierce Klein adding the first of five PATs.
Law responded with a six-play, 54-yard scoring drive on its ensuing possession. Michael Plaskon’s 10-yard jaunt, followed by the first of three Cole Egersheim extra points, tied the game at 7.
"We installed 10 new plays and we opened up with those,” Law first-year head coach Erik Larka said. “Those plays we had never run before. There was no film on it, no film from when I was at Bacon (Academy, his previous job)… We knew these were the ones we wanted to open with because they hadn’t seen these formations.”
DiNatale then hummed a 32-yard scoring strike to Zach Cleary. The Lions elected to go for two, with Huber punching in a run to extend the lead to 15-7 with 4:40 left in the opening frame.
Tailback Joe Mugford then broke away for a 65-yard touchdown run on the Lawmen’s next play from scrimmage, narrowing the gap to 15-14.
Another DiNatale to Cleary connection, this time from 28 yards out, extended Foran’s advantage to 22-14 at the 1:19 mark.
Huber intercepted Smith for the first time to halt the scoring bonanza, before the teams traded punts.
“They were able to adjust to that after the first time around,” Larka said.
Huber broke the second-quarter deadlock by barreling in for a 3-yard touchdown push the Lions’ halftime margin to 29-14.
The Lawmen finished their year 4-6 overall, a marked improvement over last year’s 1-9 campaign.
“The seniors built this foundation,” Larka said. “Next year is seven, eight wins or bust. This year we’ll take some moral victories because of where the program was. But after today there are no more moral victories. We have to win on the field to feel happy."