Ten regular season victories for Shelton High secured the top seed in Class LL, and a state playoff quarter-final home game at Finn Stadium on Tuesday night at 6:30.
It didn’t guarantee coach Jeff Roy’s Gaels anything more than that.
Shelton (10-0) will take on coach Lou Marinelli’s Rams, who defeated the state’s top-ranked Darien Blue Wave 17-14 on Thanksgiving.
New Canaan will bring an 8-2 record into their 14th consecutive playoff appearance. New Canaan’s losses this year have come at the hands of St. Joseph (10-0) and Greenwich (10-0).
The Rams saw their string of three state titles snapped a year ago with a 28-14 loss to Masuk High in the semifinals. That defeat came after No. 8 seeded New Canaan knocked off No. 1 seed Middletown, 24-9.
With a win, Shelton will host either No. 4 Southington (10-0) or No. 5 Fairfield Prep (9-1) in the semifinals on Sunday, Dec. 2, at Finn Stadium. Kickoff is 12:30 p.m. The Gaels saddled Prep with its only loss, winning 10-7 in week three.
New Canaan’s offense leans toward the passing game, where quarterback Drew Pyne has thrown for 2,045 yards, with 25 touchdown passes and only three interceptions.
They average 32.5 points per game, with 227 yards per through the air and 103 per on the ground.
Quintin O’Connell has accounted for 16 touchdowns, 11 coming in the passing game. The senior has 59 catches good for 866 yards. Wyatt Wilson has caught 26 balls for 495 yards and five scores.
Nick Radman has made 4-of-5 field goal tries. He is 43-of-44 on conversion kicks.
Defensively, New Canaan allows 13.2 points per contest. They have sacked the quarterback 40 times and have 14 interceptions.
Conversely, the Gaels are averaging 201 yards rushing and 140 yards passing. Shelton likes to run the ball behind Ray Weiner, Kyle Corby, Jake Breton, Isaiah DeLoatch, David Youngquist and David Niski.
Jeff Carr leads the way with 721 yards on the ground. Ten of his 12 scores have come running the ball.
Jake Roberts is a dual threat at quarterback. He has thrown for 1,400 yards and 16 touchdowns, with five interceptions.
Roberts has 585 yards rushing with 10 touchdowns.
Paul Ferrigno leads the receiving corp with 40 catches for 530 yards and seven touchdowns.
David Yakowicz (4 TDs, 300 yards) and Brian Berritto (204 yards, 3 TDs) both have posted double digits in receptions.
Nick Andrade has made 45-of-46 points after touchdown. The senior is 4-for-5 on field goal tries with a long of 35 yards.
Defensively, Zach McEwen has seven of Shelton’s 30 quarterback sacks. Mike Lockavitch has six sacks.
Tyler Janik, Philip Sissick, Ray Weiner, Carr, McEwen, Breton, Lockavitch, Tyler Pjatak and Jake Falanga are Shelton’s top tacklers.