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Darien's Football Archrival Stands In Way Of Ending State Title Drought

Darien's Shelby Grant runs during Saturday's win over Naugatuck.
Darien's Shelby Grant runs during Saturday's win over Naugatuck. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Darien Athletic Foundation

DARIEN, Conn. -- Darien High School’s football team last won a state championship in 1996. The Blue Wave can end that drought this year, but standing in their way is their fiercest rival.

Top-seeded Darien (12-0) advanced to the Class L Large School final Saturday with a 42-12 blowout of No. 4 Naugatuck. Darien now plays No. 2 seed New Canaan for the Class L title on Saturday at 10:30 a.m. at West Haven High School. Tickets can be purchased on the CIAC website .

Darien easily handled Naugatuck, racing out to a 35-0 lead in the first half. Senior running back Peter Archey rushed for 121 yards and two touchdowns, while junior Shelby Grant added 97 yards and two scores. Junior quarterback Tim Graham completed 14-of-24 passes for 213 yards and two scores. Tim Lochtefeld led the defense with six tackles, while Hudson Hamill and Christian Trifone had interceptions.

Darien now gets to meet New Canaan for the title. The teams have been down this road twice before in the last six years. And New Canaan has come out on top each time.

New Canaan beat Darien, 44-12, in last year’s Class L final. In 2008, the Rams won 26-7. In all, Darien has lost five straight games with the state title on the line. Its last state title came in 1996 in a 21-16 win over Bloomfield.

Darien beat New Canaan in the regular-season final on Thanksgiving, 28-21, in overtime. That win also gave the Blue Wave the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference title. Darien has won three of the last four meetings against New Canaan.

Three other Darien teams finished their seasons undefeated and untied. The 1956, ‘57 and ‘79 also had perfect records. The 1992 team finished 11-0-1.

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