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Darien's Grant Rushes Into School's Football Record Book

Darien's Shelby Grant runs behind a blocker during Saturday's win over Greenwich. He set a school record with six touchdowns.
Darien's Shelby Grant runs behind a blocker during Saturday's win over Greenwich. He set a school record with six touchdowns. Photo Credit: Courtesy of Darien Athletic Foundation

DARIEN, Conn. -- Darien High School’s Shelby Grant sprinted into the Blue Wave record book Saturday against Greenwich with six touchdowns in the Blue Wave’s 51-28 rout.

Grant, a senior, rushed for 183 yards as the Blue Wave improved to 2-0. Most impressive was the record-setting TD run in which he outperformed some of the top players in Darien’s successful history. Career-leading rusher Anthony Valentine, Brian Merrit, Nikki Dysenchuk, Tim Shaw, Ryan Damon, Peter Davidson and all the other stars from past Darien teams did not achieve Grant’s output.

Grant rushed for five touchdowns and added another on a touchdown pass from Tim Graham.

With seven touchdowns on the season, Grant has already matched his total from last year. Valentine set the single-season scoring record for Darien with 140 points in 1992.

Grant, 5-feet, 11- inches and 180 pounds, had a breakout year in 2014 when he rushed for 838 yards last year with two games of more than 100 yards.

He has rushed for 199 yards through two games already this year, putting him on a path towards becoming the first 1,000 yard rusher for the Blue Wave since Dysenchuk in 2008.

Grant is just one of many weapons for the Blue Wave, who climbed to No. 1 in the latest MaxPreps statewide rankings.

Quarterback Tim Graham has thrown five touchdown passes without an interception. He has already completed 47 passes and 13 players have receptions, including a team-high 10 from senior Colin Minicus.

Before the game, Darien coach Rob Trifone talked with the team about the passing of Jim Mulhearn, the team’s 12th man who died in August after a fight with ALS.

“After waking up at 2, then 4 and getting up to watch film at 5 …I prayed and a sense of peace began to calm me down. I realized that we have an unfair advantage today, as you will be playing with 12. On the last day that I saw Jim and told him we would wear the JM to honor him, with a tear in his eye, he said thank you and then struggled to say in that raspy voice that I miss so much: ‘Do not worry I will be watching every game.’ Not only will Jim be watching today, he will be standing next to you on the field as he is truly your 12th man.”

Darien faces another next week. Darien hosts St. Joseph, ranked No. 3 in the state, on Saturday, Oct. 10, for homecoming at 1:30 p.m.

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