NEW CANAAN -- The New Canaan quarterback's name is in bold type in headlines, the receivers and running backs take turns watching themselves run into the end zone on the video scoreboard while the defense piles up sacks and interceptions.
Even the kicker has a YouTube video of a trick kick with over 44,000 views.
But the literally largest players on the field are the ones that somehow seem to go unnoticed.
The Rams offensive line, made up of four seniors and a junior, has been intact for two seasons and is referred to by their coach as the "heart and soul of what we have done offensively."
What the offense has done this season is score 81 touchdowns with an average 193.5 yards rushing and 201.8 yards passing a game.
None of that is possible without the work of the big guys up front.
"It all starts with the offensive line," Rams coach Lou Marinelli said. "If you can't protect and you can't block, you don't have an offense. Having those kids back from last year has certainly helped us get to where we are. If not the main reason, one of the top two."
The line is comprised of center Ryan McKenna (6-foot-1, 271 pounds), guards Joao Rocha (6-2, 256) and Jim Keneally (6-0, 256) and tackles Mike Donnelly (6-6 276) and Beau Santero (6-5, 236).
Having the same players healthy and starting has lent cohesion to a unit tasked with being the gears in a complicated, fast paced offense.
"We are a tight group and we have started the same line the whole season and we stick together," Donnelly said. "We all know what our strengths and weaknesses are and we work at improving anywhere we are weak."
Donnelly said the offense the Rams run moves quickly and requires the linemen to make checks at the line quickly.
"It's usually a play from the sideline, we don't audible much," Donnelly said. "We make our checks for pass protection. Usually the center and tackles are looking at the defense and if they see something like linebackers coming for a blitz and we call it out and then we can change the protection."
The line seems to take the most pride in opening holes to run through, but are content as long as the drive ends in six points.
"We like to run the ball. We like to see those big 200, 300 yard running games up there," Donnelly said. "As long as we are scoring points we are happy. I like that you hit somebody every single play. If you play receiver you run a route, you might score a touchdown but you don't get to hit. Playing offensive line you get to hit every play." Read Full Article
No. 3 New Canaan (12-1) vs No. 7 North Haven (10-2), 2:00 at Jonathan Law HS
How they got here: New Canaan defeated No. 6 Farmington 46-0 while North Haven beat No. 2 Platt 35-0.
Key players: New Canaan -- QB Nick Cascione; DL Connor Buck, LB Cole Harris, RB Frank Cognetta, WR Cole Turpin. North Haven -- RB/LB Ethan Suraci, RB/DB Michael Montano, QB Michael Halloran, LB Patrick Mikos, OL/DL Austin Mahon