NEW CANAAN—Since the spread became the prominent offense run in Connecticut, New Canaan has always been at the forefront in terms of the offense’s lethal ability.
The 2018 season figures to continue this trend.
Why wouldn’t it? The Rams have Notre Dame-commit Drew Pyne under center in his third year as a starter, being protected by two Division I-bound offensive tackles in Jack Stewart (Michigan) and Jack Conley (Boston College).
But who will Pyne be throwing to this season?
The first answer is obvious—Quintin O’Connell.
The senior is starting his third-year as a varsity contributor and was Pyne’s favorite target last year, racking up 859 yards and 15 touchdowns.
Of course, opposing coaches know that stat-line as well, and figure to game plan around O’Connell. The question then becomes, which of the lesser-established receivers will step up.
“Q has been the guy for a while now, so it opens up a lot for us,” said Wyatt Wilson, a senior that is the only other member of the receiving corps with significant experience. “He’s taken away a lot of pressure for us, so eventually we have to take it back away from him.”
There’s no question that New Canaan will have the talent.
Wilson—who injured his clavicle at the Grip It and Rip It 7-on-7 tournament in July, but hopes to be back in the first couple weeks—and fellow senior Stephen Wronski are both over six feet tall, and should pose matchup problems for opposing secondaries.
“We’re both basketball players, it’s huge going up and getting the ball,” Wilson said. “It’s everything in this league where everyone is not as big as us.”
With the height taken care of, speed is the next box checked for the Rams. Juniors Luke Morton and Zach LaPolice are unproven to those outside the program, but New Canaan has high expectations for the duo.
“I feel like we’re young as receivers stand,” Morton said. “But now it’s our turn, so I think that we’re going to bring a lot of speed.”
Morton is a former quarterback, and that knowledge has helped him as far as refining his receiver skillset.
“Always being a quarterback, I know the routes so it helps translating each route and knowing all the plays,” he said. “I don’t have a set position, so it helps playing every position.”
Pyne even compared Morton to another QB-turned-receiver that’s enjoyed a notable NFL career.
“He’s like a little (Julian) Edelman,” Pyne said. “He’s a short guy but pretty stocky, he can take the hit, he’s shifty when he gets the ball. He’s slippery so I’m hoping it’ll transfer over.”