Darien opens at No. 1 in The Day's H.S. football poll

There was no doubt that the Darien High football team was going to be one of the best teams in the state this season. Anyone who thought otherwise was either delusional or forgot that Darien has played for a CIAC state title the last four seasons, winning the last two Class LL titles.

All that written, the consensus was that Blue Wave wouldn’t be as dominant this season thanks to the graduation of a monstrous defensive line, three offensive linemen, and a few of their top offensive threats. They also opened the season last Friday at Ridgefield, their opponent in last year’s state final with more than enough talent back to get coaches and media talking it up.

So much for that notion — Darien had five interceptions and seven sacks as it smothered the Tigers 38-12. It made the Blue Wave a unanimous No. 1 in the season debut of The Day's Top 10 state coaches’ poll, a ranking its held since beating New Canaan on Thanksgiving Day of 2015.

The Blue Wave received all 12 first-place votes from a panel of coaches from across the state.

St. Joseph, another Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference team, is second. It went on the road Friday and knocked off four-time Class L champion New Canaan 38-35. New Canaan was widely considered the best team in the state during the preseason and hadn’t lost an opener since Sept. 17, 2004 (to Trumbull, 17-14).

St. Joseph plays at Darien in Week 3 (Sept. 23).

Class LL giant Southington is third, followed by defending Class S champion Ansonia and Cheshire. Cheshire plays at Norwich Free Academy on Friday in the state’s biggest game of the week.

New Canaan, Windsor, Masuk, Greenwich and West Haven round out the Top 10.

NFA received votes and is 12th. It trailed Xavier by 11 points with over four minutes left on Friday, but scored with 15 seconds left to win 40-37.

n.griffen@theday.com

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