No. 4 New Canaan football blanks Xavier behind Hunter Telesco's four TDs

MIDDLETOWN — Eventually, injuries may catch up to the New Canaan football team.

That moment is not now.

Behind four touchdowns from Hunter Telesco and a shutout performance from the defense, No. 4 New Canaan romped to a 31-0 season-opening victory over Xavier Friday in Middletown.

The Rams pounced early, as Telesco scored on a 12-yard run less than three minutes in, and New Canaan looked like, well, New Canaan, the rest of the way.

“A lot of people have been getting injured but the coaches just tell us it’s the next man up,” said Telesco, who had 146 yards from scrimmage, including 109 on the ground. “Fill the spots and it gives more opportunities for the players below. People stepped up tonight.”

Starting quarterback Ty Groff, the GameTimeCT All-State kicker, wasn’t under center to start the season as he recovers from a break in his non-throwing hand. Sophomore Alex Russey started in his place.

That didn’t keep Groff off the field, however, as he booted a 48-yard field goal, breaking the school record of 47 set by Bob Warden in 1990.

“Words can’t even describe it,” said Groff, who was also 4-for-4 on PATs. “There was fantastic protection up front. That was an incredible catch by Benny (Alex Benevento), and great snap by Ryan Barnard. That was unbelievable. I didn’t even know it was a record, but it felt so good to be able to hit that against a good team.”

For Xavier, things got out of hand early.

The Falcons were held to negative yardage on three of their first four possessions, and had 134 yards of total offense, much of that coming on a 43-yard pass from Nick Fox to Kyle Levesque in the fourth quarter.

“They’re obviously very good so we’ve got to give them a lot of credit,” Xavier coach Andy Guyon said. “But we made a lot of inexperience mistakes and that led to them having a short field and things snowballing rather quickly.”

In addition to Groff, New Canaan has been dealing with injuries to receiver Mack Seelert and running back Dom Rasso. Against Xavier, the Rams also lost Benevento, a key player on both sides of the ball.

“I’m so proud of our young guys and our senior leadership,” Groff said. “We have such a great bond. All of the seniors last year set such an amazing example and the torch has been passed down to us.”


Hunter Telesco, New Canaan: The senior came up big with touchdown runs of 12, 54, and 12 yards, and a 33-yard receiving TD to lead the Rams.


“I’m proud of the way they responded. We lost our best receiver in 7-on-7s, we lost our starting running back with a broken ankle, and tonight we lost Benevento. But it’s really a tribute to the kids. It’s next man up, they hung on, and we got after them early, which really helped.” – New Canaan coach Lou Marinelli

David.Stewart@hearstmediact; @dstewartsports


New Canaan 14 10 7 0 — 31

Xavier 0 0 0 0 — 0

NC - Hunter Telesco 12 run (Ty Groff kick), 9:01

NC - Telesco 33 pass from Alex Russey (Groff kick), 4:12

NC - Groff, 48 field goal, 10:01

NC - Telesco 54 run (Groff kick), 6:43

NC - Telesco 12 run (Groff kick), 2:15

Records: New Canaan 1-0, Xavier 0-1