Special to CIACsports.com
NEW CANAAN – Michael Collins set the single-season touchdown passing record with his 52nd Monday night to lead No. 6 seed New Canaan over No. 7 Notre Dame-West Haven 51-27 at Dunning Field in the Class L state semifinals.
Collins, a senior headed to Penn in the fall, completed 32-of-44 passes for 440 yards and five touchdowns. His fourth scoring pass of the game was his 52nd and the record breaker, before adding one more for good measure.
“He is certainly one of the best we’ve had,” New Canaan coach Lou Marinelli said. “He’s worked very hard to get where he is. … If he is not the best in the state, I don’t know who is.”
Smith caught 16 passes for 221 yards for New Canaan (10-1), which will face top-seeded North Haven in the Class L final Saturday at 2:30 p.m. at West Haven High.
“We couldn’t get to (Collins),” Notre Dame coach Tom Marcucci said. “They’re good. I’m proud of my guys the way they played. We competed, but we couldn’t stop them
Nico Ragaini scored all four touchdowns for the Green Knights (8-3), including an 80-yard end around and a 58-yard touchdown from quarterback Christian Lupoli.
New Canaan 44, Notre Dame-West Haven 27
Notre Dame-West Haven 0 14 0 13 — 27
New Canaan 14 17 13 7 — 44
NCA—Kyle Smith 79 pass from Michael Collins (Peter Swindell kick)
NCA—Kyle Smith 6 pass from Michael Collins (Swindell kick)
NDWH—Nico Ragaini 7 pass from Christian Lupoli (Jared Gallbronner kick)
NCA—Matt Cognetta 75 kickoff ret (Swindell kick)
NCA—Peter Swindell 42 FG
NDWH—Nico Ragaini 2 run ()
NCA—Kyle Smith 23 pass from Michael Collins (Swindell kick)
NCA—Peter Swindell 37 pass from Michael Collins (kick failed)
NCA—Kyle Smith 12 pass from Michael Collins (Swindell kick)
NDWH—Nico Ragaini 58 pass from Christian Lupoli (Gallbronner kick)
NCA—Graham Braden 9 run (Swindell kick)
NDWH—Nico Ragaini 80 run (Gallbronner kick)
Rushing: Notre Dame: Nico Ragaini 3-84, Christian Lupoli 10-71,Kobe Wiggins, 7-67, Prince Brooks 5-23, Brandon Knight 1-3; New Canaan: Matt Cognetta 9-33, Michael Collins 2-22, James Crovato 5-16, Graham Braden 3-11.
Passing: Notre Dame: Christian Lupoli, 16-29-1-200; Chris Elias 1-1-0-4; New Canaan: Michael Collins, 32-44-0-440.
Receiving: Notre Dame: Nico Ragaini 10-149; New Canaan: Kyle Smith 16-221
Team records: New Canaan 10-1; Notre Dame-West Haven 8-3