2022 Class L football championship preview: Maloney vs. New Canaan

The 2022 Class L football state championship is between New Canaan and Maloney

The 2022 Class L football state championship is between New Canaan and Maloney

Hearst Connecticut Media/Designed by Pete Paguaga

The 2022 CIAC Class L football championship preview capsule. Compiled by Pete Paguaga, Sean Patrick Bowley and Mike Fornabaio.

More championship previews: Class LL | Class MM | Class M | Class SS | Class S

Class L

2022 CIAC Football Class L playoff bracket.

2022 CIAC Football Class L playoff bracket.

Sean Patrick Bowley / Hearst Connecticut Media


  • Where/When — Arute Field, New Britain, 2 p.m.

  • Tickets (digital only/no cash)Adults $10, Students/Senior Citizen $5

  • On the Air/WebNFHS NETWORK

  • Seeds/Records — No. 4 New Canaan 11-1, No. 3 Maloney 11-1

  • Coaches — New Canaan: Lou Marinelli (41st season 361-105-6); Maloney: Kevin Frederick (8th season 71-21)

  • Program Rosters

Championship History

New Canaan (12-5): 1982-L def. Naugatuck 20-12; 1993-M def. Daniel Hand 35-14; 1996-M lost to Killingly 27-13; 2000-M lost to Bloomfield 55-6; 2001-M def. Seymour 29-6; 2002-M def. Ledyard 21-0; 2006-MM def. Maloney 53-21; 2007-MM def. Daniel Hand 34-30; 2008-MM def. Darien 26-7; 2009-MM def. East Lyme 28-0; 2010-L lost to Masuk 50-20; 2011-L lost to Daniel Hand 34-10; 2013-L def. Darien 44-12; 2014-L Small def. Darien 21-20; 2015-L def. North Haven 42-35; 2016-L def. Windsor 25-20; 2018-LL lost to Greenwich 34-0.

Maloney (1-3): 1989-M lost to St. Joseph 14-7; 2006-MM lost to New Canaan 53-21; 2018-L to Hand 54-14; 2021-L def Windsor 35-21.

How They Got Here

New Canaan defeated Naugatuck, 17-7, in the quarterfinals then Cheshire, 23-13, in the semifinals. 

Maloney defeated New Milford, 27-7, in the quarterfinals then Shelton, 28-14, in the semifinals.

Players to Watch

New Canaan: Matthew Salmini, Sr., LB, Walker Blair, Sr., DB, AJ Bell, Sr., LB, Ty Groff, Sr., QB/K, Hunter Telesco, Sr., RB.

Maloney: Joziah Gonzalez, Sr., DB/WR, Josh Boganski, Sr., RB, Donte Kelly, Jr., DB/WR, Kyle Valentine, Sr., QB.

What’s What

This division, which looked in the preseason to be the toughest, comes down to the team defending its first CIAC championship against a perennial program looking to snap its longest title drought since the 1990s. The 2021 champs spent a week at No. 1 in the GameTimeCT Top 10 Poll after beating Southington but fell back after their only loss, to Glastonbury. New Canaan never got so high in the rankings but has won five in a row since its only loss, to St. Joseph. That game was the first start at quarterback for Groff, who'd been limited by a broken non-throwing hand, though he could kick all year; with 12 field goals and near-perfection on PAT tries, he's a weapon. But then Maloney's kicker, senior Josh Scaramuzzo, won the Southington game with a double-overtime field goal. Both teams have only given up more than 21 points in regulation once and have gotten points from their defense. Sophomore Ethan Nedinsky filled in well for the past game and a half with Valentine in concussion protocol, but the senior is expected to be good to go Saturday.

The Picks

  • SPB’S Pick — Maloney
  • Pete’s Pick — Maloney
  • Forno’s Pick — New Canaan