Wave by the numbers: For Darien football, revenge on rival and a trip to the final

Darien's Jeremiah Stafford (21) is hoisted into the air by teammate Karson Drake (71) into the air after Stafford scored a touchdown during Class LL football playoff action in Darien, Conn., on Tuesday November 30, 2021.

Darien's Jeremiah Stafford (21) is hoisted into the air by teammate Karson Drake (71) into the air after Stafford scored a touchdown during Class LL football playoff action in Darien, Conn., on Tuesday November 30, 2021.

Christian Abraham / Hearst Connecticut Media

We’ve reached the end game of the 2021 high school football season and Darien is one of eight teams still standing. This week’s Wave by the numbers takes a look at some of the key stats and facts around the football season and playoffs, with the state final set for Saturday.

24-10 Score of Darien’s victory over rival New Canaan in the CIAC Class LL football semifinals on Saturday at Dunning Field. The win advanced the Blue Wave to the state final, where they will face Fairfield Prep at 3 p.m., Saturday, in Trumbull.

11-1 Record of third-seeded Darien and top-seeded Fairfield Prep. Each team avenged their only losses during the first two rounds of the Class LL tournament. Fairfield Prep lost to Greenwich 14-7, but won 21-14 in the state quarterfinals, while Darien lost to New Canaan 12-7, before beating the Rams in the semis.

24-3 Score of Fairfield Prep’s win over Shelton in the Class LL semifinals at Rafferty Stadium in Fairfield. The score was tied 3-3 at halftime, but the Jesuits pitched a shutout in the second half for their second win of the season over the Gaels.

7 Appearances in the state final in eight seasons for the Blue Wave. In the previous six trips, Darien is 3-3, winning three straight from 2015 to 2017, while finishing as runner-up in 2013, 2014 and 2019.

1 FCIAC team to reach the state football finals. It’s been a wild season for the conference, which had four teams - Darien, New Canaan, Greenwich and St. Joseph — qualify for the playoffs. Greenwich fell to Prep in the Class LL quarterfinals, while New Canaan and St. Joseph (Class L) lost in Sunday’s semis.

3 Interceptions for Joe Cesare in the fourth quarter of Sunday’s game. Cesare, who has seven picks this season, also recovered a fumble, highlighting a great defense effort which forced the Rams into five turnovers.

0 Points for New Canaan after the first quarter. The Rams’ Ty Groff booted a 38-yard field goal for a 10-7 lead with 3:57 remaining in the opening frame, and New Canaan was shut down over the final three quarters.

246 Rushing yards in the semifinal win over New Canaan. The big guns were seniors Tighe Cummiskey and Jeremiah Stafford, who scored all three of the Wave’s touchdowns. Cummiskey rushed 33 times for 149 yards and a TD, and Stafford had 10 carries for 86 yards while scoring TDs of 35 and five yards.

31-22 Score of Darien’s last state championship victory, which came against Greenwich in the 2017 Class LL final. The game was played in the snow at Stamford’s Boyle Stadium and capped a 12-1 season for the Blue Wave.

david.stewart@hearstmediact.com; @dstewartsports