The following article was submitted by the Wilton Warrior Gridiron Club.
For 27 years, Wilton High School’s football team has tried, and failed, to beat Ridgefield on the gridiron. This time, however, with a “unique” set of rules, Wilton was finally able to overcome its rival to the north.
Down 11-13, with only 40 seconds remaining in the 7-v-7 game, junior quarterback Grant Masterson found senior Trevor Martines on a 28-yard touchdown that capped a frantic 80-yard final drive. The drive was kept was alive by a nifty “hook and ladder” pass that started with a short Masterson pass to senior Ryan MacDougal, who then pitched the ball to junior Ben Calabrese, who scampered ahead for 17 yards.
The last-minute score was the second of the fourth quarter, as Ridgefield had stymied Wilton’s two previous attempts to score within Ridgefield’s “red zone.” Wilton’s first score in the fourth quarter was a Masterson-to-Martines four-yard completion.
Defensively, Wilton was superb, keeping Ridgefield off the scoreboard for the entire 7-v-7 portion of the contest. Junior linebacker Jack Sommer led the Warriors with four pass physical break-ups, while Martines led the team in tackles, with six. Senior linebacker Tate Falta was also all over the field with four tackles, while junior cornerback Parker Woodring contributed two pass break-ups and two tackles. Senior Aiden Jasinski had the lone defensive takeaway with a key first-half interception.
For the game, Masterson completed 26-49 passes for 257 yards, with receiving leader MacDougal catching nine passes for 105 yards. Martines caught six balls for 58 yards. Senior Jimmy McKiernan had five catches for 44 yards and senior Michael Coffey added four grabs for 26 yards.
The “unique rules” were a Covid-19 necessity that combined a 7-on-7 skill position game and a lineman challenge. The lineman challenge was a strength contest that saw Wilton’s and Ridgefield’s strongest players compete for points that were carried over to the 7-v-7 contest. Wilton’s varsity team was led by seniors Matt Gulbin, Brian Cipri, Christian Theoharides (who did both 7-on-7 and the lineman challenge), and Kyle Jordan. Despite Wilton’s varsity team winning four of the five contests against Ridgefield’s varsity, Ridgefield’s JV and freshman defeated Wilton’s squads, giving Ridgefield a 13-5 lead going into the 7-v-7 portion of the game. Of note, Gullbin bench pressed 185 lbs 35 times, on his way to winning that event.
The Warriors play next this Friday against Staples at Fijitani Field.