Wilton 7 Blue, 20 – Ridgefield Black, 0
Billed as the top defensive team in the league, and boasting a massive defensive line, Ridgefield Black had not surrendered more than a single touchdown in any game this season, until they met Wilton 7 Blue on Saturday, Oct. 25 at Tiger Hollow in Ridgefield, where the Warriors scored three times in the first half en route to a 20-0 whitewashing of the Tigers.
Unimpressed with Ridgefield’s reputation and despite being outweighed by 20-30 pounds across the board, the Wilton offensive line of Dominick Polito, Maden Herve, Jack Savarese, Jack Lenz, Sean Purdy and Jack DiRocco went nose-to-nose with the Tiger linemen on the initial series, opening massive holes for Kyle Hyzy, Austin Andersen and Jimmy O’Brien. After grinding out yards to the Wilton 48, O’Brien took a pitch from Ryan Healey, cut inside a block by Polito and juked his way to the Ridgefield 16. On the next play Hyzy hit Herve in the end zone with a perfect spiral less than five minutes into the contest for a 6-0 lead.
Having established the ability to score on offense, the Warriors next proved their defense was up to the task. Ridgefield moved the ball deep into Wilton territory on their first possession, but Matt Dooley’s sack on third down and a too-short complete pass forced a turnover on downs.
On Ridgefield’s next possession, which began at the Warrior 37, the defense pushed the Tigers back forcing Ridgefield to take to the air. On fourth and long DiRocco picked off a pass and with the help of a huge block by Dooley, streaked 65 yards up the Tiger sideline for a score. DiRocco then added a point after for a 13-0 lead.
Dominant Warrior defense set up the next score. After a three and out forced a punt that Hyzy returned to the Ridgefield 34, the offense again showed its mettle. On fourth and five at the 29, Hyzy again hit Herve, this time for a first down at the 23. After Hyzy was sacked on third down, setting up a 4th and 15 play, O’Brien threw a perfect pass to Herve at the nine for another first down. Two plays later, with just seconds to go in the half, Andersen smashed into the end zone from the 3-yd-line. DiRocco’s PAT made the score 20-0 at the half.
The Warrior offense controlled the clock for most of the second half while the defense prevented Ridgefield from advancing into Wilton territory for the remainder of the game.
With the win the Warriors completed the regular season as NFC Division champions with a 7-1 record earning home field advantage throughout the playoffs.
New Canaan Red, 14 – Wilton 6 White, 6
The Wilton 6 White football team fell 14-6 to New Canaan Red on Saturday night, Oct. 25 at Fujitani field in a game dominated by terrific defense on both sides.
The Warrior offense faced stiff resistance by New Canaan on its first two possessions which both ended in punts. Taking over at their own 40, New Canaan drove all the way to the Wilton 4 where a big hit by Davis Cote forced a fumble that was recovered by Brian Cipri.
The Warriors gave the ball right back with a fumble of their own on the next play at the Wilton 14, but Christian Theoharides, who was in the New Canaan backfield all day, burst through the line to make a tackle for a ten yard loss on the ensuing play. Matt Gulbin then recovered a fumble to end the threat.
Neither team made much progress the rest of the half until with 24 seconds to play in the second quarter Theoharides recovered a New Canaan fumble at the Rams 35. With terrific protection by the offensive line of Theoharides, Cipri, Charlie Hastings, Evan Kauh, Gulbin and Cipri, Everett Andersen passed 26 yards to Jimmy McKiernan at the New Canaan 9. Rolling right on the final play of the half, Andersen hit Sean Sullivan with a touchdown pass to send the Warriors to the locker room with a 6-0 lead.
The third quarter was a seesaw affair highlighted by an acrobatic interception by Blake Pagano-Walley but the Warriors could not sustain an offensive drive.
Early in the fourth quarter the Warriors’ fortunes turned for the worse. A pass from Andersen bounced off the hands of a Warrior receiver directly to a New Canaan defender who returned the catch to the Warrior 4. New Canaan scored on the next played and took a 7-6 lead on a point after kick.
With their backs to the wall and time running out, the Warriors again went to the air, but a New Canaan defender was able to jump a pass route and return an interception for a touchdown to put the game away.