Wilton overcomes No. 7 Ridgefield for the first time since 1993

WILTON — After his Wilton football team defeated New Canaan last weekend, coach EJ DiNunzio said it was such a wonderful feeling, he didn’t think he’d ever experience anything like that again.

As it turns out, he only had to wait seven days.

For the first time in nearly three decades, Wilton was able to celebrate a victory over its rival, as the Warriors defeated No. 7 Ridgefield 14-7 on Saturday at Fujitani Field.

Senior Sean Wiseman provided a dramatic finish when he intercepted a pass in the end zone as time expired and the Warriors stormed the field.

And that feeling DiNunzio experienced against New Canaan?

“This one’s even better,” he said with a smile.

“To play those two teams, New Canaan and Ridgefield on back-to-back weeks coming off Darien, and for us to get two wins — all the credit goes to my guys and my coaches,” DiNunzio said. “We played well and we played hard.”

The Warriors (5-2) have thrown history in the trash can. Their win over Ridgefield was their first since 1993, and their win over New Canaan was their first since 1995.

Senior Kevin Hyzy, part of a secondary which had a great performance against the Tigers, knows the rivalry well, with older brothers Chris and Kyle being football alumni. Kevin and his twin brother, Craig, are part of this year’s team.

“They paved such a great road for me and (Craig),” Kevin Hyzy said. “I couldn’t have done it without them. Everything from the backyard to here, it’s all great.”

Ridgefield (4-3) suffered its third single-digit loss of the season, and its state playoff hopes took a big hit.

The Tigers were unable to generate much momentum on offense, scoring just once when quarterback Justin Keller connected with Nick Wright on a 20-yard strike in the fourth quarter.

“They knew they were playing a great football team all week and that was just confirmed,” Ridgefield coach Kevin Callahan said. “They’re fighters, they don’t quit to the bitter end, and I’ll go into battle every week with a team like that. How it ends up doesn’t always match up with the effort and who they are. Wilton is a better football team today, but we’re a good football team too and hopefully we’ll continue that.”

Wilton quarterback Grant Masterson had solid numbers, passing for 185 yards and a touchdown while rushing for 125 yards and a score.

The Warriors were stellar on defense. Ridgefield had eight of its 11 possessions end with punts and two end with interceptions. The Tigers had eight first downs, with five coming on the final drive.

After allowing a combined 92 points in consecutive losses to Notre Dame-West Haven and Darien, the Wilton defense has allowed just 24 the past two weeks.

“All the credit goes to Coach,” said senior Parker Woodring, who had one of the picks against Ridgefield. “He put in a really good defensive game plan this week and we just went out there and executed. We knew what we had to do.”

Wilton was able to move the ball well and dominated time of possession, but led just 7-0 after three quarters. Jake Sommer scored that first TD on a 5-yard run in the second quarter.

The Tigers finally broke through in the fourth, scoring on Keller’s pass to Wright with 8:45 remaining.

After trading punts, the Warriors started their winning drive when Woodring made a diving catch of a pass from Masterson for 36 yards to the Ridgefield 28-yard line.

Four plays later, Masterson rushed for a 6-yard touchdown and a 14-7 lead with 3:23 remaining.

An interception by Woodring stopped Ridgefield’s next possession, but the Tigers got the ball back with under two minutes to play. Keller led a march down the field to the Wilton 14, but two passes were incomplete before Wiseman’s pick ended the game.

“I was just saying the whole time don’t get beat deep, don’t get beat deep,” Woodring said of that final threat. “We’ll take everything underneath. I knew he was going to pick it off. I trusted him.”

DiNunzo said Wilton’s fourth-quarter play had a different vibe than it had a few years ago.

“It wasn’t the same feeling as two or three years ago,” the coach said. “That feeling of doom and gloom wasn’t there. I was saying ‘Who’s going to make the play?’ Parker gets that pick, and I was saying ‘Can we get one more pick, one more big play to get us over the hump?’ and we did.”


Parker Woodring, Wilton: Woodring made two huge plays in the fourth quarter: a 36-yard reception to help set up the winning touchdown, and an interception a few plays later. The secondary was solid, led by Woodring, Sean Wiseman, Kevin Hyzy and Max Silva.


“It was all just take it in, it’s your last time playing in this game, and it’s a long rivalry. It’s insane. The feeling, I can’t describe. All they said was lock in and enjoy your last game against your rival.” — Kevin Hyzy on the message from his older brothers before playing Ridgefield.


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RIDGEFIELD 0 0 0 7 — 7

WILTON 0 7 0 7 — 14

W: Jake Sommer 5-yard run (Michael Cooper Kick), 4:58

R: Nick Wright 20-yard pass from Justin Keller (Ignacio Brina kick), 8:45

W: Grant Masterson 6-yard run (Cooper kick), 3:23

Records: Ridgefield 4-3, Wilton 5-2