Wilton Youth Football scoreboard: Week One

Wilton Youth Football teams had the following results in action from the opening weekend of the Fairfield County Football League season:

Seventh grade

Wilton Blue 20, Ridgefield Orange 18

The Wilton Black Ops opens the scored 7:30 into the opening quarter on Harvey Alexander’s 37-yard run off of a beautiful pitch from quarterback Brian Calabrese. Riley Sexton, Drew Peterson, A.J. Pykosz and Peter Gulbin controlled the offensive line on the play which gave Calabrese enough time to fake two defenders in order to make the great pitch to Alexander. Shortly after Wilton opened the scoring, Ridgefield’s quarterback bounced off of five Wilton defenders to score on a long touchdown run. At the end of the first quarter, Wilton led 7-6.

Alexander scored again on a 78-yard right counter run off of a lead block from left guard Jack DiNanno. Alexander made the extra point to make the score 14-6 at the half. During the second quarter, Wilton’s defense set the tone, allowing no points as Alex Acosta-Rua, Kyle Maatalah, Nolan Quinn, Chris Colbert, Ryan Soltis, Daniel Fitzgerald and Peter Casey made many key tackles to preserve the lead at the half. During the second quarter, Jake Beshlian had a momentum-changing fumble recovery to stall a drive by Ridgefield.

Ridgefield scored at the beginning of the third quarter off of a fumble recovery to cut the lead to 14-12. Running backs Tommy Garvey, Joe Scarfi, Toby Clark, center Ben Pellicano, guard Trey Snyder, tight-end Brendan Quinlan, and fullback Ricky Tomasetti made many first down runs and blocks leading up to a third-quarter touchdown by Acosta-Rua from the two yard-line. On the play, Pykosz, Sexton, DiNanno and Gulbin led the way for the hard-charging Acosta-Rua up the middle, making the score 20-12.

During the second half of the fourth quarter, Ridgefield controlled ball on offense and scored with two minutes left to make the score 20-18. Ridgefield called a time-out and decided to go for a two-point conversion to try and tie the game but the Wilton defense held up as Maatalah, Alexander and DiNanno stopped the Ridgefield quarterback on the one-yard line to preserve the win. Colbert closed the game out with one minute to go on a hard-fought first down to run out the clock.

Darien White 7, Wilton White 0

In a tight-fought game that featured two equally-matched teams in an early season match-up, Darien bested Wilton 7-0. The teams waged battle on both sides of the ball all afternoon, with only one play — a desperate 60-yard TD pass — making the difference for Darien’s victory. Wilton controlled the game for the rest of it, handily out-gaining th

eir opponents on offense and shutting them down on defense. However, early season sloppiness plagued the Warriors as penalties killed five potential drives all deep in Darien territory, nullifying any chances of a score.

The defense, despite the one lapse for the long play, was stellar all game long. Led by linebackers James Ciquera, Will Litton, Kyle Shifrin, Robbie Hermann and Ryan McDermott, they kept Darien at bay. Big stops by Brennan Troy, Eric Chubinsky and Dominic Romeo at defensive end were key as was great penetration by Will Hastings, Chris Sweeney, Mike Wehrli and Johnny Amato, while Ethan Reichgut and Zach Zeyher patrolled the secondary.

Tough O-line play by Wehrli, Hastings, Jamie Trentos, Will Pond, Justin Quinn, Matt Morello, Chubinsky, Amato, Evan Helman and Ciquera opened holes all day for the running backs. With downfield blocking by Nick Sylvia, Cameron Morris and Brendan Skewis, and great lead blocking by McDermott and Sweeney, tailbacks Hermann, Zeyher and Litton repeatedly ripped off good runs. QB Quinn Schneider stood tall in the pocket and completed passes to Shifrin, Troy, Hermann and Zeyher. Yet they couldn’t find the end zone, leaving the faithful Warrior fans parched for more.

Third grade

Wilton Blue 18, Westport North 0

The game started fast, with Sean Wiseman’s touchdown in the second play of the game called back, soon to be followed by scores from Mikey Longo, Ben Calabrese and Dominic Roberts running with protection from Tyler Moody, Conner Robertson, Ryan Jackson, Andrew Pellicano, Jackson Rivas and Max Silva. Defense by Eddie Keller, Max Mercado, Christopher McCann, Ryan Farrar, Matt Giller, Shane Taubin, Daniel Roesenbaum, Joe Schiavone, and Sean Garvey kept Westport scoreless.

Fourth grade

Wilton White 27, New Canaan Red 12

Wilton’s defensive line of Matt Gulbin, Jack Tinnen, Austin Cameron, Blake Pagano-Walley, Brian Cipri and Quinn Wiseman established itself early, with Pagano-Walley making a nice tackle and Wiseman shutting down the drive with a huge hit on the outside. Wilton’s offense didn’t start out quite as well, as a fumble on the opening drive led to a New Canaan score.

On its second possession, Wilton’s offense found its footing. Behind nice blocking from Anthony Passaniti and Charlie Hastings, running back Sean Sullivan ripped off a couple long runs. The drive was capped by an eight-yard TD run by Pagano-Walley. After the PAT failed, the score was tied 6-6 as the first quarter came to a close.

The second quarter showed the strength of the Wilton defense as multiple players made great tackles including linebackers Davis Cote, Ryan MacDougall and Peter Groves. Cornerbacks Michael Colbert and Connor Healey swarmed ball carriers and kept New Canaan off the board. When Wilton’s offense took the field, a brilliant QB keeper by Ryan Sorbo gained 25 yards and set up running backs Pagano-Walley and Sullivan to do more damage on the ground behind the blocking of Brendan Quinn, Matthew Murphy, Ryan Siegel, Connor Quinn and Owen Pettit. Ultimately, Sullivan scored on a nice run around the right end. Pagano-Walley converted the two-point PAT, making the score 14-6 at halftime.

Wilton’s offense opened the second half with fullback Michael Coffey and running back Sullivan chewing up yardage. But it was Sullivan’s amazing second and third effort, along with some nice downfield blocking by Coffey, Sorbo and Cote, on a 45-yard touchdown run down the right side that seemed to ignite the Warriors. When Coffey ran in the PAT, the score was 21-6.

Another punishing tackle for a loss by Gulbin on first down let New Canaan know that a comeback was not in the plan. On second down, Brendan Sullivan, Alex Smith and Will Haljun pushed the runner back for no gain. On third down, Cameron, Groves and Tinnen combined to make it fourth down and long. New Canaan went for it but was shut down when Pagano-Walley and Cipri combined on a huge hit.

In the fourth quarter, New Canaan scored on a long TD run on a sweep around the left side to make it 21-12. That seemed to wake the Warriors up again. Quarterback Everett Andersen led the Warriors on a long drive that included a clutch fourth down conversion with three minutes left in the game. And on first and goal, Andersen kept a quarterback sneak right up the middle for an insurance score. The PAT failed, making the final score 27-12.

Wilton Blue 28, New Canaan Black 16

The ‘Purple People Eaters’ defense, consisting of E.J. Fasano, Michael Burton, Luke O’Neil, Christian Theoharides, Ashton Argento, Dante Filipponi, Kiel Polito, Wooder Thoby, Logan Brady, David Boal and Nolan Graham, set the tone on the first drive, stalling New Canaan’s wishbone offense. Wilton jumped out to a lead late in the first quarter when Thoby swept around right end and outraced defenders down the sideline for a long score. Thoby’s way was cleared by the ‘Green’ squad, including a line of Burton, Kyle Jordan, Henry Sell, Trey Dexter, Fasano, Argento and Chris Jones, along with Max Mannino, Michael Gruseke, Thoby and John Stanley in the backfield.

New Canaan tried to fight back, but a spirited defensive stand by the ‘Yellow Submarine’ defense of Kyle Burns, Sam Ricketts, Jordan, Will Murphy, Sell, Jimmy McKiernan, Stanley, Trevor Martines, Mannino, Antonio Goosman and Connor Roman held them to only one first down.

Then, the ‘Red’ offense, consisting of Filipponi, Martines, Theoharides, McKiernan, Ricketts, Murphy, O’Neil, Roman, Brady and Polito, and Nolan Graham and Burns splitting time at QB, was able to grind out an impressive nine-play TD drive, with Burns scoring on a QB sweep, led by crushing blocks on the edge by Roman and Polito, who also converted the two-point try to make it 14-0. New Canaan broke through for a score late in the second quarter, but the Wilton quick-strike attack stunned the visitors with a second long TD dash by Thoby in the last few seconds before halftime.

On the opening drive of the second half, Wilton extended the lead on Thoby’s third TD of the day, with Mannino bulling in for the two-point conversion. New Canaan managed one more score, closing the gap, but Wilton’s defense stiffened and the Warriors scored a 28-16 opening victory.

Fifth grade

Wilton Blue 20, Ridgefield Black 8

Wilton Blue began the defense of its FCFL title, which it shares with Wilton White. The tone for the day was set on the first play when halfback Kyle Hyzy took a hand-off from Jake Zeyher. Following a lead block from fullback Austin Andersen and rumbling through a gaping hole made by the offensive line of Patrick Burke, Erik Lebek, Dominick Polito, Jack Lenz, Noah Levi, Jack Savarese and Jack DiRocco, Hyzy burst to the outside and raced 70 yards for a score to put the Warriors up 6-0.

A stunned Ridgefield squad faced no better treatment by the Wilton defense. On Ridgefield’s first play, the defensive line of Hyzy, Savarese, Polito, Levi, Zach Bargon and Burke swarmed all over the ball carrier for a loss of two. R2 DiRocco made a nice open field tackle on a bootleg for the loss of another yard and the Raiders’ third-down play was an incomplete pass, forcing a punt.

Wilton ground out yards on its next possession as Hyzy, Andersen, R2 DiRocco, Zeyher and Ben Leung pounded the ball at Ridgefield behind the massive offensive line of Dante Stella, Dean Griffin, Bargon, Ciaran Smith, Camilo Galeano and Sean Soltis. After a penalty set Wilton back, the drive stalled at the Ridgefield eight-yard line.

Hyzy’s interception set up Wilton’s next scoring drive. Having already established the run game, the Warriors now took to the air. After Zeyher hit Jack DiRocco for an 18-yard pass to the Ridgefield 15, Wilton went back to its winning formula with Hyzy sweeping left to the four. Hyzy swept right on the next play for the score. The two-point conversion was good as Zeyher threw a perfect strike to R2 DiRocco in the corner of the end zone to make it 14-0 at the half.

Ridgefield showed some signs of life early in the fourth quarter, breaking a long run around left end that looked like a sure touchdown until safety Connor Burke made a beautiful touchdown-saving tackle at the Warrior 20. Ridgefield managed to score after several running plays to close the gap to 14-8.

A fired-up Wilton squad came right back with several nice running plays before Hyzy once again broke off a 47-yard touchdown run to make the score 20-8.

Wilton’s exceptional offense was matched by its tough-as-nails defense and the play of Steven Tuin, Cole Snyder, Brady Kuczo, Oliver Shulman, Oscar Telefaro, Anthony Andre and Sean Millar.

Wilton White 21, Darien White 6

Wilton White was led by Ryan Healey, who performed admirably at quarterback, as did Cole Stephenson. The Warrior running backs wore down Darien and were led by Drew Phillips (one TD), Reilly Sullivan (one TD) and Matthew Dooley (numerous tough runs resulting in extra yardage). Wilton got excellent line play from its veterans Eric Zhang, Cooper Heinemann, Jack Santomero, Griffin Morris, D.J. DiCostanzo and Stephen Kendra. Niko Kouvaris (safety/wing back/linebacker), Dominick Caratozzolo (safety) and Matthew Lamanna (safety/wing back) also played very well.

Sixth grade

Wilton Blue 12, Ridgefield Black 6

Wilton Blue opened its season with a hard-fought victory. Wilton’s defense put the first points on the board as Kyle Phillips picked off a pass at midfield and took back 50 yards for a touchdown. Wilton’s defense continued to control the game as Joey Seaman, Reilly Bingaman, Matt Graham, Cole Barnes, Thomas Sullivan and Jake Stein made tackles to stop the Ridgefield drive.

On offense, Phillips connected with Matthew Graham on several long pass plays to set up their next score. Strong line play by Jake Stein, Daniel Ottavi, Jack Ferguson, Dylan Kennedy, Liam Jenkins, Max Colburn and Isaac Dierks opened up holes for running backs Billy Ronks and Andrew Luciano. Phillips scored from five yards out to make it 12-0.

Ridgefield continued to fight back, and following a Wilton turnover, drove down the field and scored on a pass over the middle. Wilton answered with a punishing ground attack behind Phillips, Ronk and Luciano and marched down the field. Inside the five, they expected to add to their lead until a fumble at the goal line ended the drive.

Wilton’s defense would answer the call again. Big tackles by Thomas Sullivan, Cole Barnes and Max Colburn helped to shut down another Ridgefield drive, forcing them to punt. Wilton’s overpowering run game wore down the Ridgefield defense, but once again a turnover inside their own five-yard line would keep them out of the end zone. Ridgefield tried to steal the game with a frantic drive during the final minute, but Wilton’s defense refused to break and held on for the win.