Wilton teams advance with playoff victories

Jack Schwartz runs behind his offensive line during the Wilton seventh grade team's playoff win last weekend.

Jack Schwartz runs behind his offensive line during the Wilton seventh grade team's playoff win last weekend.

Contributed photo / Wilton Youth Football

The following games were recently played by Wilton Youth Football teams.

8th Grade

Wilton 19, Westport 14

A fourth-quarter touchdown helped Wilton rally to beat Westport in the Fairfield County Football League playoffs.

Westport opened the game with a 70-yard touchdown drive. Wilton struggled early on offense, but by the second quarter momentum started to build. After strong runs by Todd Woodring, Lorenzo Caratozzolo and Harry Polito, Luke DiRocco connected with Woodring on a 58-yard touchdown pass. Wilton converted the extra point and tied the score at 7-7.

The Wilton defense stiffened and held Westport to two first downs the remainder of the game. Strong plays by Ethan Gallo, Colin Gilmor, George Papakosmas, Flynn Shipman, Barrett Leary, Polito, and Liam Kiernan slowed the Westport offense with several tackles for loss. Thomas McDonald intercepted a Westport pass to keep the game tied at halftime.

Wilton started the second half on offense. After a couple of first downs, Westport intercepted a pass and returned it for a touchdown, taking a 14-7 lead. The Warriors responded with a long possession and great blocking by Gabe Cronley, Eli Meltzer and Cole Stevenson resulted in Woodring’s nine-yard touchdown run. Wilton attempted a two-point conversion but the pass was incomplete, leaving Westport ahead 14-13.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Caratozzolo recovered a Westport fumble and Wilton capitalized. On a critical fourth-down play, DiRocco connected with Caratozzolo in the end zone for a six-yard touchdown pass. Wilton failed on the two-point attempt but took a 19-14 lead with a minute to play.

The aggressive Wilton defense quickly forced four incomplete passes, and the offense took the victory formation to close out the victory.

7th Grade

Wilton Blue 22, Ridgefield 0

Following an unbeaten regular season, Wilton opened the playoffs with a quarterfinal victory over Ridgefield.

Wilton used a familiar tactic to get the win against the Tigers, capitalizing on long drives and shutdown defense.

The Warriors got the ball first and orchestrated a methodical drive that took up the majority of the first quarter. The offensive line of Maja Driscoll, Cole Galante, Jack Huntley, Liam McKiernan, Cole Siegel, Henry Soojian, Jaxon Thomas, and CJ Young took control in the trenches, making space for Jack Schwartz, Cael Dexter, and Liam Snyder to move the ball down the field. Schwartz scored the first touchdown on a short run, putting the Warriors ahead 6-0.

From there the defense stepped up, holding the Tigers on each of their drives and forcing them to punt. Siegel and Driscoll had critical sacks, wreaking havoc in the Ridgefield backfield. Schwartz added a punishing tackle on an early Ridgefield drive; Ray Ferranti batted down a pass at the line of scrimmage; Emmet Kane and Ethan Bailey had multiple pass breakups; and Will Cristini, Ryan Luchetta and Galante added key tackles.

Coming out of the half, Wilton’s offense got moving again, driving down the field behind great run blocking from Ferranti, Charlie Keller and Dexter. Snyder punched it in from the one-yard line for the second Warrior touchdown, and Dexter added the two-point conversion, putting Wilton up 14-0.

In the fourth quarter, Wilton tacked on another touchdown when Dexter scored from short yardage. Ferranti added the two-point conversion on a pass from Snyder to end the scoring.

5th Grade

Ridgefield 31, Wilton 30

Ridgefield rallied to edge Wilton in a quarterfinal game, winning in overtime on an extra-point run following the tying touchdown.

After a slow first series on offense, Wilton’s defense came up big with a Colin Faherty fumble recovery. The Warriors got moving with a 30-yard dash from Denny Dustin and another strong run from Brady Corry on a pitch sweep. Wilton took the ball inside the Ridgefield 30-yard line before the drive stalled.

Back on defense, the Warriors forced a punt with punishing tackles from Nick Skillin, Matthew Fogarty, August Furman, Dustin, and Faherty. Behind solid blocking from Michael Lenz, Wyatt Hoffstatter, Dylan Flanagan, Emmett Sommer, Mark Whitman, Furman, Charlie Heffernan, Jack Cook, and Cody Korpan, Skillin was able to string several runs together before scoring on a 45 yard touchdown burst. Jaxon Lin’s conversion kick put Wilton ahead 8-0.

Nico Mercado, Trey Rivera and Dustin all contributed tackles, and Henry Snow stopped the Tigers with a fumble recovery, discovering a football between his knees when the referees pulled apart the pile.

The remainder of the first half featured great tackling from Cooper Rekow, Dustin, Korpan, and Sommer, and a pass defelection by Corry.

The Warriors’ defense continued playing tough throughout the second half with tackles from Oliver Sims, Ryan Wixtead, Michael Duarte, Rekow, Lin, Dustin, Heffernan, Snow, and Mercado, and an interception by Korpan. But Ridgefield was able to score a touchdown, and the game went into overtime.

The scoring bonanza began with a Ridgefield touchdown before Wilton answered on Skillin’s touchdown pass to Heffernan and Lin’s kick, tying the game at 16-16.

On the next series, a Skillin touchdown run and Lin’s kick put Wilton up 24-16. The Tigers answered to tie the score, and then a Skillin run gave the Warriors a 30-24 lead.

Despite Wilton’s defensive effort, Ridgefield was able to score one more time and win the game on a walkoff, point-after run.

3rd/4th Grade

Wilton Blue 20, New Canaan Black 19

The unbeaten Warriors edged New Canaan to advance to the FCFL title game.

Wilton got on the board first, with a drive that featured great blocking by Evan Ash, Bly Christianson, Matthew Polito, Drew Huntley, Amelia Christianson, Oliver Mills, Lawson Onthank, Alex Trichilo, Henry Leary, and Peter Wolff. Sawyer Fasano, Finn Snyder and Andrew Sherman moved the ball down the field, behind great blocking from their teammates. Fasano put the Warriors on the board with a short touchdown run, giving Wilton a 6-0 lead.

The Rams answered with a big play for a touchdown, taking a 7-6 lead into halftime. New Canaan extended its lead early in the third quarter on another big play, going ahead 13-6.

The Warriors responded with strong running and blocking from Max Weigold, Brayden Preisano, Henry Leary, and Sherman. Fasano scored Wilton’s second touchdown on a long sweep play. Weigold ran it in for the extra point, tying the game at 13-13.

Late in the third quarter, the Rams went ahead again on another long play, but the Wilton defense stuffed the extra-point try, leaving New Canaan with a 19-13 advantage.

After the teams traded possessions, the Warriors got the ball and moved downfield with heart and hard work. Sherman scored the tying touchdown with a strong run up the middle, and Fasano added the extra point for a 20-19 lead.

Wilton’s defense made a stand, shutting down New Canaan when it mattered most. The defense was strong all game with key tackles and great hustle from Will Kidd, Cash Kaiser, Liam O'Sullivan, Topher Jackson, Colton Korpan, Taylor Lishnoff, Aiden Cocca, Vin Kelly, George DuBrock, Jason Scanlan, Callum Gemelli, and Liam Brokaw. On that last defensive stand, Weigold, Snyder, Fasano, Kaiser, and Korpan all made critical tackles to preserve the win.