Big first half helps Wilton beat Warde, 47-28

A superb first half was enough to withstand a so-so second half.

After scoring 27 unanswered points in the opening 24 minutes, the Wilton High football team was able to come away with a 47-28 homecoming victory over Fairfield Warde on Saturday afternoon.

The Warriors improved their record to 2-1 while Warde dipped to 1-2.

Wilton did most of its damage on the ground. Halfback Drew Phillips ran for 120 yards and two touchdowns, and fullback Tyler Previte added 100 yards and a touchdown run.

Following a good return by Dom Polito to midfield on the opening kickoff, Phillips started the scoring with a one-yard run. Chris Tienken added the extra point to give Wilton an early 7-0 lead.

A third-down sack by Wilton defensive end Kyle Jordan forced Warde to punt from its end zone, and Andrew Luciano's return set up the hosts at Warde's 17-yard line. After Phillips rumbled for 12 yards down to the Warde five-yard line, Wilton quarterback Kyle Phillips ran for a touchdown on the next play.

Aided by a long kickoff return, Warde reached the Wilton 37-yard line. But Mike DiCostanzo sacked Gulbin for an 11-yard loss and the Mustangs were unable to keep the possession going, returning the ball to Wilton on a punt.

A pass interference penalty on Warde kept the Warriors' drive alive, with Previte finally scoring from four yards out for a 21-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Kyle Phillips injured his shoulder while trying to make a tackle on defense and was replaced at quarterback by Jimmy O'Brien, who threw a 22-yard touchdown pass to tight end Mike Coffey in the second quarter. The extra point was no good, leaving the Warriors ahead 27-0 with under four minutes left before halftime.

Warde advanced to the Wilton 16-yard line on the ensuing possession, but safety Thomas Costello made his second interception of the game and the Warriors ran out the clock.

Warde got on the board early in the third quarter, as Gulbin tossed a two-yard touchdown pass to tight end Jack McKenna, cutting Wilton's lead to 27-6.

Previte responded with a 75-yard run for a touchdown, upping Wilton's lead to 33-6 midway through the third period.

A 10-yard run and a 60-yard punt return gave Warde back-t0-back touchdowns, helping the visitors close within 33-20 going into the fourth quarter.

But Wilton went on a 13-play, 80-yard drive that culminated in Drew Phillips' two-yard touchdown run with 5:25 to play.

The Mustangs then scored on a one-yard run before Previte ended Warde's comeback attempt by intercepting a pass and returning it 59 yards for the final touchdown.