Football: Defense dominates as Wilton tops McMahon, goes to 2-0

The Wilton High football team took advantage of several Brien McMahon miscues to build a 21-7 first-quarter lead, and the defense took it from there with a dominating performance as the Warriors beat the Senators 28-7 on Friday night in Norwalk.

Wilton is 2-0 for the first time since 2011.

“I thought we played the run real well again tonight. I think we got pressure on them at times,” said head coach Bruce Cunningham. “I thought we tackled well. I think that was the key. We’ve played these guys in the past (and) they’ve given us a lot of problems with their speed and their ability to play in the open field.”

In the end, it was the Wilton defense that controlled the game — forcing five McMahon turnovers and setting up Wilton’s third TD on a botched punt play by the Senators.

The Warrior defense wasted no time, scoring the game’s first touchdown just 23 seconds into the contest. McMahon received and started on its own 28, and on the first play from scrimmage fumbled, with AJ Pykosz picking up the ball and rumbling 30 yards for a touchdown.

The Senators (0-2) answered back with a 56-yard TD catch by Eric Day, who got behind a defender and ran under a perfectly thrown ball by Chris Druin, before breaking a tackle at the 10 to reach the end zone. The kick made it 7-7.

Wilton responded with its best drive of the night, going 78 yards, highlighted by an 18-yard run by Harvey Alexander and 12-yard pass completion from Matt D’Elisa to Robbie Hermann. Another completion, this time to Alexander, was good for 12 yards down to the Senators’ 25-yard line.

A seven-yard run by D’Elisa and penalty for a hit to the helmet moved the ball to the 12. Will Litton took the ball for six yards to the one-yard line, and D’Elisa snuck it in from there to put Wilton back on top, 14-7, with 4:56 left in the first quarter.

McMahon’s next drive was killed on a combined sack by Pykosz and Marty Zoruba. On the ensuing punt, the snap was high and the punter was tackled by Hermann and TJ Kedzierski, giving the Warriors the ball at the McMahon seven-yard line.

Two plays later, Litton ran the ball in from four yards out, putting the Warriors up 21-7 with 3:15 left in the quarter.

McMahon had the ball in Wilton territory twice in the seconds quarter. The first time, coming off an interception, ended on a fumbled snap, which was recovered by Pykocz. The Senators later drove to the Wilton 40, but a first-down pass deflected off a two receivers and into the arms of Chris Hyzy for the interception with 2:43 left in the half.

McMahon’s defense was equally impressive in stopping Wilton’s run game, as the Warriors only had a couple of first downs in the second quarter.

The second half was a defensive battle, with little offense by either team. The Warriors got two more interceptions — by Kyle Shifrin and Kedzierski.

The big play of the second half was a 54-yard run by D’Elisa down to the McMahon 13-yard line, which led to his one-yard sneak to make it 28-7 with 7:07 left.

“We bogged down a little bit. We did some things we shouldn’t have done,” said Cunningham of the team’s offense. “We’ve got stuff to clean up because we can’t have penalties in crucial situations. We can’t miss blocks. Some times we’re in the right play but we’re not blocking it right, so we have to go and fix some of those things.”

Next up for Wilton is Staples (2-0) on Friday night at 7 in Westport.

“I’m happy with where we are now. I’m happy with how we’re playing. I like the way we’re playing defense right now,” said the coach. “On offense we’ve still got to sharpen some things up, especially in the passing game. The timing is off right now so we have to work hard on that this week.”