Football: Warriors look to rebound after loss
The Wilton High football team reached its high watermark early against Staples on Friday night at Fujitani Field.
The Warriors held the Wreckers to a three-and-out on the game's first series, and then drove into Westport territory before getting stopped on third- and fourth-down short-yardage situations.
A nine-yard sack by Tyler Previte and an illegal procedure penalty put the Wreckers in a third-and-21 hole.
For the Warriors, though, it was all down hill from there.
Quarterback Daniel Thompson (12 of 14 for 174 yards) threw a pass that slipped right through the hands of one of his receivers into the arms of another, Connor Lonergan, good for 27 yards and a first down.
On the following play, Harrison Levi scored his first of four rushing touchdowns as he burst through the middle of the line and outraced everybody 40 yards to the end zone with 5:43 left in the first quarter.
The rout was on as the Wreckers scored six more times to overwhelm Wilton 49-3.
"They were everything we thought they would be," said Wilton head coach Bruce Cunningham. "Their defense was big and fast. It was outstanding. And their quarterback had all day to throw. I'll tell you one thing — I've been coaching against Staples since 1996 and its's the best throwing display I've ever seen from them. Their receivers made every move in space and they caught everything thrown their way."
Wilton dropped to 1-1 with the loss. The Warriors travel to Fairfield Warde for a 10:30 game on Saturday morning.
"Right now, we gotta bounce back fast from this. We gotta get back up, gotta get back to work and get better starting tomorrow," said Cunningham.
Staples assaulted the Warriors for four more touchdowns in the first half — two by Levi (110-yards rushing for the day), one on a spectacular catch by Jake Thaw on a beautifully thrown 47-yard TD pass and another on a 13-yard TD reception by Lonergan. Staples was up 3-43 at the half.
There was no let up to start the second half either as eight runs by Levi yielded his fourth TD with 6:19 left in the third quarter. Tim Luciano added the final score on a one-yard plunge in the fourth.
Wilton had its glimmer of offense in the second quarter. Down 14-0, the Warriors put together a 10-play drive that included an 11-yard third-down Brian Calabrese-to-Robbie Hermann completion and a 35-yard jaunt by Harvey Alexander, the only real offensive thrusts Wilton had all day. Will Sullivan kicked the 27-yard field goal and early in the second quarter Wilton was in the game.
But then the story of the day, the Staples defense, took over. No more pass completions, no more runs of over five yards — nothing but three and outs until a running clock halfway throughout the fourth quarter announced that the game was virtually over.
Alexander led the Warrior offense with 55 rushing yards o 10 carries. Wilton got solid efforts from its second unit, with QB Jimmy O'Brien picking up 31 yards on two carries and tailback Alex Acosta-Rua getting 34 yards on six carries.
The defense was led by Drew Herlyn and Andrew Luciano with eight tackles each, while Kyle Shifrin was in on seven tackles and Kyle Phillips and Alexander had a part in five tackles each. Luciano and Tyler Previte each had a sack.