Wilton Youth Football teams advance in playoffs

Wilton Youth Football teams had the following results Fairfield County Football League action this past weekend:

Third grade

Wilton 26, Westport 20

Saturday afternoon saw yet another win by the undefeated Wilton third grade tackle football team, this time over the Westport Wreckers in the playoff opener.

A strong offensive line including Max Totten, Quint Furman, Hunter Lishnoff and Curtis Jackson allowed quarterback Charlie Calabrese to start the Warriors off with a huge run to score an early first touchdown. With the ball in Westport’s hands, Marco Chila, assisted by Will Byrnes, Blake Ongley and Josh Meltzer, combined to form a tackling machine for an overall yardage loss by the Wreckers, with Kieran Wiseman then causing a fumble that was recovered by Wilton. With Wilton back on offense, Craig O’Neill had a big run to the endzone, with a two-point conversion added on for good measure, to put Wilton up 14-0.

The second quarter saw Westport score an early touchdown but the Wreckers were stopped from adding the additional two points by Emma Van Heyst’s excellent defense. With the ball inching towards Wilton’s end zone, Grant Stein made a big tackle to turn the ball back to Wilton on downs. A huge pass by Calabrese caught by Theo Satrazemis ended the half with a score of 14-6.

Jake Padilla started the Warriors off strong in the second half with two big runs resulting in yet another touchdown for Wilton, making it 20-6. The half continued with more running action by Trevien Goldman and Mason Behar and a crucial catch and run by Charlie Roy to bring the ball to the Wreckers’ 10-yard line. Calabrese faked a pass and ran the ball into the endzone, bringing the score to 26-6 at the end of the third quarter.

Westport scored a touchdown in the fourth quarter, but the strong Wilton defense, including Evan Christianson, Phillip Mouracade, William McDonald and Lincoln Jones, stopped the extra point, ending in a game with a 26-20 Wilton victory.

Fourth grade

Wilton Blue 20, Aspetuck 13

Wilton’s offense came out strong on Saturday evening, scoring 20 unanswered points in the first half and then holding on for the win.

The first touchdown came on a beautiful pass from Cael Dexter to a wide-open Luke Ginsburg, who ran away from the defenders for the score. Ginsburg followed with a successful kick for the two-point conversion.

On their next possession, the Warriors took just two plays to get on the scoreboard when Will Cristini scrambled 40 yards up the sideline for a touchdown, behind great blocking from Liam McKiernan, Ryan Meenan, Henry Soojian, Connor Boland and Cole Galante.

The next possession looked almost identical, this time with Nate Jackson taking the handoff and racing 40 yards for the touchdown.

The defense was solid all game with great tackles by Cole Siegel, Liam Snyder, Ryan Stocker, Jaxon Thomas, CJ Young, Jack Huntley, Ryan Luchetta and Liam Murphy. The ground game came through in the second half to control the clock, with strong running from Charlie Keller, Ray Ferranti and Jack Schwartz. Aspetuck got on the scoreboard late, but the Warriors held on for the win, 20-13.

Fifth grade

Wilton Blue 14, Ridgefield 0

Wilton Blue traveled to Ridgefield on a cold, rainy night and got the job done. The defense shut down Ridgefield just as they did the week prior against Westport.

The ‘don’t mess’ defensive line that did not allow for any first downs in the first half consisted of Jack Lauricella, George Papakosmas, Ethan Gallo, Lorenzo Caratozzolo and Thomas McDonald. The offense was led by quarterback Luke DiRocco, who methodically moved the ball up and down the field with the support of Harry Polito, Henry Roy, Carter Stephenson and Todd Woodring. Despite the dominating effort by Wilton, the score at halftime was 0-0.

The determination of the Warriors became evident in the second half. Eli Patania, Gavin Pierson, Brody Hess, Jack Williams, Conner Wetzel and Dillon Bhutani played stifling defense. Woodring and Polito cut through the Ridgefield defense, resulting in a one-yard touchdown run by DiRocco.

On Ridgefield’s next possession, Williams sacked the quarterback on fourth down. The offense took over, again strategically advancing downfield, culminating with a one-yard TD run by Woodring, who ended the game with an impressive 123 yards rushing.

Caratozzolo had two sacks. Topping off the defensive dominance were game-ending sacks by Polito and Liam Kiernan.

Eighth grade

Wilton White 24, Darien Blue 12

Wilton White opened the playoffs with a decisive victory at home on Saturday evening. Wilton’s offense started with the ball and relied on its punishing ground game to wear down Darien’s defense. Running backs Sean Sullivan, Mack Kepner and Trevor Martines took turns clipping off five-plus yards per carry behind the blocking of Michael Coffey, Evan Kauh and Michael Burton, with quarterback John Stanley running the option to perfection. Stanley finished the drive on a QB sneak for a touchdown. Ryan vanHyest made the extra point to complete a drive the lasted almost the entire first quarter.

Wilton got the ball right back on a Kepner interceptionn, and five plays later Martines scored on a nifty 15-yard run. Darien’s next possession was a three and out thanks to Matt Gulbin’s tackles for loss on both first and third downs. Wilton’s next drive  featured Stanley’s fearless running and a laser of a throw on fourth down to Jimmy McKiernan to keep the drive alive. Sullivan finished the drive on a powerful 10-yard touchdown scamper. Vanhyest was good on all three extra points of the half to make the score 24-0. Vanhyest also contributed on defense with an incredible over-the-shoulder interception to end the half.

The second half did see some scoring from Darien, but Wilton’s defense continued to dictate the flow of the game, with Andre Long playing tough run defense and defensive end EJ Fasano pressuring the QB for several tackles behind the line. Ryan Witty was a force in the middle of the defensive line, filling up gaps and moving along the line to make tackles on sweep plays.

As has been the case all year, this was a full team effort with Will Rath making a touchdown-saving tackle and Nolan Graham blanking the Darien receivers. Quinn O’Connor played tough minutes along the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and was a factor in several long runs by the Warriors. Max Greenberg opened huge holes on the offensive line against Darien players much bigger than him and receiver Mattias Onnerud provided several key downfield blocks.

With the 24-12 victory, Wilton moves on to face New Canaan Black on Saturday.