Youth football: Wilton sixth graders win thriller

Wilton Youth Football teams had the following results in action from last weekend:

Fourth grade

Wilton Blue 16, Darien Blue 0

On Saturday, Wilton Blue won the game in the trenches against Darien Blue. The offensive line of Maja Driscoll, Jack Huntley, Cole Siegel, Liam Murphy, Ryan Meenan, Henry Soojian, Liam McKiernan, Liam Snyder and Will Cristini controlled the line of scrimmage, opening up holes for Charlie Keller, Ray Ferranti, Nate Jackson, Ryan Luchetta and the other backs all game long.

On its second drive, Wilton moved the ball down the field on 10 straight running plays with Jack Schwartz punching it in for the touchdown from the one-yard line. Luke Ginsburg added two points with the kick. Two drives later, Wilton used the run to set up the pass, completing a perfect 50-plus-yard pass play from Ryan Luchetta to Luke Ginsburg for the second touchdown. Ginsburg made it 16-0 with the successful kick.

Wilton’s defense came up big all day and made monster tackles when needed. Darien couldn’t get the passing game going at all with Cole Galante and Ray Ferranti breaking up every pass attempt. The Warriors recorded 14 tackles for a loss from 10 players – Jack Schwartz, Cael Dexter, Ryan Stocker, Connor Boland, CJ Young, Cole Siegel, Jaxon Thomas, Liam Snyder, Ryan Luchetta and Nate Jackson. The Warriors rebounded well from last week’s loss and re-established themselves as contenders.

Sixth grade

Wilton Blue 12, New Canaan Black 7

In a game that felt more like a November playoff game than an early-season match-up, rivals Wilton Blue and New Canaan Black met up on Saturday night at Fujitani Field for what was a great football game.

The game started out as a defensive battle with the first half completely dominated by both team’s defenses. On the Wilton side, linebackers Xander Petrides, Quinn Stengrim and Griffen Turner delivered punishing blows against the New Canaan runners while defensive tackle Jamie Cristini disrupted the backfield, breaking through double team blocks on almost every play. On the other side of the ball New Canaan’s defense returned the favor and frustrated Wilton’s running attack with unrelenting blitzes.

The first half ended with no score and very little offense.

New Canaan started the second half with the ball but was not able to get much going on offense and was forced to punt. Wilton started their first drive of the third quarter on their own 39-yard line. Runs by Christopher Capone and Andrew Acosta-Rua and a 20-yard reception by Caleb Rath moved Wilton to the New Canaan 20-yard line, only to see the drive stall. New Canaan’s offense was once again smothered and after deciding to not punt and go for it on fourth down, Wilton got the ball back on the New Canaan 35-yard line.

A quick screen from Acosta-Rua to Capone moved the ball to the New Canaan 20, only to turn it over on the next play on a bad exchange. Another defensive stop Wilton, this time with a key tackle from Nicholas Walden, forced New Canaan to punt once again. With a little over four minutes left in the game, Wilton started on its own 40-yard line and scored the first touchdown of the evening on a 60-yard pass reception by Quinn Stengrim. Wilton did not convert the point-after.

Now it was New Canaan’s turn. With just two minutes left in the game, New Canaan scored its first touchdown of the evening and with the conversion of the extra point took the lead 7-6.

With two minutes left in the game, Wilton struck fast with a 45-yard pass from Acosta-Rua to Turner. Three quick completions moved Wilton to the six-yard line, where Capone was able to get out of bounds and stop the clock with 10 seconds left. A run by Acosta-Rua behind the offensive line of Andrew Kress, Jamie Cristini, Alexander Dempster, Luke Totten and fullback Xander Petrides put this hard-fought game away.

Seventh grade

Wilton Blue 27, Fairfield Black 12

Wilton Blue beat Fairfield Black 27-12 on a steamy Sunday afternoon. The Warriors running attack was in power mode from the first series of the game when they produced a 70-yard drive over the entire first quarter of play.

The buffalo line of Matt Giller, Quinn Kiss, Dylan Smith, Connor Robertson, Michael Breen, Eddie Keller, Craig Hyzy, Daniel Doran and Ben Calabrese dominated the trenches and Kevin Hyzy capped off the long drive with a one-yard sneak.

Jake Sommer, Matt Claps and Sean Wisemen led the rushing attack again in the second drive, which ended on a 25-yard pass from Hyzy to Mikey Longo.

After a Fairfield score on two long runs, Wilton went back on attack behind the blocking of Michael Whitman, Joe Schiavone, Michael Munrow and Ciara Garcia, which allowed Sommer to gallop 65 yards to paydirt.

Wilton led 21-12 at the end of the third quarter. The Wilton defense harassed the Fairfield offense for the remainder of the game, with sacks by Keller, Robertson and Breen, numerous deflected passes by Smith, Nevin Belanger and Calabrese, and a brilliant interception run back by George DiRocco.

The Warriors dominated again in the fourth quarter with an eight-minute drive with multiple grinding runs by Claps, Sommer, Hyzy and Wiseman. Claps closed out the scoring with a two-yard plunge to cap off the 27-12 win.

Eighth grade

Wilton White 22, Darien 6

Wilton White stepped on the gridiron at Royle School in Darien on a crisp Saturday morning with one goal in mind — keeping its undefeated record alive. It was a goal the Warriors achieved after solidly dominating Darien, pounding out a 22-6 win and building their record to 3-0. Wilton’s defense was exceptionally impressive, holding Darien to only one earned first down the entire game.

Darien started the game on offense and received a quick punch in the mouth after Wilton’s Matt Gulbin stopped the first run attempt with a smothering sack and loss of yards. Wilton’s defensive line of Gulbin, Mike Burton, Howie Long, Michael Coffey and Evan Kauh held strong, forcing a quick three and out to give Wilton the ball on its own 40-yard line after Trevor Martinez’ punt return.

Wilton’s first offensive drive took the remainder of the entire first quarter after more flags flew than at the United Nations, costing Wilton dozens of yards and at one point putting the offense at first down and nearly 40 yards to go. Wilton’s offense didn’t fold under pressure, and after a beautiful 30-yard pass connection from John Stanley to Jimmy McKiernan, Wilton ended the first quarter with first and goal on Darien’s two-yard line.

The second quarter started with a quick dive touchdown by Sean Sullivan and Ryan van Heyst kicking it through the uprights for an additional two points, giving Wilton an 8-0 lead. Another quick three and out by Darien was created thanks to a third-down crushing tackle by Howie Long on an outside sweep attempt by Darien. Wilton regained the ball and scored once again by a beautiful 36-yard touchdown run by Mack Kepner, a rookie who has quickly become one to watch on offense.

The third quarter was a thing of beauty by Wilton as powerful blocking by Gulbin, Max Greenberg and Evan Kauh allowed for the repeated one-two punch of Sullivan powering through the defensive line followed by Martines breaking ankles, as the Wilton offense easily marching to a third touchdown for a 22-0 lead.

Darien was able to hold the ball for only two plays until Stanley made a beautiful interception, giving Wilton the ball back. The Warriors’ only three and out followed, but after a perfect punt by Howie Long, Darien was forced to start on its own two-yard line. On third and five, Ryan Witty broke through Darien’s defensive line for a sack that caused a fumble, which recovered by Long, giving Wilton the ball once again and crumbling any hope by Darien of a close game.

In the final minutes, Darien’s offense showed great resolve, taking the ball to the air and eventually scoring to bring the final score to 22-6, keeping Wilton White’s unbeaten record alive.