Ridgefield vs St. Joseph preview

St. Joseph running back Mufasa Abdul-Basir and Ridgefield tight end Andrew Chuma.

St. Joseph running back Mufasa Abdul-Basir and Ridgefield tight end Andrew Chuma.

St. Joseph Head Coach Joe Della Vecchia and Ridgefield Head Coach Kevin Callahan have known each other almost their entire lives.

Growing up down the street from each other as kids and working together when Callahan was the at coach Notre Dame of Fairfield and Della Vecchia was his assistant, the two will not need much time to get reacquainted Saturday when their two teams meet in pivotal FCIAC game in Trumbull at 1:30 p.m.

The Cadets are coming off two hard-fought victories including a win on a Hail Mary last week against Fairfield Prep and know they will be in for more of the same when they meet the Tigers.

“I expect it to be like our first two games, tough and physical,” Della Vecchia said. “We run similar systems and I think that will be benficial since we practice it all year and the kids know it well.”

The Cadets are currently in the top 10 of both the Coaches and Media polls, a place Ridgefield would love to find themselves.

A win Saturday and it just may happen.

“I expect a team that is in the top 10 in the state, are extremely talented and tough top to bottom,” Callahan said of St. Joe’s. “We run similar offense and it will be challenging for both offenses. This game will come down to which D stands up the best. I think it will be a very competitive game.”

The Tigers have been a consistent 8  or 9 win team the last few seasons, but have aspirations of playing for a FCIAC title as well as qualifying for the Class LL playoffs.

Picking up a win at St. Joe’s will be a huge boost for the Tigers, who face Notre-Dame West Haven next week followed by a suddenly interesting matchup against Harding in two weeks.

The Cadets have Darien next week in what will be third big game in as many weeks if they can win Saturday.

Della Vecchia is confident his core group of seniors will not suffer a let down after last week’s dramatic victory.

“I always worry about a let down after a win but, so far, the past two days have been pretty decent practices,” Della Vecchia said.
“We have a lot of goals that we are trying to accomplish. I think anytime you have seniors who remember how last year ended and have goals and know how to meet those goals we will be successful.”


Scott Ericson