Darien admittedly did not play its best game of the season, but it was enough to run away with a 56-29 victory over visiting Trinity Catholic on Saturday. The win kept the Blue Wave’s FCIAC championship hopes afloat and left them with an inside track at a state tournament appearance.
Fast start in second half: With his team holding just a 28-14 halftime lead against the visiting Crusaders, coach Rob Trifone indicated that his players received some “words of encouragement” during halftime.
It’s hard to say how much that affected the players, but the game was all but out of reach for Trinity before two minutes had elapsed off of the fourth quarter clock.
Darien went 73 yards in three plays, capped by a one-yard carry by Myles Ridder. On Trinity’s next possession, Tim Lochtefeld notched Darien’s lone sack of the day, resulting in a fumble that was scooped up by Mark Evanchick for the score and the 42-14 lead.
“The bottom line is Trinity played well for a young team, and we did not play well. I think our kids took them lightly,” Trifone said. “But they know that if they keep winning, they control their destiny for states.”
Darien’s passing attack ruled the day as Wyper completed 14-of-19 passes for 311 yards and three touchdowns. Two of his targets, Nick Lombardo and Griffin Ross, went over the century mark with six receptions for 180 yards and two touchdowns and eight receptions for 101 yards and one score, respectively.
Pick City: A trio of Darien defenders (Ross, John Reed and Bobby Trifone) notched an interception. Ross returned his 22 yards for the score.
Connor Amann had a pair of first half interceptions for the Crusaders. The picks were largely responsible for keeping Trinity in the game until early in the third quarter.
Big game up next: Darien (5-1, 4-1 FCIAC) tangles with Ridgefield (5-1, 3-1 FCIAC) on Saturday at 1:30 p.m. and there’s a lot on the line.
As it stands, both teams control their own destiny as it pertains to the state tournament, but a win here will be necessary to keep it that way. Additionally, both teams need help to have a shot at playing in the FCIAC championship, and a loss would all but eliminate that possibility.
Trinity still looking for first win: The Crusaders didn’t back down from the Blue Wave on Saturday, and didn’t have the look of a winless team. Their efforts were spearheaded by a monster game from Courlyn Victrum, who amassed 260 yards on 33 carries, including a 40-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
Trinity actually had a 14-7 lead on Darien going into the second quarter, and coach Don Panapada made it clear that he and his Crusaders were not in town to look for a moral victory.
“I told them that I loved the effort and that I’m proud of it, but unfortunately, it’s the sixth time I’ve said it that way,” Trinity coach Panapada said. “We go in thinking that we’re going to win. We were getting on the bus today to win the football game and for no other reason.”