Trumbull rallies from the brink to defeat Wilton



Trumbull QB Nick Roberts. (Christian Abraham/staff photographer)

Trumbull improved to 6-0 in the FCIAC with a relatively normal 32-28 win over Wilton on the Warriors turf Friday night.

OK, so it wasn’t normal. Not by a long shot.

Wilton appeared to have a win against a strong conference opponent all wrapped up after losing a close one to Staples 14-7 early in the season. Brett Phillips, who dominated on the ground with 328 yards on 27 carries and a pair of touchdowns, scored from 33 yards out to give Wilton a 28-19 lead with 2:31 left.

To use a little math, Wilton had a 91-percent win probability after Trumbull returned the kickoff to the 41 yard line.

Trumbull quarterback Nick Roberts had other ideas.

It took just three plays to go 59 yards, the third being Marc Cesare’s 1-yard plunge, to get the first six points. Things still look pretty dim at this point, onside kicks are very difficult to recover and another touchdown is far from a given even with Trumbull’s explosive offense.

The Eagles did win the ensuing onside kick and took over on their own 45 trailing 28-25 with 1:41 left and all three timeouts. Their win probability is still just at 30 percent.

Fast forward to the play of the game. Trumbull is faced with a third down from the Wilton 7-yard line with a little less than 40 seconds left. The Eagles’ chances shoot up to 66 percent.

Of course these numbers are just for fun and discussion and leave A LOT of things out of the equation:

  • Trumbull had major woes in the kicking game; Bob Maffei said afterwards his kicker, who had been kicking off a tee, had never kicked without one prior to the game. The Eagles failed on three PAT and had two field goals blocked.
  • The Warriors had not forced the Eagles to punt and had a hard time getting to Roberts in the pocket. A turnover was probably the only way – especially with all three timeouts – that Trumbull was being held out of the end zone in that situation.
  • Trumbull didn’t have to worry about deciding to kick a tying field goal with a shaky kicking game thanks to the deflection heard round the (world)  FCIAC.

14 points in 2:01. 6-0. Staples next for Trumbull.

Roberts was 29-of-46 for 510 yards, four touchdowns and a pair of interceptions. T.J. Hayduk had 12 catches for 220 yards and a pair of scores. Cesare had 16 carries for 121 yards and a touchdown.