How does a team clinging to a winning record react when its opponents fire a four-touchdown effort by their quarterback its way? By responding with its QB rushing for two TDs and throwing for two, while its No. 2 feature back rushes for two scores and makes one of the touchdown grabs.
That was Ludlowe’s formula Friday night in reaching the six-win plateau for the second time in school history. Ludlowe went 6-4 in 2009 by winning six of its last seven games.
The Falcons’ 42-40 victory over Stamford on Friday night – is smoke still wafting out of the pistol? – moved their record to 6-4, casting Vinnie Camera’s first year as coach in Fairfield as a success. Black Knights’ quarterback Jalen Brown rushed for four TDs. Brown hurt Ludlowe in the air, too. He was 9-for-15 for 151 yards with one touchdown pass.
Brown’s counterpart on the Falcons, Matt White, was involved in four of his team’s touchdowns, and Jimmy Gasper was the running back who ran for 3- and 6-yard TDs and caught one for 30 yards and a score. Gasper has taken over as the complementary rushing partner with White since Warren Davis went down with an injury in October.
In this shootout, the last team with the ball did win – Ludlowe ran out the clock after recovering Stamford’s onsides kickoff attempt with 2:20 to play.
Despite Brown’s gangbuster performance and Stamford running back Cameron Webb’s 217-yard rushing assault, Black Knights coach Jamar Greene viewed the game as a lost opportunity. “Problem is, we keep making stupid mistakes. We jump offsides, we give up an interception in the end zone, we don’t recover the onsides kicks after it was in our hands,” Greene said. “We did not do the little things to win the football game.”
Another opportunity for Stamford was a fumble recovery by the Black Knights on one of their punts with 2:45 left in the third quarter. They took over at the Ludlowe 42 yard line trailing the Falcons by 28-27. Ludlowe’s defense, keyed by a Brown pass knocked down by Alex Zeko, forced Stamford to punt. That change of possession led to a score by White in the first minute of the fourth quarter for a 35-27 lead. That scoring drive began with a 40-yard run by Nick Innaimo.
Greene did not mention that Stamford was added to the growing list of teams unable to contain White. Ludlowe’s senior captain had TD runs of 21 and 13 yards, on successive drives, as well as throwing to Gasper for his receiving touchdown and to Patrick O’Leary for a 16-yard TD that gave Ludlowe a 14-13 lead in the second quarter. For the game, White carried 21 times and gained 205 yards. White was 5 of 8 for 93 yards, with his two touchdown passes and one interception (by Brown).
Brown was guilty of one interception as well. Ludlowe’s Bryan Pacewicz picked him off in the first quarter with the Falcons’ up 7-0.