Darien brought rocks to a gunfight.
But it wasn’t the Wave’s fault it got blown away by undefeated Staples 63-28 at home on Saturday.
Because as far as the FCIAC goes, it has only been no-gauge weapons that have been available to every team in the league that has played Staples so far this year.
In 2012, it’s the Wreckers (6-0) with all the guns.
They’ve got a million weapons.
— Rob Trifone
“I told the kids, this, now — I didn’t tell them all week — that, in 34 years (Staples) is the best high school football team I’ve ever seen.” said Darien coach Rob Trifone after a tense, and inspirational — and long — huddle following one of the most lopsided losses the Wave (3-3) has suffered in many years. “They’ve got a million weapons.”
And the Wreckers have size.
“Not just enormous, but skill,” Trifone said. “Very, very skilled linemen.”
Darien fell behind 14-7 in the opening quarter and trailed 28-7 at the half.
This felt almost manageable compared to how things looked after the third stanza, when the visitors blasted their way to a 42-7 lead.
“When you watch them (Staples),” added Trifone of preparing for this tilt, “you have to turn it off and say: was that a highlight tape? Or was that one game?”
Staples leads the league and has been polling the upper ranks of the top 10 in the state all season.
For Darien, Henry Baldwin — looking more composed and sure than he has recently — threw one beauty of a 39-yard scoring strike to Ian Vanderhorn for first blood in the first quarter, landed a 53-yard touchdown pass to Peter Gesualdi, and a 48-yard scoring pass to Nick Lombardo; all of them beauties in fact.
Vanderhorn ran in a two yard TD.
C.J. Raia kicked three PAT points and Daly Hebert one.
Staples, in order of execution, scored on a 40-yard run by Joey Zelkowitz, on a three yard run by Zelkowitz, a 10 yard toss from QB Jack Massie to James Frusciante, a two yard run by Nick Kelly, a four-yard toss from Massie to Kelly, an 83-yard pass from Massie to Zelkowitz, a 73-yard rush by Massie himself, a 34-yard run by Jack Greenwald and a 29-yard run by Teddy Coogan.
Liam Gilmore kicked six PAT, while Mike Gifford kicked three.
Said Trifone: “By playing teams like that, tough as that loss is, it makes you a better football team.
“Because you aren’t playing anyone like that anymore.”
Maybe nobody is, anywhere?
“There aren’t too many teams in the United States like that,” said Trifone.
Darien had its moments.
“At times we played well,” Trifone said. “There’s no question about it. And at other times it looked like we never ran a tackling drill in our life.”
There was no let up as the whole show became a little punchy in the high scoring fourth quarter.
“And he kept his starters in, you know, a little too long,” Trifone said of Wreckers veteran coach Marce Petroccio; and the two coaches do have a protracted rivalry, going back to when Trifone coached at McMahon, and before that too. “You know, it’s tough, because, I’ve been on both ends of a game like this.
“As a coach on the other side, you kind of wait for the other guy to put his JV’s in as well; kind of conceding, if you will.”
There was no concession in the 21-21 fourth.
“But, you’re down 49-21 and you are trying to rally towards the end of the season,” Trifone added. “So, it is what it is.”