St. Joseph’s first breath turned out to be its last gasp.
After doing something rare, going up on Darien 3-0 on an early field goal, Mitch Pryor lit the offensive fires, and the Wave Ball defense smothered St. Joe’s flickering flame in a 42-10 victory at Darien High on Saturday.
I mean our O-Line is clicking on all cylinders right now.
— Mitch Pryor
As for the smothering?
“Kind of the running joke of the Coach Trifone defense, is there’s very few blitzes, we don’t change up a lot of stuff; we line up the same way,” said the Wave’s Rob Trifone of the Darien defense that continues to deliver on its modest promise. “But we practice that scheme all the time. So our kids are comfortable in our own skill.”
And as for the blue flames: it was Pryor with three bull rushing touchdowns, eating yardage on the run, then finishing each time crashing in with blockers for short gain scores; Patrick Burke catching a 20-yard scoring pass from QB Jack Joyce; Tyler Herget with a fumble recovery in the end zone; and junior Andrew Lucas running in a score for 10 yards late in the fourth quarter.
Austin Hagander kicked six PAT.
“I mean our O-Line is clicking on all cylinders right now,” said Prior. “When they get me in the second level, one guy’s not bringing me down. So, I’ve got to give all the credit to them.”
Darien, rated the top team in the state, wins its 28th game in a row and improves to 3-0, while the Cadets, beaters of New Canaan in the opening game of the season, go to 2-1.
“We have some new guys who didn’t necessarily play last year, like Willy Keating, John Lochtefeld, Christian Evans, and having Chuck Zuro back is a real big deal,” said Wave lineman Mike Neary of his compatriots of the crushing cadre. “We came into the this thinking we could dominate, and we did.”
St. Joseph had an initial series in the first quarter that Darien thwarted with its backs to the goal line. And the Cadets decided to make the best of it with a field goal and the 3-0 lead. Luke Kirby made the kick.
Pryor scored his first — sparking the Wave’s first series with a 35-yard rush — and Darien took the lead it never let go of five minutes after the Cadets kicked itself onto the board.
Early in the second quarter there was bit of fun in the St. Joe end zone when Joyce connected with Burke on a bomb down the middle.
Burke got it to just short of the end zone, nearly finishing a 50-plus yard strike, but got tackled and lost the ball.
Never fear, Herget is here, was how it turned out though, with Herget dropping on the loose ball as it rolled end over end into the end zone.
Darien led 14-3 with Hagander’s kick, and never looked back.
Darien led 21-7 at the half.
Davids Summers had the most spectacular play of the game, firing a 35-yard pass over the middle to Jesse Bike who made the big catch in the end zone with a leap into the air for St. Joe’s only touchdown, coming in the second quarter.
“Well, Joyce hit me on the skinny, and I thought I was in the end zone, but it got knocked out,” said Burke. “And luckily Tyler was there to jump on it.”