QB Jack’s Back: And Wave back in business with quarters win

Class LL Quarterfinals: Wave 30, Hornets 10


Jack Joyce is mobbed by teammates after scoring fourth quarter touchdown in state quarterfinals on Tuesday.


What a difference a Wave makes.

Jack Joyce’s return meant a return to Darien’s overbearing attack as the senior quarterback threw two touchdowns and ran in a third in the Wave’s 30-10 victory over East Hartford at home on Tuesday night.

We’re going to keep that intensity up. And we’re going to keep winning.

— Mitch Pryor

“We’re just focused on what we have right now, and focused on not giving up anything,” said Darien’s Mitch Pryor who was also back on the rushing rampage. “I don’t think I’ve seen this team more fired up in my life, than after that New Canaan game.”

The Class LL quarterfinals victory puts the two-time defending champion No. 3 Wave (10-1) into the semifinals where it hosts No. 7 West Haven (9-2) at 12:30pm on Sunday.

The Hornets, the six seed, end the season at 9-3.

“We’re going to keep that intensity up,” said Pryor. “And we’re going to keep winning.”

Joyce tossed 30 yards to Alex Dehmel and 19 to Tyler Herget for touchdowns in the first and third quarters respectively, and ran in a 20-yard score when the Wave needed to close the deal in the fourth quarter.

Andrew Lucas sealed the deal rolling in over the line from the one.

Austin Hagander kicked a 36 yard field goal and three PAT.

“It was great to have him back,” Wave coach Rob Trifone said of his starting quarterback. “He had very little practice time. But he’s such a natural athlete, and knows the system well. He fit right in.”

Darien marched downfield with authority, propelled by its passing, and went up 6-0 with the lead it kept all game on a pinpoint pass down the middle to Dehmel who made a stunning catch and somersaulted into the end zone with 6:31 on the clock in the first quarter. Hagander kicked the PAT.

Hagander made it 10-0 with the field goal with 6:15 to play in the half.

The Hornets made a game of it keeping Darien to a 10-0 lead at the half.

Joyce’s second scoring pass to a leaping Herget made it 16-0 with 9:59 on the clock in the third.

East Hartford scored on a 19 yard pass from Racquan Tompkins to Kevon Jones, and with the PAT kick it was 17-7 with 4:30 to go in the third quarter.

A 26-yard field goal by Ricardo Roberts to start the fourth quarter brought East Hartford up to 17-10.

“They stung us a few times with broken plays or athletic plays,” Trifone said. “But fortunately we put together a good fourth quarter.”

The rest of the fourth quarter was the Wave’s, with Joyce rushing in his TD, finishing with a flourish as he spun in off a tackle on the five, and Lucas closing it out with a dash through a gap at the one with 3:25 to go.

The Wave D-linemen — and Connor Tienken saving a touchdown with a tackle with the game still close in the third quarter — gave Darien a game-long edge, while the O-linemen gave Joyce the trench he needed in front of him to do his work.

Pryor worked his accustomed wonders on the rush.

Joyce is one of three that was kept out of the Turkey Bowl, for issues to do with an undisclosed school policy regarding an out-of-school fracas resulting in police charges.

The other two did not return.

And Darien High School officials have not given an explanation as to why Joyce could play — or better — no explanation as to why they did not allow him to play at Turkey Bowl, but did allow him to play in the next game.

“We took that really hard,” Pryor said of not having its star quarterback, for one, at Turkey Bowl, resulting in its first loss since 2011 on that celebrated football day. “And we practiced harder than I ever did since I’ve been on the team.”

Trifone said he did not know if the others would be coming back for the rest of the playoffs.

A video featuring the win will be posted here on Thursday morning

About author
Darien Times Sports Editor since 2000

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  • Dear Leader

    Maybe you should take off your cheerleader outfit and read your own newspaper, Steve. Then you could cut-and-paste the facts: “Joyce was charged with disorderly conduct and interfering with a police officer.”

    • Commissioner

      I guess the authorities couldnu2019t legally keep him out, despite their best efforts, and your cheerleading.

      • Dear Leader

        The kid’s a hero. Maybe we should have a parade.

        • Commissioner

          If they win two more wins maybe they will.nnEven you should be proud of how they re-grouped and overcame adversity. Hats off to Trifone too!

      • Carol

        If that were the case, than how were “the authorities” able to keep to keep Minicus and _ _ _ _ _ from playing?

        • Darien Resident

          I believe they were charged with more serious crimes

        • Commissioner

          Wow. You hate these kids. They made a mistake and they have faced and will continue to. nnJack Joyce was cleared after investigation. Lawyers or not. I seem to remember that they have a right to one.nnNo heroes here. Not even the instigator MVP from New Canaan.

  • Darien Resident

    Great win last night. Lets do this

  • La Liz

    Nice job boys!!! Pulling this together after some unfortunate events. Life is filled with challenges and how we overcome them will decide the outcome.

    • Dear Leader

      Well, that and the lawyers.

    • Liza Mendell

      No consequences. Second arrest in less than 6 months. But I guess if your a good athlete, who cares?

  • Carol

    From the arrest warrant:nnThe exchanges escalatedu2014one of them included a photo of 18-year-old nDarien resident Jack Joyceu2019s middle fingeru2014followed by a text from the nDarien High School senior saying u201cItu2019s Joyceu201d and u201cWeu2019re coming. It was about 11:15 p.m. on Monday, Nov. 6, and though the victim had ntold Joyce not to come to the house, even lying that he was not there, nu201ca carload of Darien kidsu201d arrived,”nnhttp://newcanaanite.com/new-details-of-darien-teens-assault-of-new-canaan-juvenile-emerge-arrest-warrant-application-61291

    • blow-hard-jonny

      From the arrest warrant:nnu201cIt should be noted Joyce also denied sending [the juvenile] any texts with the exception of one picture of his middle finger which he sent earlier in the evening in response to [the juvenile] sending him a picture of his middle finger,u201d the application said.nnGo grind your ax somewhere else lady.

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