Trinity Catholic starts strong in loss to Darien
DARIEN -- One quarter does not a football game make.
If it did, Trinity Catholic would have gotten out of Darien with a stunning upset. But after the game's opening stanza, the Blue Wave would have none of it.
Darien shrugged off a seven-point, second-quarter deficit by scoring the next 42 points en route to the 56-29 victory.
"The bottom line is Trinity played well for a young team, and we did not play well. I think our kids took them lightly," Darien coach Rob Trifone said. "But they know that if they keep winning, they control their destiny for states."
Darien's Nick Lombardo, who scored the game's first touchdown on a 4-yard end around, got the Blue Wave back into it when he hauled in an 82-yard touchdown straight up the middle of the field from quarterback Silas Wyper, who hit the senior receiver in stride.
Trinity's two first-half touchdowns were scored just three plays apart, the second of which was set up when Neno Merritt of the Crusaders recovered a muffed kickoff.
"I told them that I loved the effort and that I'm proud of it, but unfortunately, it's the sixth time I've said it that way," Trinity coach Don Panapada said. "We go in thinking that we're going to win. We were getting on the bus today to win the football game and for no other reason."
On Darien's ensuing possession with the score still knotted at 14-14, Lombardo put his team in front to stay when he reeled in a 45-yard touchdown pass from Wyper.
"We came out a little flat. We knew going into halftime that we had to come out flaring and just get the job done. They were feisty and they could make some plays and it showed," said Lombardo, who caught six passes for 180 yards and two touchdowns and also had a rushing touchdown. "We want to play in December and that's the goal."
With Trinity backed up on its own 8 and just under five minutes remaining in the half, Darien's Griffin Ross doubled his team's lead to 28-14 with a 22-yard interception return for a touchdown.
The competitive phase of Saturday's clash ended less than two minutes into the second half.
Passes from Wyper to Lombardo and Myles Ridder resulted in gains of 27 and 45, respectively, and put the ball at Trinity's 1-yard line. Ridder carried it in for a touchdown on the following play.
On the third play of Trinity's next possession, a blitzing Timothy Lochtefeld shot across the line for the sack, jarring the ball loose. Mark Evanchick scooped it up at the 5 and went in for the score and the 42-14 lead.
Up next for the Blue Wave (5-1, 4-1 FCIAC) is a matchup with Ridgefield on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
"With high school kids, it's hard to always put your finger on it, but there is a game with Ridgefield looming," Trifone said.
Trinity Catholic's (0-6, 0-5 FCIAC) Courtlyn Victrum had a big game with 33 carries for 260 yards and a touchdown and Amann picked off a pair of passes, but it wasn't enough to prevent a sixth straight loss.
"Our kids are no different from Greenwich or Darien; they have the same toughness," Panapada said. "There's just more of them."
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DARIEN 56, TRINITY CATHOLIC 29
TRINITY CATHOLIC 14 0 0 15 -- 29
DARIEN 7 21 21 7 -- 56
D--Nick Lombardo 4 run (Daly Hebert kick kick)
TC--Matt Christensen 5 run (Sam Ruzzi kick)
TC--Connor Amann 23 pass Johnny Somers (Ruzzi kick)
D--Nick Lombardo 82 pass Silas Wyper (Heber kick kick)
D--Lombardo 45 pass Wyper (Hebert kick)
D--Griffin Ross 22 interception return (Hebert kick)
D--Myles Ridder 1 run (Hebert kick)
D--Mark Evanchick 5 fumble return (Hebert kick)
D--Ross 21 pass Wyper (Hebert kick)
TC--Luis Gonzalez 23 pass Somers (Thomas Castigan pass Chirstensen)
D--Shelby Grant 11 pass Cooper Drippe (Hebert kick)
TC--Courtlyn Victrum 48 run (Ruzzi kick)
Records: Trinity Catholic 0-6, 0-5 FCIAC; Darien 5-1, 4-1