Football Falcons soar high
FAIRFIELD — Since Mitch Ross took over for Fairfield Ludlowe a season ago, the Falcons have been waiting for the sort of offensive breakout they saw Friday night.
Ludlowe scored 34 points in the first quarter, breezing by Trinity Catholic 61-28 at home behind seven touchdown passes from Colin Wilson to bring its record to an eye-opening 4-1.
“We had a great week of practice,” Ross said. “I mean, by far our best week, and the kids are learning. They’re learning how to play, they learn the system every week and they get better and better because they have more experience.”
Aidan Wycoff returned the opening kickoff to the Trinity 32, caught a 35-yard touchdown from Colin Wilson three plays later and the Falcons were off and flying.
Ludlowe’s Ryan Lilly recovered a loose ball on the ensuing kickoff and on fourth down Wilson found sophomore Collin Fleming for a 25-yard score, giving the Falcons a 14-0 lead before the Crusaders even touched the ball.
Wilson would add two more touchdown strikes in the first quarter — a 45-yarder to Wycoff and an 8-yarder to Kevin Quinn — sandwiched around a seven-yard scamper from Carlos Moreno to make in 34-0 in the blink of an eye.
Two fourth down penalties by the Ludlowe defense — a pass interference and a facemask — led to Trinity’s (0-4) Sam Pensiero finding Anthony Anderson from seven out for the Crusaders’ first score.
Wilson bounced right back, making it 41-7 on a 37-yard fade to Brian Howell.
After Trinity’s Pensiero found Tahj Morgan from 27 out with 26 seconds to go in the half, Ludlowe quickly added the exclamation point as Wilson hit Howell from 10 out as time expired.
“To be honest with you, in my 18 years of coaching, that’s the worst first half of football I’ve ever seen,” Trinity coach Donny Panapada said. “And I’m responsible for it. It’s my fault.”
All told, in the first two quarters Wilson tossed six touchdowns to four different receivers.
“I think we have some of the best receivers in the state,” Wilson said. “All I have to do is put it anywhere in the vicinity and they’ll catch it.”
Trinity scored two quick touchdowns in the third quarter, the first on a 10-yard pass from Pensiero to Anderson and then a blocked punt return by Amari Lewis. However, the fourth quarter was more of the same for Ludlowe as Wilson hit Howell for 13-yard strike and junior backup Quinn Pavoz found Fleming for a 15-yard score.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Wilson, Ludlowe. The senior quarterback could do no wrong Friday. Wilson threw for six first-half touchdowns, then was pulled along with the rest of the starters to start the second half.
After Trinity made it a 20-point game in the third quarter, Wilson came in for one possession in the fourth and added his seventh of the day.
“We just had a game plan we knew we could stick with and we were so prepared,” Wilson said. “That was our best week of practice and we were just focused and stayed focused.”
LEAVING NO DOUBT
Ludlowe won each of its last two games by a single point, most recently 28-27 over Brien McMahon in double-overtime, so Friday’s decisive victory was a welcome change for the Falcons.
“It was awesome,” Ross said. “It’s the first time since I’ve been here that we put away an opponent early.”
“(We’ll) just continue to work hard, that’s all you can do,” Panapada said. “Are we playing with a short deck? Yeah, we’re playing with a short deck, but nobody cares, so we have to figure it out. We have a bye week then we got to play one of the best teams in the state of Connecticut. We’ll practice hard and figure it out and hopefully be more successful against New Canaan.”
LUDLOWE 61, TRINITY CATHOLIC 28
TRINITY CATHOLIC 0 14 14 0—28
FAIRFIELD LUDLOWE 34 14 0 13—61
Records: Trinity Catholic 0-5, 0-5 FCIAC; Fairfield Ludlowe 4-1, 4-1.
FL—Aidan Wycoff 35 pass Colin Wilson (Victor Cunha kick)
FL—Collin Fleming 25 pass Wilson (Cunha kick)
FL—Wycoff 45 pass Wilson (Cunha kick)
FL—Carlos Moreno 7 run (Cunha kick)
FL—Kevin Quinn 8 pass Wilson (PAT failed)
TC—Anthony Anderson 7 pass Sam Pensiero (Mark Lombardo kick)
FL—Brian Howell 37 pass Wilson (Cunha kick)
TC—Tahj Morgan 27 pass Pensiero (Lombardo kick)
FL—Howell 10 pass Wilson (Cunha kick)
TC—Anderson 10 pass Pensiero (Lombardo kick)
TC—Amari Lewis 15 blocked punt return
FL—Howell 13 pass Wilson (PAT failed)
FL—Fleming 15 pass Quinn Pavoz (Cunha kick)