NORWALK -- A mere six days away from its annual Turkey Bowl clash with New Canaan, Darien did exactly what it was supposed to do in a "home" game against Bassick at Brien McMahon High School on Friday night.
The Darien offense scored a touchdown on six of its first seven possessions, and many of the Blue Wave reserves were in the game by midway through the second quarter en route to a 48-20 win.
"Our plan was to play hard and continue to improve, and I thought we did just that in the first half," Darien coach Rob Trifone said. "Obviously, we pulled a lot of people with seven or eight minutes to go in the first half because we have a full practice tomorrow morning and a short week to get ready for Thanksgiving."
On the game's opening possession, Darien went 74 yards in just four plays, highlighted by a 39-yard run by Ian Vanderhorn and a 21-yard touchdown run by Nick Lombardo. A fake extra point during which Silas Wyper completed a pass to Matthew Vossler made it 8-0.
With his team down 14-0, Bassick's Ricardo Perez snuffed out Darien's next drive with an interception.
"We wanted to make the score respectable and make some plays," Bassick coach Derrick Lewis said. "We did that as the game went on, but that team is a perennial playoff caliber team. That's the program we wish to emulate one day."
Darien scored touchdowns on all of its next four possessions. Baldwin hit Jackson Whiting for a 52-yard touchdown in which Whiting carried a defender for the last five yards, Lombardo returned a punt 55 yards for a touchdown, Baldwin found Gesualdi on a screen pass for a 52-yard touchdown and Ian Vanderhorn found pay dirt from seven yards out.
All this added up to a 41-0 lead for the Blue Wave, but Bassick got on the board when Vochan Fowler threw a 44-yard scoring strike to Chitunga Chisenga. The two-point run by Jihad Whitaker made it 41-8.
In the second half, Fowler threw his second touchdown pass of the game to Claude Desir to make it 41-14, Darien's Benjamin Giorgio scored on a 13-yard carry and Bassick's Julian Fyffe scored from five yards out to close out the scoring at 48-20.
"We look for the little stuff like drives," Lewis said. "This year we've been able to put seven, eight, nine-plus play drives together, whereas last year we couldn't move the ball until the fourth quarter."
Darien now seeks its first win over New Canaan since 2001. Doing so would allow the Blue Wave to complete their season at 7-3.
"Needless to say, (New Canaan is) one of the top teams in the state year in and year out, and no different this year," Trifone said. "They run that offense so well, they play tough defense, so it's a big mountain to climb. But we're looking forward to the game. It's a great rivalry."
Darien played host to New Canaan in the annual Turkey Bowl on Thanksgiving morning, but the result was not available at press time.
For a full game story and a photo slideshow, visit www.dariennewsonline.com
DARIEN 48, BASSICK 20
BASSICK 0 8 6 6--20
DARIEN 21 20 0 7--48
D--Nick Lombardo, 26 run (Silas Wyper pass to Matthew Vossler)
D--Peter Gesualdi, 14 pass from Henry Baldwin (kick failed)
D--Jackson Whiting, 52 pass from Baldwin (Daly Hebert kick)
D--Lombardo, 55 punt return (Hebert kick)
D--Gesualdi, 52 pass from Baldwin (Hebert kick)
D--Ian Vanderhorn, 7 run (kick failed)
B--Chitunga Chisenga, 44 pass from Vochan Fowler (Jihad Whitaker run)
B--Claude Desir, 9 pass from Fowler (run failed)
D--Benjami Giorgio, 13 run (Hebert kick)
B--Julian Fyffe, 5 run (run failed)
Records: Bassick 1-8, Darien 6-3