DARIEN — In what amounted to Darien’s final tune-up before a crucial late-season stretch the Blue Wave find themselves exactly where they want to be.

Darien defeated Fairfield Warde 56-19 Saturday to move to 7-0 on the season ahead of showdowns with Staples and New Canaan the next two weeks to close out the regular season.

“They can’t wait for a challenge and Staples is certainly going to give us a huge challenge,” Darien coach Rob Trifone said. “They’re a very well-coached football team, they’re very good up front both ways and they run an offense that no one else really does. You can practice against spread offenses but who practices against the option? So they have that advantage, but I tell these guys all the time that’s why you play this game, to get into battles like this coming week.”

The Darien offensive and defensive starters both looked to be at their best against the Mustangs despite only playing the first half.

Quarterback Timmy Graham threw touchdown passes to Rock Steward (two) and Shelby Grant. The Blue Wave also got rushing touchdowns from Spencer Jarecke, Christian Trifone (two) and Grant. The defense pitched a first-half shutout and recorded a fumble recovery en route to a 49-0 lead at the break.

The only Blue Wave starter to see action in the second half was defensive end Mark Evanchick, who needed two sacks coming into the game to tie Dwight Freeney for the career Connecticut sack record. After recording 1½ sacks in the first half Trifone rewarded Evanchick with one defensive series in the second half but Warde was able to delay the senior for at least another week.

“I just wanted to give him an opportunity to break the record,” Trifone said. “And kind of put it behind him so he can just concentrate on playing football. It’s like the guy that’s waiting to hit his 600th home run — everyone’s on pins and needles and you don’t want to bring that into a World Series game, you want to get it over with.”

In the second half against Darien backups Warde (2-5) was able to find it’s footing a little on offense, scoring three times.

Bryan Azario had two of the scores on runs of 11 and three yards and Jack Curtis accounted for the other with a 4-yard plunge.

Darien’s lone second-half score came when quarterback Brian Peters lofted a ball down the sideline that Matt Maignan went up and got before backpedaling into the end zone from 52 yards out.

Warde coach Duncan Dellavolpe declined comment after the loss.

aparelli@bcnnew.com @reportedbytheAP

DARIEN 56, WARDE 19

WARDE 0 0 6 13—19

DARIEN 21 28 0 7—56

D—Spencer Jarecke 10 yd run (Riley Stewart kick)

D—Shelby Grant 14 run (Stewart kick)

D—Christian Trifone 11 run (Stewart kick)

D—Rock Stewart 3 pass Timmy Graham (Stewart kick)

D—Grant 18 pass Graham (Stewart kick)

D—Trifone 9 run (Stewart kick)

D—Stewart 3 pass Graham (Stewart kick)

W—Bryan Azarian 11 run (PAT failed)

W—Jack Curtis 4 run (PAT failed)

D—Matthew Maignan 52 pass Brian Peters (kick)

W—Azarian 3 run (2-pt failed)

Records: Warde 2-5; Darien 7-0.