Darien football team rallies to take down North Haven
NORTH HAVEN -- It was a contrast in styles across the board.
Smash mouth vs. the spread, Fairfield County vs. New Haven County, blue collar vs. white collar.
In the final regular season FCIAC-SCC matchup it was the visiting Blue Wave of Darien traveling north and defeating North Haven 36-27.
Darien (9-1) was able to stall the North Haven ground game in the second half, allowing just one touchdown after the break.
"They hurt us in the first half on the weak end with the quarterback," Darien coach Rob Trifone said. "We made that adjustment and the other adjustment we made was personnel wise. When they bring in certain personnel sets they do certain things. I thought both teams played a great game."
Darien is now in the driver's seat for a spot in the Class L playoffs while North Haven still has an outside chance of getting in if it wins out and everything breaks right the next two weeks.
The Blue Wave are currently No. 3 in Class L while North Haven falls to No. 8.
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Darien took a 3-0 lead on a 30-yard Daly Hebert field goal in the first half but North Haven came right back.
The Indians got on the board on a 4-yard run by Ethan Suraci, making it 7-3.
The Indians intercepted Silas Wyper on the next series, capitalizing with a 27-yard run by Cole Pecora, making it 13-3.
The teams went back and forth until the Blue Wave took the lead on a run by Jay Harrison which gave Darien a 22-20 lead at the half.
The Blue Wave opened up the lead to 29-20 on the first drive of the second half and never let the Indians take it back. Nick Lombardo scored two touchdowns for the Blue Wave on an 84-yard kickoff return and a seven yard run.
North Haven did get within 29-27 in the third quarter but could not make a late charge with Darien keeping the ball deep in Indian territory.
North Haven's style of play does not lend itself to late comebacks with no timeouts, and that was the case Friday night.
"Darien came here ready," North Haven coach Anthony Sagnella said. "It was a great game and they were well prepared. Both teams battled. We are not built to comeback like that, we struggle with that. It's always best for us to be ahead late in the game and to chew clock and not have to come from behind. It was the situation we were in and we are going to try and get better at doing that."
DARIEN 36, NORTH HAVEN 27
DARIEN 3 19 7 7--36
NORTH HAVEN 13 7 0 7--27
D--Daly Hebert 30 field goal
NH--Ethan Suraci 4 run (Sabrina Fronte kick)
NH--Cole Pecora 27 run (kick failed)
D--John Reed 3 run (kick failed)
NH--Suraci 15 run (Fronte kick)
D--Nick Lombardo 84 kickoff return (run failed)
D--Jay Harrison 2 run (Hebert kick)
D--Myles Ridder 18 pass Silas Wyper (Hebert kick)
NH--Mike Montano 16 pass Mike Halloran (Fronte kick)
D--Lombardo 7 run (Hebert kick)