Darien spring football game ends in tie
DARIEN -- It was a tale of two halves for new Darien quarterback Silas Wyper in the Blue Wave's spring game held on Sunday afternoon. Head coach Rob Trifone is hoping Wyper's performance in the latter half will lead to big things for the Blue Wave in 2013.
After struggling early on, the rising senior found his groove in the second half, and it all added up to a 21-21 tie between the Blue and White teams. Wyper was 4-for-13 for 46 yards and two interceptions in the first quarter before going 13-for-20 for 161 and two touchdowns in the second half. Wyper took most of the snaps for both teams.
"JV is a different story from Varsity," Trifone said. "But as the game progressed he got more comfortable and he completed some big passes and had some big runs."
Wyper takes over for departed senior Henry Baldwin, who threw for over 2000 yards in 2012. The style differences were on hand Sunday with the dual-threat under center. Wyper threw touchdowns to Griffin Ross and Colin Minicus and carried the ball over a dozen times and added a rushing score.
"(Wyper brings) tremendous leadership; he's a consummate leader," Trifone said. "He's always in the weight room, he is a very vocal and positive kid and the kids look to him, which is what you want from your quarterback."
Trifone also liked what he saw in the trenches. Defensive lineman George Reed registered two sacks and both lines looked solid for 40 minutes. Alex Gunn (center) and Tommy Gasparino (guard) will lead the offensive line in 2013.
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"I saw a lot of positives on the offensive and defensive lines," Trifone said. "Both the Blue and the White team gave our quarterbacks quite a bit of time and yet when we tried to run against either defensive line they pursued very well."
Darien graduated quite a few starters, but brings back some big names for the fall. Nick Lombardo had over 500 yards receiving in 2012 and is capable of lining up in the backfield to make plays. Wyper will also have weapons in Ross and Kyle Gifford.
On the defensive side of the ball, Reed, along with linebackers Jay Harrison and Myles Ridder -- who secured Darien's first win since 2001 against New Canaan last year with a fumble recovery return for a touchdown -- will lead the charge in the fall.
"It's high school football; you graduate kids no matter how much you want to hold them back," Trifone said. "That's a great part of it, each season is a new set of characters and you have to mold them mentally and physically. We have a lot of talent and a lot of depth."
The Blue Wave have a brutal start to the schedule in September, Darien meets defending Class M champion Hillhouse as part of the FCIAC-SCC challenge September 12 and FCIAC runner-up Greenwich the week after.
"It's a great challenge for the teams that have had such great records over the past few years," Trifone said. (Hillhouse) is a great team, I like the challenge."