Darien routs Greenwich in FCIAC showdown
From playing in 7-on-7 camps during the offseason to working with his receivers on the field any chance he could get, Wyper made sure the Blue Wave's aerial attack was going to take flight once the season began.
Two games into the season, it's apparent all the extra work paid off.
Wyper followed a strong performance in the season-opener against Hillhouse, by completing 19-of-31 passes for 229 yards and two touchdowns in Darien's resounding 42-21 victory over visiting Greenwich in a key FCIAC matchup.
Both of Wyper's scoring strikes went to speedy RB/WR Nick Lombardo, who a week after scoring five touchdowns, caught six passes for 96 yards.
"The connection we have on offense has been built since January during 7-on-7 and we carried it into spring, when we spent a lot of time running routes," Wyper said. "I know where the receivers are going to be, so I just try to take a rhythm drop and get it out of my hands."
Greenwich (1-1) which opened the season with a win against West Haven, tried to get Wyper out of rhythm by running different blitzes at him, but the Blue Wave did an impressive job up front.
"We couldn't get pressure on their quarterback in the first half, you have to get pressure on him," GHS coach Rich Albonizio said. "Their timing on their patterns is very good. We tried a lot of different blitzes, but they picked them up with just five guys."
Though Darien excelled offensively for most of the afternoon, it was the defense that set the tone for the Blue Wave right away. Junior cornerback William Hamernick intercepted Greenwich senior quarterback Jose Melo on the Cardinals' first play from scrimmage and returned it 15 yards for a touchdown. Daly Herbert converted the point-after attempt and just nine seconds into the game Darien held a 7-0 lead.
"He read the route well and that play really jump started us," Darien coach Rob Trifone said. "That gave us some momentum right at the start."
The Blue Wave (2-0) passed the ball on 11 of its first 12 plays, with Wyper connecting with Lombardo, junior Cooper Drippe and senior Isaac Sellhausen. Lombardo's 16-yard reception over the middle gave Darien a 14-0 edge with 6:50 left in the opening quarter.
"Silas and I grew up playing together in DJFL, we knew we had a good connection going into the season, so that's made the transition seamless," Lombardo said. "We know we're capable of playing well offensively."
Senior running back Jay Harrison scored on a 5-yard run and Wyper hit Lombardo in the corner of the end zone on a fade route from 22 yards out, putting GHS in a 28-0 second-quarter hole. The Blue Wave also had success running the ball behind offensive linemen John Griffiths, Alexander Gunn, Nicholas Kunze and Sam Bowtell.
"This is the first year in 35 years as a coach I can platoon the offensive and defensive line," Trifone said. "The whole offensive line plays one way, which is great because they can rest or work on their schemes and techniques."
A 31-yard touchdown pass from Melo (17-of-32, 182 yards) to junior Austin Longi as time expired in the first half made it 28-7 and gave the Cardinals some hope going into halftime. But senior John Reed returned a fumble 14 yard for a score midway through the third quarter, putting Darien comfortably in control, 35-7. Senior Jon Fischer returned an interception 12 yards for a score and junior Devon McGrath had a 31-yard touchdown reception in the second half for the Cards.
"We just had no enthusiasm today," Albonizio said. "We had a pretty poor week of practice emotionally and it showed. In this league, you have to come out with a lot of confidence and enthusiasm."
Trifone, whose squad put up 46 points last week, enjoyed watching his squad click on all cylinders.
"Hats off to Silas, our first-year quarterback," Trifone said. "We don't have gigantic receivers, but they run great routes and catch the ball. Silas spent the last eight months preparing for what we all saw today."
Darien 42, Greenwich 21
GREENWICH 0 7 7 7--21
DARIEN 14 14 7 7--42
D -- William Hamernick 15 interception return (Daly Hebert kick)
D -- Nick Lombardo 16 pass from Silas Wyper (run failed)
D -- Jay Harrison 5 run (Lombardo pass from Wyper)
D -- Lombardo 22 pass from Wyper (Hebert kick)
G -- Austin Longi 12 pass from Jose Melo (Peter Heerdt kick)
D -- John Reed 14 fumble return (Hebert kick)
G -- John Fischer 12 interception return (Heerdt kick)
D -- Jay Harrison 4 run (Hebert kick)
G -- Devin McGrath 31 pass from Melo (Heerdt kick)
Records: G 1-1, D 2-0