Darien routs Ridgefield
Published 12:00 am, Saturday, October 25, 2014
RIDGEFIELD -- Offense, defense, special teams.
These three phases working in synchronicity are what makes an undefeated team like Darien function. But when one phase is lacking the other two have to pick up the slack.
Such was the case in the Blue Wave's 50-23 victory over Ridgefield Friday night.
On its first three possessions the Darien offense threw two interceptions in the red zone and a personal foul plenalty on a chop block cost the Blue Wave 15 yards with the ball at the Ridgefield 17, ultimately resulting in a 36-yard Stephen Walker field goal.
"We lean on our defense if the offense is sputtering a little bit," coach Rob Trifone said of his team's one-sided effort. "That said, one of our goals in the second half of the year was to cut down on turnovers and penalties and we didn't achieve that early on. So thank God our defense and specials did play well."
However, the Darien defense was relentless all night, forcing three turnovers in plus territory, one of them a pick six by corner Tyler Grant to give Darien a 17-0 lead just seconds after Timothy Lotchefeld banged in a six-yard TD run.
"Coach T always talks about a complete team effort and today was that," DE/RB George Reed said. "On all three phases we dominated and that's why we came away win the win."
In the second quarter Darien quarterback Timothy Graham was able to overcome his first quarter troubles and hit Todd Herget for a pair of scores, giving his team a 31-0 lead with just a minute remaining in the first half.
Just when Darien looked to be rolling it faced a little adversity as Ridgefield's Shane Palmer took the ensuing kickoff and bolted 98 yards down the sideline to make the halftime score 31-7 and perhaps swing momentum towards Tigers.
It was for naught however as Trifone told his players: "The last two weeks we were executing like a 6-0 team and we didn't do that in the first half, so they were able to refocus and find success in the third quarter."
They responded by scoring on their first possession of the second half after starting at the Ridgefield 48. The drive ended with Reed barreling in from the 5-yard line. Reed would again find pay dirt in the third quarter after a Darien punt return set the Blue Wave up at the Ridgefield 4. From there it took just one play for Reed to rumble in for his second touchdown. The senior also added three sacks from his defensive line position.
After a Ridgefield fumble set Darien up at the Tiger two yard line reserve sophomore running back Joseph Hardison made the score 50-6.
From there, Ridgefield scored 17 unanswered points to end the game as the fourth quarter turned into an abbreviated JV game.
"I don't sense the kid's feel any pressure," Trifone said of the undefeated record. "They just want to go out and perform."
Darien 50, Ridgefield 23
RIDGEFIELD 0 6 0 17
DARIEN 3 28 13 6
D--Stephen Walker, 36 yard field goal
D--Timothy Lochtefeld, 6 run (Walker kick)
D--Tyler Grant, 25 int return
D--Todd Herget, 37 pass from Graham (Walker kick)
D--Herget, 19 pass from Graham (Walker kick)
R--Shane Palmer, 98 kickoff return ( 2pt conversion no-good)
D--George Reed, 5 run (Walker kick)
D--Reed, 4 run (PAT blocked)
D--Joseph Hardison, 2 run (PAT blocked)
R--Petros Papadapoulos 4 run (Papadapoulos kick)
R--Papadapoulos, 36 yard FG