Trumbull football surprises Darien
Going up against the sub-.500 Eagles, the Blue Wave never appeared to take their opposition lightly, but the Eagles simply made more plays to defend their home turf in a 39-26 win on the strength of a stellar performance by running back Ryan Pearson.
"He was fantastic. He made money yards," Trumbull coach Bob Maffei said. "We work hard, we lift, we run and we do our fundamentals every day and we try to get better as a football team week to week."
After Trumbull's defense forced a three-and-out to start the game, its special teams landed the first blow, as Andrew Marion blocked Darien's punt, scooped it up and went 30 yards untouched for a 7-0 lead.
Darien (3-2) countered when Nick Lombardo returned the ensuing kickoff 70 yards for a touchdown, knotting the game at 7-7.
Darien got good field position on its next possession and drove the ball to the Trumbull 15, but Trumbull's Mike Williams made a juggling interception and went 95 yards down the left sidelines to put his team in front 14-7.
"Right from the get-go, what that did was give a good team an opportunity," Darien coach Rob Trifone said. "We did just that, we dropped some passes right from the get-go. It gave them momentum and they started to play good footballl."
Darien got to within 14-13 when Christian Bognar carried the ball 51 yards to pay dirt in the second quarter, but Trumbull built its lead back to 20-13 on its next possession when quarterback Nick Roberts hit Daniel Paolino for a 21-yard touchdown with 40 seconds left in the half.
Trumbull (2-3) was back in business when Paolino notched an interception on Darien's next play from scrimmage and returned the ball 28 yards to the Blue Wave 28.
With the ball on yard from the Darien end zone one second remaining in the first half, Trumbull lined up for a field goal, prompting Darien to call a timeout. Next, Trumbull took a timeout of its own and decided to send its offense back on the field. On the final play of the first half, Pearson scored on a one-yard touchdown run off left guard for a 26-13 halftime advantage.
"I was thinking field goal and our linemen said we can get it. So I said `Ok, go get it,'" Maffei said.
Although it moved the ball in spurts all night, the Darien offense was plagued by turnovers and several dropped passes.
The second half started as a defensive stalemate and neither team could score until Pearson carried the rock 20 yards into the end zone for a 32-13 lead.
Darien kept its hopes alive when Henry Baldwin found Jackson Whiting for a four-yard touchdown to cut Trumbull's lead to 32-19 with 4:54 remaining, but Pearson scored again on a 21-yard touchdown run with 1:30 remaining.
Baldwin hit Lombardo for a 39-yard touchdown with 37 seconds remaining, but Trumbull recovered the onside kick to seal the game.
TRUMBULL 39, DARIEN 26
DARIEN 13 0 0 13--26
TRUMBULL 14 12 0 13--39
T--Andrew Marino, 30 block punt return (Ryan Pearson kick)
D--Nick Lombardo, 70 kick return (C.J. Raia kick)
T--Mike Williams, 95 interception return (Pearson kick)
D--Christian Bognar, 51 run (kick failed)
T--Daniel Paolino, 21 pass from Nick Roberts (kick failed)
T--Pearson, 1 run (kick failed)
T--Pearson, 20 run (run failed)
D--Jackson Whiting, 4 pass from Henry Baldwin (run failed)
T--Pearson, 21 run (Pearson kick)
D--Lombardo, 39 pass from Baldwin (Raia kick)
Records: Trumbull 2-3, Darien 3-2