The Wilton White 4th grade football team opened its season with a win over New Canaan’s 4th grade Red team 27 – 12 last Saturday evening. The game started with Wilton’s defense on the field against the New Canaan offense. Wilton’s defensive line of Matt Gulbin, Jack Tinnen, Austin Cameron, Blake Pagano-Walley, Brian Cipri and Quinn Wiseman established itself early, with Pagano-Walley making a nice tackle and Wiseman shutting down the drive with a huge hit on the outside (videolink: http://youtu.be/I1sog3i0KBc). Wilton’s offense didn’t start out quite as well, as a fumble in the opening drive led to a New Canaan score. After the PAT failed, the score was 6-0.
On their second possession, Wilton’s offense found its footing. Behind nice blocking from Anthony Passaniti and Charlie Hastings, running back Sean Sullivan ripped off a couple long runs. The drive was capped by an 8 yard TD run by Pagano-Walley and, after the PAT failed, the score was tied 6-6 as the first quarter came to a close.
The second quarter showed the strength of the Wilton defense as multiple players made great tackles including linebackers Davis Cote, Ryan MacDougall and Peter Groves. Cornerbacks Michael Colbert and Connor Healey swarmed ball carriers and kept New Canaan off the board for the entire quarter. When Wilton’s offense took the field, a brilliant QB keeper by Ryan Sorbo gained 25 yards (videolink: http://youtu.be/Q4YlX-Vzb-E) and set up running backs Pagano-Walley and Sullivan to do more damage on the ground behind the blocking of Brendan Quinn, Matthew Murphy, Ryan Siegel, Connor Quinn and Owen Pettit. Ultimately, Sullivan scored on a nice run around the right end. Pagano-Walley converted the 2 point PAT, making the score 14-6 at halftime.
Wilton’s offense opened the second half with fullback Michael Coffey and running back Sullivan chewing up yardage. But it was Sullivan’s amazing second and third effort – along with some nice downfield blocking by Coffey, Sorbo and Cote - on a 45 yard touchdown run down the right side that seemed to ignite the Warriors (videolink: http://youtu.be/Q_hSXV7WgFg). When Coffey ran in the PAT, the score was 21-6 and it seemed there was no looking back for this young Wilton White squad.
Wilton’s defense was plenty fired up now and a another punishing tackle for a loss by Gulbin on first down let New Canaan know that a comeback was not in the plan (videolink: http://youtu.be/hWKSpNotwMg). On second down Brendan Sullivan, Alex Smith and Will Haljun pushed the runner back for no gain. On third down Cameron, Groves and Tinnen combined to make it 4th down and long. Perhaps feeling the game slipping away, New Canaan went for it but was shut down when Pagano-Walley and Cipri combined on a huge hit.
Wilton’s defense seemed to lose concentration at the start of the 4th quarter and New Canaan made them pay with a long TD run on a sweep around the left side. That seemed to wake the Warriors up again, however, and the PAT failed leaving the score 21-12. Needing to respond, quarterback Everett Andersen led the Warriors on a long drive that included a clutch 4th down conversion with 3 minutes left in the game. And on 1st and goal, Andersen kept a quarterback sneak right up the middle for an insurance score. The PAT failed, making the final score 27-12.