Fifth Grade Football: Wilton Blue 27 – New Canaan Black 14
In a game where heroes abounded and the team’s character was tested early, Wilton Blue defeated a very talented New Canaan squad 27-14 with a total team effort on Sunday at Dunning Field in New Canaan.
New Canaan stunned the Warriors on the game’s third play with a 61 yard touchdown run. The extra point made it 7-0 just two minutes into the game.
After a Wilton drive stalled at the Rams 16, the Warrior defense reestablished itself forcing New Canaan to punt, giving the Warriors possession on the New Canaan 45. On fourth and 5, Austin Andersen took a perfect shotgun snap from Jake Zeyher and raced down the right sideline, sprung loose by great blocks by Jack DiRocco, Erik Lebek and Kyle Hyzy, for a 40 yard touchdown to make the score 7-6 (videolink: http://youtu.be/5iftIzTalzI ).
Terrific defense by the Warriors, which included huge tackles by Jack Savarese and Dominick Polito, limited the Rams to just one first down the remainder of the half and left the score 7-6 at halftime.
Wilton’s offensive linemen, Zach Bargon, Patrick Burke, Lebek, Jack Lenz, Noah Levi, Savarese, Jack DiRocco, Eric Tuin, Dean Griffin, Camilo Galeano, Dante Stella and Oliver Shulman, who were stellar the entire game, really took over in the second half, opening holes for running backs Austin Andersen and Kyle Hyzy, who combined for 42 carries and 219 rushing yards on the day. Having established a traditional run game and driving to the Rams 22 early in the second half the Warriors used misdirection and huge blocks from Lebek and Hyzy to spring R2 DiRocco loose for a touchdown run on a beautifully executed reverse (videolink: http://youtu.be/I4VqYnXDSwc ). Still reeling from the touchdown, the Rams were unprepared for Wilton’s first pass of the day, a perfect strike from Jake Zeyher to Ben Leung for the two point conversion.
Despite not being able to move the ball consistently against Wilton’s stout defense, including Oscar Telefaro, Anthony Andre, Sean Soltis, Sean Millar and Connor Burke, New Canaan again broke a big play – a 70 yard touchdown run on the next play to even the score at 14-14.
A lesser team might have wilted at that point, but Wilton demonstrated its depth and multi-dimensional attack, quickly retaking control of the game. Hyzy broke off a 29 yard run to the New Canaan 26 and five plays later, after an apparent touchdown run by Leung was marked at the 6 inch line, Zeyher’s QB sneak and Andersen’s extra point run put the Warriors up for good 21-14.
New Canaan took to the air on their next possession, but even when they were able to complete a pass over the fierce defensive rush of Ciaran Smith, Cole Snyder, Brady Kuczo, Savarese, Levi and Bargon, Wilton’s linebacking corps was there to make the tackle forcing another New Canaan punt.
R2 DiRocco had two nice runs before Zeyher aired it out again, hitting Hyzy on a 49 yard catch and run play to put the game away 27-14 (videolink: http://youtu.be/VE1QOuIjmRs ).
The total team effort is evident in the box score. Five different players scored for Wilton, seven players gained rushing yards and the team controlled the ball for more than 70% of the game. Heroes and highlights that don’t show up on the stat sheet were everywhere from Jack DiRocco’s pancake block of a New Canaan linebacker to Zach Bargon and Dominick Polito opening huge holes for their teammates to Erik Lebek dominating at end.