DARIEN — Even win you win 31 consecutive games, there’s bound to be a clunker thrown in every now and then.
Saturday was Darien’s “clunker,” and while they escaped with a 17-0 home win over Fairfield Warde, there was little celebration during, or after, the contest.
“First of all, always have to give credit to the opponent, because obviously they came to play and we did not,” Darien coach Rob Trifone said. “Warde did a fine job, but it’s about as bad as we’ve played in the streak, regardless of the opponent. Maybe it’s a good thing we got it out of our system, we were definitely lethargic.”
The only life the Darien offense had came in the second quarter. Jack Joyce hit Brian Minicus with an eight-yard touchdown pass and then Minicus recorded an interception on the ensuing drive.
Joyce then found Will Rolapp for a 47-yard gain and followed by finding Patrick Burke for a 3-yard score.
Austin Hagander connected on a 24-yard field goal with 35 seconds left in the half, but that would conclude the scoring for the Blue Wave (6-0) as the Warde defense finished with three turnovers — two on interceptions from Jeff Seganos Jr. — and three fourth-down stops.
“Hats off to our defense,” Warde coach Duncan DellaVolpe said after his squad’s performance against a Darien team averaging over 42 points per game. “We’ve been coming around the last couple weeks, but the kids really bought in today and we had a great scheme. I couldn’t be prouder of the way we played on defense.”
For its part, the Darien defense also did its job, recording its second shutout on the year and bringing its points allowed average to a meager 5.8 per game.
“Defensively, we have a little bit to work on,” Minicus said. “But I don’t think we could have played any better, holding a good offense to zero points.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Minicus, Darien. The Warde defensive unit is a close second, but Minicus was the difference maker Saturday, catching a touchdown and intercepting a pass. The senior is even the holder on extra points and field goals.
“I give credit to the people in front of me who set a really good example,” Minicus said of his swiss-army knife skill set. “We have some key injuries so my role increased, and when we have injuries like that you have to step up and fill those roles.”
Speaking of injuries; Darien’s Nick Green, Max Grant and Sean O’Malley —who has yet to suit up this year — all sat out Saturday’s game. In addition, Joyce couldn’t finish the game after taking a big hit late in the game.
“They’re not season-ending injuries, fortunately,” Trifone said. “They’re little bumps and bruises and stuff. The tough part is it’s keeping them out of practice and it showed today.”
“We either win, or we have to learn from it,” DellaVolpe said. “And we have a lot of things to learn from, especially on one side of the ball. But I think our kids can now believe in themselves more than anything, so if they learn that after today that’s a very big positive for our program.”
DARIEN 17, WARDE 0
FAIRFIELD WARDE 0 0 0 0—0
DARIEN 0 17 0 0—17
Records: Fairfield Warde 3-3; Darien 6-0.
D—Brian Minicus 8 yard pass from Jack Joyce (Austin Hagander kick)
D—Patrick Burke 3 pass Joyce (Hagander kick)
D—Hagander 24 field goal