STAMFORD — Anyone who was concerned about the fortunes of the Ridgefield High School football team after its season-opening loss to Darien High can stop worrying.
The Tigers lived up to their nickname Friday night by dominating Stamford High, 49-0 at Boyle Stadium.
“It was a difficult opener against a very tough team in Darien. And we didn’t play well on top of that,” said Ridgefield coach Kevin Callahan. “But our kids put their noses to the grindstone and responded with a great week of practice. We put our best foot forward tonight and rebounded. We became a better team in seven days.”
Ridgefield (1-1, 1-1 FCIAC) gave Stamford no peace as the Tigers led 14-0 after one quarter and 42-0 at halftime. Ridgefield graciously remained conservative while benefitting from running time in the second half.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Ridgefield senior quarterback Greg Gatto was the perfect maestro Friday night.
The 6-foot-3, 200-pound Gatto was the picture of precision in the pocket as he completed 15 of 18 passes for 313 yards and six touchdowns.
“My freshman year I had six TD passes. And I had seven TDs in youth league,” Gatto said. “My offensive line did not allow me to be touched (or sacked). And the receiving core was great. We just made adjustments based on what we saw from the Stamford defense. We played smart.”
RIDGEFIELD RECEIVERS WERE THE GOOD HANDS PEOPLE
A number of Ridgefield receivers benefitted from Gatto’s superb passing Friday night.
Jackson Mitchell, a 6-foot-2, 210-pound junior, was the favorite target. Mitchell had seven catches for 128 yards and two touchdowns.
“The coaches gave us a great game plan. A lot of plays were run/pass options,” Mitchell said. “We just found the open seams.”
Senior James Kulik finished with three receptions for 74 yards including TDs of 55 and 10 yards.
Aiden Schwartz had two catches for 42 yards. Patrick Moroney had a 25-yard scoring connection while Matt Lombardo scored from 35 yards out.
A LESSON FOR STAMFORD
The Black Knights (0-2, 0-2 FCIAC) never got their footing Friday. And their young quarterbacks — sophomore Isiah Johnson and junior Terry Forrester — showed their inexperience against a hungry Ridgefield defense.
Stamford finished completing 10 of 21 passes for 92 yards and three interceptions.
“Ridgefield is a great football program. Their run to the state final last year was no mistake. And they have lots of returnees,” said Stamford coach Jamar Greene. “It was the first varsity start for (Isiah) Johnson. Ridgefield never let us settle in or catch our breath. All we can do is review the film and get ready for Trinity Catholic.”
As for Ridgefield, it will host Central next Friday.
“Gatto’s experience is welcome,” Ridgefield’s Callahan said. “He put the ball exactly where it had to be. He made it all look easy.”
RIDGEFIELD 49, STAMFORD 0
RIDGEFIELD 14 28 7 0—49
STAMFORD 0 0 0 0—0
R—Jackson Mitchell 33 pass from Greg Gatto (Harry Woodger kick)
R—Matthew Lombardo 35 pass from Gatto (Woodger kick)
R—James Kulik 55 pass from Gatto (Woodger kick)
R—Max Bornstein 22 run (Woodger kick)
R—Mitchell 22 pass from Gatto (Woodger kick)
R—Kulik 10 pass from Gatto (Woodger kick)
R—Patrick Moroney 25 pass from Gatto (Woodger kick)
Records: Ridgefield 1-1, 1-1 FCIAC; Stamford 0-2, 0-2 FCIAC.