STAMFORD — There were no Gremlins or Goblins or nefarious souls to stop the Trinity Catholic High football team on Friday the 13th.
The Crusaders succeeded in all three phases of the game Friday night to post a welcomed 40-19 home triumph over Ludlowe before a partisan crowd at Gaglio Field.
“Coming off losses to Greenwich, Stamford and Trumbull, we talked about playing with a great sense of urgency,” said Trinity Catholic coach Donny Panapada. “We ran the ball well. We scored points on defense. We checked all the boxes tonight. We needed a win badly.”
Trinity Catholic (2-3) was opportunistic as it built a 13-0 edge after one quarter and a 26-7 cushion at halftime.
The first Crusader TD came less than two minutes into the contest as Anthony Anderson recovered a backward Ludlowe pass in the end zone for 7-0.
The other momentum booster for Trinity Catholic was its final drive of the first half.
The Crusaders answered an 85-yard, 13-play Ludlowe TD march by going 59 yards in nine plays over the final 3:30 of the second quarter.
Trinity Catholic quarterback Sam Aldof completed a 21-yard pass to Jeff Bivona on fourth-and-nine along with an 11-yard scoring strike to John Petrizzi with :15 left before intermission.
“The mistake early (1st Trinity TD) hurt,” said Ludlowe’s first-year coach Mitchell Ross. “But the touchdown at the end of the half put us in a deep hole. 26-7 is completely different than 19-7.”
GAME FILM A HIT FOR TRINITY
By jumping out to an early edge, Trinity Catholic was able to burn clock with its running game Friday.
Before hurting his ankle early in the third quarter, Crusader senior Nick Melia amassed 110 yards on 12 carries including a 79-yard burst to the Ludlowe 1.
Trinity QB Sam Aldof added seven carries for 64 yards including a TD. The Crusaders’ 184 yards rushing on 31 carries allowed Aldof to complete 5 of 11 passes for 98 yards and two TD passes to Petrizzi.
“We saw there were some possibilities in the passing game in our film study,” said senior quad-captain Petrizzi, who took a quick toss to the sideline 51 yards for a third-quarter score. “We built confidence gaining the early lead. Lucas Breault’s block sprung me on the TD connection.”
LUDLOWE CAN’T RUSH REBUILDING PROCESS
The loss left Ludlowe at 0-5 on the season.
Playing from behind forced the Falcons to be a one-dimensional offense.
Ludlowe senior quarterback Josh Evans completed 31 of 55 passes for 309 yards. He was sacked four times and threw one interception. The Falcons had just 15 yards rushing on seven carries.
“I don’t question our effort. The kids have worked hard every week,” Ludlowe coach Ross said. “We got yardage on offense. We just need to step up and plug some holes. We have to keep our heads up and battle. This is just a necessary part of our long-range plan.”
EVERY CRUSADER IS IMPORTANT
Trinity Catholic has survived despite a roster than numbers between 35 and 40 players.
The Crusaders have more two-platoon players than they would like. But there is no alternative.
“It was great to bounce back. It was a team win as everybody contributed,” TC’s Petrizzi said. “We showed our character and what we’re made of.”
Trinity Catholic travels to New Canaan on Friday.
TRINITY CATHOLIC 40, LUDLOWE 19
LUDLOWE 0 7 6 6—19
TRINITY CATHOLIC 13 13 14 0—40
TC—Anthony Anderson recovers backward pass in end zone (David Broncati kick)
TC—Sam Aldof 12 run (kick failed)
TC—Jeff Bivona 1 run (kick failed)
L—Kevin Quinn 1 run (Andrew Middleton kick)
TC—John Petrizzi 11 pass from Aldof (Broncati kick)
TC—Petrizzi 51 pass from Aldof (Broncati kick)
L—Aidan Wykoff 36 pass from Josh Evans (pass failed)
TC—Bivona 82 kickoff return (Broncati kick)
L—Robert Farrugio 18 pass from Evans (kick failed)
Records: Ludlowe 0-5; Trinity Catholic 2-3.