By Andy Hutchinson | Correspondent
FAIRFIELD — Weston High School’s football team came out on top in a wild, big-play, turnover and penalty-filled contest at South-West Conference rival Notre Dame-Fairfield on a warm Saturday afternoon.
The Trojans found the end zone nine times en route to a 62-32 victory. Weston improved to 3-2 and the Lancers fell to 0-5.
The game was close in the first half and early stages of the second. In fact, the Lancers scored the game’s first touchdown for their first lead of the season – before the Trojans pulled away. Both teams made mistakes, turned the ball over, and committed penalties. The Trojans benefited the most from the miscues to pile up the points.
Despite the loss, ND head coach Ted Boynton found some positives.
“I felt like our guys didn’t give up today; they never give up. I’ll go to war with them any day,” he said. “Offensively I think we improved vastly this week.”
Weston coach Joe Lato, meanwhile, saw plenty of areas that need improvement.
“I want to see us get better. We did a lot of things out there that we can control and didn’t,” Lato said. “That was a sloppy game.”
The Weston coach noted that penalties, use of the wrong zone play on defense, and poor special teams play were struggles for his squad.
“When we did execute it did look good,” Lato acknowledged.
Marcus Fulton ran for a 59-yard touchdown to begin the scoring, giving the Lancers a 6-0 lead. The Trojans scored twice in the final 2:37 of the first to take and add to the lead.
Weston quarterback Erik Dammen Brower answered ND’s touchdown with a 28-yard scoring strike to Jackson Siff and Peter Lummis tacked on the extra point for a 7-6 lead late in the first. The Lancers threatened to retake the lead but Weston’s Blake Wertlieb recovered a fumble and returned it 70 yards with just 10 seconds to go in the quarter.
The Lancers got back to within a point at 13-12 when big fullback Hakim Fleming rumbled for an 11-yard score. The drive appeared to have been stalled earlier but a roughing the punter penalty gave the Lancers new life. Fulton picked up a key first down to keep the chains moving and set up Fleming’s score with 6:35 left in the opening half.
The Trojans answered in a hurry as Dammen Brower connected with Lummis on a 50-yard scoring play with 4:41 to go.
Lummis ran the ball in for a two-point conversion and a 21-12 lead.
Notre Dame pulled to within three before halftime behind some razzle dazzle. Quarterback Kyle Aldrich took the snap and handed off to Fleming to, in turn, gave the ball to Fulton who ran it into the endzone from 17 yards out. The end-around play capped a drive that featured a strong run by Fleming in which the fullback dragged several defenders for a 20-yard pickup and a 57-yard scamper by Trent Hudson.
Two plays into the second half, Dammen Brower came up with a fumble recovery, giving the Trojans the ball on the ND 30 yard line. On the next play, Sam Panton ran to the outside and gained 27 yards. Two plays later, Lummis took a direct snap and ran it on from two yards out. Lummis added the extra point kick for a 28-18 lead with 10:35 to go in the third.
The Lancers overcame a 22-yard loss on a bad snap to score when Hudson, under center for several plays, threw to Fulton for a 70-yard scoring play. The extra point kick attempt was blocked, leaving the score 28-24 Weston with 9:05 left in the third.
It didn’t take the Trojans much time to get those points back. Lummis returned the kickoff 80 yards for a TD and a 35-24 advantage. After the Trojans forced a punt they added to the lead on a one-yard run by Lummis. The kick failed but it was 41-24 with 3:55 to go in the quarter.
Weston’s Zach Spencer recovered a fumble at the ND 7 and, two plays later, Weston QB Spencer Turkel scored on a seven-yard run to help his team to a 48-24 lead. Turkel came into the game after Dammen Brower left with an injury.
The Lancers came back with a kick return for a touchdown of their own when Fulton ran the ensuing kick back 85 yards. The Lancers trailed 48-32 after three.
Weston’s Jason Lawrence scored on a seven-yard run and Stephen Gorkin ran in the two-point conversion for a 55-32 lead early in the fourth. Weston’s Alex Frubeis intercepted a pass on the next drive and, just one play later, Lawrence ran the ball 75 yards for another Weston score.
WESTON 13 8 27 14–62
NOTRE DAME 6 12 14 0–32
- ND–Marcus Fulton 59 run (kick failed)
- W–Jackson Siff 28 pass from Spencer Turkel (Peter Lummis kick)
- W–Blake Wertlieb 78 run (kick failed)
- ND–Hakim Fleming 11 run (pass failed)
- W–Lummis 50 run (Lummis run)
- ND–Fulton 17 run (pass failed)
- W–Lummis 2 run (Lummis kick)
- ND–Fulton 70 run (kick failed)
- W–Lummis 80 return (Lummis kick)
- W–Lummis 2 run (kick failed)
- W–Turkel 2 run (Lummis kick)
- ND–Fulton 75 return (Kyle Aldrich run)
- W–Jason Lawrence 7 run (Lummis kick)
- W–Lawrence 75 run (Lummis kick)
Team records: Weston 3-2, Notre Dame 0-5