FAIRFIELD — As Duncan DellaVolpe made his way off Tetreau-Davis Field Friday evening, he was able to breathe a sigh of relief. It was a breath that not only signified a hard-fought 13-7 victory over Trinity Catholic, but one that had been a long wait coming; almost a year’s wait.
The Mustangs’ win over visiting Trinity Catholic, not only gave them their first victory of the season but snapped an eight-game losing streak dating back to Oct. 12, 2012.
“The kids don’t give up,” DellaVolpe said. “I can’t fault their effort, ever, when they play. I am really happy that they finished it and they didn’t give up. They played physical and hard tonight which is what we talked about.”
The effort was almost wasted as the Crusaders had a chance to tie or take the lead with just under three minutes to play. A fourth down play with about a minute left, however, fell short for Trinity Catholic and Warde took over. The Mustangs (1-2) ran out the clock and celebrated the win they had been waiting oh, so long for.
“Huge,” DellaVolpe said of the win and what it meant to the players. “They have to feel victory again. So that was the big thing. It’s been a while. Now they know (they can win) for sure.”
Trinity, still searching for its first win of the season, finished the game without quarterback Connor Amann on the last series due to an injury. Head coach Donny Panapada was happy though with the effort and the way his team played.
“I’m proud of them. Proud of the way they played,” Panapada said. “We obviously…our quarterback goes down, our defense played well. I think that’s a good football team (Warde). I really do. They got some big kids they got some skilled guys. I’m proud of the way we fought; obviously made some mistakes, but I saw less today. They fought right down to the end.”
After falling behind by seven points early, the Mustangs answered as quarterback Brandon Bisack connected on his first pass to Ryan Brown for the 28-yard score.
From then on, Warde relied on its ground game, utilizing the lethal duo of T.J. Gallagher and Colin Ventura. Gallagher piled up some tough yardage and was a force to reckon with on defense. He finished with 121 yards rushing, while teammate Ventura added the game-winning touchdown, which was a 47-yard sprint to the end zone in the second quarter.
“T.J. played great and I am really happy with Colin Ventura,” DellaVolpe said. “Ventura made some great blocks and had some great runs and I am really happy T.J. got more touches.”
Defensively for Warde, Brown had a few big plays as at corner, while Daniel Reale came up with a key interception late in the game.
“Defense we knew we had to be key because they got some really good athletes,” DellaVolpe said. “We did what we wanted to do defensively and offensively.”
Trinity’s lone score came as Amann found Tom Costigan for a short TD score in the first quarter.
Warde will face New Canaan next Friday at 7 p.m.