— Mike C (@mikecfree) September 21, 2019
FAIRFIELD — Trailing Stamford by a point with six seconds remaining in the first half, Fairfield Warde coach Duncan DellaVolpe had a choice — run out the clock or try something with a low-probability of success from the shadow of his own goal line.
DellaVolpe picked door No. 2.
It turned out to be a Joey Gulbin screen pass that running back Chris Idieu took 87 yards for a go-ahead touchdown. The play proved to be the difference in Fairfield Warde’s 21-7 win over Stamford Friday night at Tetreau-Davis Field.
“My (assistant) coach talked me out of a play and said at least try the screen,” DellaVolpe said. “Chris hit it … good blocking downfield from our receivers. We definitely needed that tonight.”
Both teams are now 1-1.
For Stamford it felt like a missed opportunity.
“We should have made the tackle,” Stamford coach Jamar Greene said of the touchdown pass. “We went back and watched it on film and it was uncalled for and just a missed opportunity on our end. That was our fault. It changed everything.”
The explosive half-ending play highlighted a game that saw the two teams combine for nearly 25 penalties. The continued string of mistakes left both Greene and DellaVolpe scratching their heads afterward.
“We couldn’t hurt ourselves more,” DellaVolpe said.
Stamford started brightly and appeared primed to pick up where it left off following an emotional Week 1 upset over Staples.
The Black Knights moved the ball on the ground thanks to Terrance Mapp with ease to midfield. Quarterback Isaiah Johnson then found Tyriq Deveaux streaking behind the Warde defense for a 42-yard touchdown less than four minutes in. Johnson finished with 195 yards passing.
“We had a rhythm, we were doing all right at the beginning and then it’s 3rd-and-40,” Greene said. “We don’t have a play for 3rd-and-40. We shot ourselves in the foot too many times. You can’t win a football game that way.”
Warde answered on its first drive, capped on a four-yard run by Ryan Janz to make it 7-6. The senior finished with 112 rushing yards.
The Mustangs iced the game late in the fourth quarter. Facing fourth down from the Stamford 12, Gulbin scrambled and eventually picked out Brett Lauterbach on the left side of the field for his second touchdown pass. Gulbin finished with 225 yards passing.
“The past three years it’s been close against Stamford,” Gulbin said. “They’re a tough team and play hard. We got the best of them.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Ryan Janz, Fairfield Warde. The senior running back finished with 112 yards on the ground and helped the Mustangs run out the clock down the stretch.
“That’s a dangerous team we just played. I’m happy with the win and not much else” — Fairfield Warde coach Duncan DellaVolpe
WARDE 21, STAMFORD 7
STAMFORD 7 0 0 0—7
FAIRFIELD WARDE 6 8 0 7—21
S—Tyriq Deveaux 42 pass Isaiah Johnson (Alain Paul Kick)
FW—Ryan Janz 4 run (kick failed)
FW—Chris Idieu 87 pass Joey Gulbin (Connor Burt pass Gulbin)
FW—Brett Lauterbach 12 passed Gulbin (Jessica Pitaniello kick)
Records: Stamford 1-1; Fairfield Warde 1-1