FAIRFIELD, Conn. For the second straight week, Fairfield Warde High School football took a conference powerhouse to the wire. And for the second straight week, the Mustangs could not hold onto a fourth quarter lead.
New Canaan erased a late seven-point deficit Friday night, scoring 21 points in the final nine minutes to beat Warde 28-14.
The Warde defense was nearly flawless, roughing up New Canaan quarterback Matthew Milano for four sacks. Ryan Jacob kicked it off in rousing fashion for the Mustangs, running back an interception 31 yards for a touchdown.
After New Canaan answered with a touchdown of its own, the score stayed locked at 7-7 until the fourth quarter. Facing third-and-long, Warde went for it and scored.
Quarterback Chris Foley connected with Kevin Sullivan for a 37-yard touchdown to put Warde up 14-7 with 11 minutes to play. It was one of the few bright spots for Foley on a night the Mustangs bread and butter its running game stalled.
Sullivans touchdown catch might have silenced the near-sellout New Canaan crowd, but it awoke the Rams monster. On the next New Canaan possession, Milano shook free of his nightlong funk. He perfectly timed a pass to a diving Patrick Newton in the back-left corner of the end zone for a touchdown.
New Canaan missed the extra point, but Milano was more than ready to prove he is one of the best quarterbacks in the state. He morphed into an option quarterback and began to run.
Milano ran for more than 50 yards in the final six minutes, plunging in for a pair of one-yard touchdowns. The second came after Bobby Distler sealed the game with a backbreaking interception.
Dave Wolff, Gerry Walker and Dario Pugliano were spectacular on defense, each sacking Milano. Pugliano got to the senior all-state quarterback twice.
I have no complaints about our defense, whatsoever, Warde head coach Duncan DellaVolpe said. If we had a few more kids on our team to [let others] rest, we make the jump. But Im more proud of these kids tonight than any other team or in any other game Ive coached.
Warde (1-2) will host Bassick on Thursday at 7 p.m.
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