Warde falls to Foran in thriller

The Fairfield Warde football team came up short in a heart-breaking 28-21 FCIAC loss to Trumbull High at Tetreau-Davis Field on Sept. 20.
The Mustangs led 21-20 entering the fourth quarter, but Trumbull went on a 13-play, 77-yard drive which took five minutes off the clock.
“T.J. (Gallagher) and these kids, they want to win really bad,” said Warde coach Duncan Dellavolpe. “We were in situations tonight where we do one great thing and one average thing and that was a problem.”
Gallagher led the Mustangs (0-2), scoring on an 82-yard touchdown run and an 82-yard kickoff return.
He accounted for 176 yards on the ground and added an interception,
Junior quarterback Brandon Bisack was 9-for-19 in the air, with 128 yards and   a touchdown pass to Ryan Brown, who had 63 yard receiving.
The first two drives for each squad fluttered, as Trumbull’s first drive ended with 20 yards of penalties and Warde went three and out.
Then Eagle quarterback Nick Roberts threw a pick, before the Eagles put together a seven-play, 58-yard drive culminating in a 5-yard touchdown pass from Roberts to Quentin Brunetti. The Eagles ran for two but came up short to lead Warde 6-0.
Warde (0-2) continued to struggle offensively, while Trumbull kept its groove going, starting at its own 17.
The Eagles promptly drove 83 yards on 10 plays to take a 12-0 lead.
Roberts got the drive started with completions to Brunetti of 12 and 25 yards, before Marc Cesare rushed the Eagles down into the red zone.
Cesare finished what he started on an 8-yard sweep to give Trumbull a 12-0 lead, nine minutes until the half.
The Mustangs answered with a drive of their own, marching 72 yards in seven plays, thanks to a 48-yard dash by Gallagher to move Warde into the Eagles’ red zone.
Bisack then hit Brown for the 19-yard touchdown, before the first of three Chris Jones’ extra-points made it 12-7.
Warde’s defense stepped up, making two big stops on the next two drives, thanks to sacks from Amhed Hourani and pressures from Colin McKeown and Zach Conduah.
Once the Mustangs got the ball back, Gallagher took off again gashing the Eagles for an 82-yard touchdown run.
He took the ball off the right guard then cut left and outran Trumbull secondary to give Warde a 14-12 lead at the half.
Gallagher had his offensive line of Kyle Bacharach, Desmond Washington, Jon Newland, Hussam Othman and Pat Sullivan to thank throughout the game.
Warde started the third quarter with the ball, and Gallagher picked up where he left off as first run of the half was for 30 yards.
Bisack then hit Brian Kerrigan for a 43-yard completion to the 11.
Gallagher took three shots at the end zone getting, one, six and then no gain to leave the Mustangs in a fourth-and-goal situation at the four.
Jack Whiting took the handoff and lost six yards, tackled by Trumbull defensive lineman Jordan Pabellon.
“The first drive of the second half we get a big 60-70 yard run and we don’t score when we need to,” Dellavolpe said. “That changed the whole game, because next thing you know they’re down the other end scoring. We just ran out of time.”
The Eagles regained the momentum and drove 90 yards on 12 plays to take  a 20-14 lead midway through the third quarter.
Gallagher and the Mustangs answered immediately, with an 82-yard kickoff return to give the lead back to Warde at 21-20.
After Gallagher’s return, neither team could muster much offensively, each having two scoreless drives until midway through the fourth.
Trumbull finally got a drive together starting at the 23, as Roberts found his familiar connection Brunetti for 12 yards, and then Cesare on a 35-yard screen pass to move into Warde territory.
Roberts-to-Anderson was good for 16 yards, and Roberts scrambled for 10 more.
In the final minute, Roberts found Hayduk in the back right corner of the end zone for the touchdown, and then hit Brunetti for the two-point conversion to lead 28-21 with 50 seconds remaining.
Warde started at its 40, and Bisack found Brown twice for 15 yards to the Trumbull  28 with 17 seconds left.
Bisack hit Brown again for 13 yards with 11 seconds left to put the ball at the 15.
On the next two plays, Bisack threw incompletions, coming up 15 yards short of paydirt.
“I’m proud that we could hang with a traditionally-rich football program like Trumbull,” Dellavolpe said.
“If these kids ever taste winning, they would be really dangerous. They just have to learn how to finish and win.”

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