White jump starts Ludlowe attack

Jimmy Gasper and Warren Davis may be the horses on the Fairfield Ludlowe football team’s offense, but the true catalyst, the kid who makes them go, is senior quarterback Matt White.
White called the plays Friday night, as the Falcons returned home after three road trips and two games over an eight-day period, and the Falcons posted what they consider a “momentum victory” in defeating Bridgeport Central, 46-20, before close to 2,000 at Taft Field.
White scored three touchdowns and Ludlowe ran 59 offensive plays and gained 297 yards (238 on the ground) in bringing its record to 2-1 going into a Saturday home contest (3 p.m.) against an improved Harding High team and its new head coach Jack Cochran.
White also completed 7-of-11 passes for 59 yards. His favorite receiver was senior Michael Arman, who caught six passes for 54 yards.
“Matt ran the show tonight, he’s a true team leader,” said Ludlowe coach Vin Camera. “Our game plan was to play as much ball-control as possible. We knew Central had a kid (Mykel Morris) who could really hurt us if we gave them too much time with the ball.
“The best way to stop a good offensive player is to keep him on the sidelines. I thought we did a fairly good job of doing that in this game.”
Morris, a junior and a converted running back who was moved to quarterback by Central head coach Brian Gordon, led the Hilltopper attack by rushing for 107 yards on 20 carries and passing for another 161, accounting for 271 of his teams’ 290 yards of offense.
Morris scored on a 59-yard run and threw touchdown passes of 46 and 15 yards to Dominique Hancock, who caught 4 of Morris’ 12 completions (out of 16 attempts) for 68 yards.
Central, however, was called for nine penalties and 44 yards and turned the ball over four times (three on fumbles and one interception).
The miscues, especially the penalties, bothered Gordon, whose team is winless after three games and meets Danbury on Friday night.
“Mykel had a great game, he’s a special player,” Gordon said. “But, right now, our toughest opponent is ourselves. We have to learn to play the game better. I told my kids that right after we finished.
“Until we fix that, we can’t worry and it doesn’t matter who are opponent is.”
The Falcons’ defense, led by Alex Zeko, Patrick O’Donovan, Billy Stapleton and the Harris brothers, David and George up front, had two scores and forced four turnovers.
On its first offensive drive, Ludlowe ran nine plays, but came up short and failed to score on Charles Kottler’s 40-yard field-goal attempt.
Then, its defense went to work.
Cole Fetcho, a senior safety, picked off a Morris pass and returned it 43 yards for a score with 3:48 to play in the opening quarter.
Kottler converted the kick and the Falcons led, 7-0.
They increased it to 13-0 on Miller’s 6-yard run at 10:32. Kottler made it a 14-point margin with another successful kick.
But the Hilltoppers, behind Morris, cut it to 14-6 with a 46-yard pass to Hancock. Morris’ conversion pass, however, came up short and Ludlowe held an 8-point lead.
On the next series, White pioneered Ludlowe on one of its longer drives of the game. The Falcons went 66 yards on 11 plays with White scoring from a yard out, making it 20-6.
Kottler’s kick was blocked.
“I thought our offensive schemes were very good tonight,” said White. “We want to throw the ball just enough to keep the defense off-balance.
“Our offensive line (with Zeko and George Harris at the tackles, Tanner Hibbert and Jake Garrell at guards and David Harris at center) may not be the biggest around, but their technique is very good. They’re able to move players out of our way, allowing our backs to pick up yardage.”
White might’ve rushed for 112 yards, but Miller also gained 59 (on 18 carries) and Gasper had 67 on 13 tries while scoring two touchdowns.
Central narrowed the Falcons’ lead again with 1:47 to play in the half as Morris completed a 15-yard pass to Hancock before running for a two-point conversion, sending the game into halftime with Ludlowe leading by six.
The Falcons, however, put the game out of reach with a 26-point second half, highlighted by a game-ending 99-yard fumble return for a touchdown by Ben Cheney.
Central’s only touchdown in the final 24 minutes came on a 59-yard run by Morris.
“What I asked these kids to do was play two halves of football tonight,” Camera said. “We had a very good first half in our win (24-21) over Lyman Hall, then we were completely flat in our first half against Ridgefield before coming back to score 20 unanswered points in the third quarter (before losing, 41-20).
“This should be a momentum win for us.
“We had that tough stretch with three, long road trips (twice to Wallingford to complete the game with Lyman Hall) in eight days.
“That would be difficult for any team.”

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