Notre Dame looks to future

Notre Dame fell victim to six turnovers when coach Dawon Dicks’ Lancers dropped a 37-14 South-West Conference decision to Stratford High on Friday night.
Notre Dame touchdowns came on a Marcus Fulton 79-yard kickoff return to make it 14-6 in the second period, and a last-minute Tajik Bagley 43-yard run from scrimmage.
The Lancers will visit Joel Barlow (2-0) in Redding at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Stratford coach John Svatik sees similarity between where his team was two years ago and the position Notre Dame finds itself in now.
“I told Dawon to stay with what you’re doing, don’t change,” Svatik said after his team improved to 1-1.
“Those young kids are pretty talented. He has good kids, young kids, who are playing hard. If they stick with [the program] they are going to be very good down the road.”
The Lancers boast a handful of seniors in Jalani Roman, Sean Edwards, Conroy Johnson, Justin Bennett and Kevin Lang.
But   23 freshmen currently dominate the roster, with eight juniors and seven sophomores.
Notre Dame moved the chains twice to open the game behind the blocking of Kyle Pettway, Johnson, Lang, Trent Hudson and Noel Santella.
Edwards took a jet sweep for an eight-yard gain and starting quarterback Glody Tumba, a freshman, completed a 21-yard pass to Roman up the sideline to the Stratford 41.
Tumba and Fulton carried to a first down at the 30, but a forced fumble gave Stratford possession.
The Red Devils, which lost a 24-19 decision to Brookfield in their opener, ran three times to midfield before Stratford went for it all and Edwards intercepted a Michael Cannata pass on the Lancer 18.
Notre Dame worked its way forward on a nine-yard run by Tumba and a 10-yard catch by Roman.
Bagley, a scintillating freshman, broke off a long run inside the Stratford 40, but a chop block penalty brought the ball back.
Three plays later, the Devils’ Sergio Colon caught a tipped pass before it hit the ground for an interception at the Stratford 41.
The Devils marched 59 yards in six plays and scored on Noah Provo’s nine-yard run two plays into the second quarter.
The PAT was good for a 7-0 lead.
Bagley returned the ensuing kickoff 53 yards, using three cut backs to evade defenders.
From the Stratford 32, Tumba threw to Roman for 10 yards and then ran for 11 more for a first down at the nine.
A false start penalty, followed by a delay of game infraction, pushed the Lancers back to the 19.
On third-and-goal from the 17, Provo read the pass perfectly and returned the interception 92 yards for a Stratford touchdown.
The PAT made it 14-0 with 6:30 left in the half.
Twenty-two seconds later, Notre Dame was on the board as Fulton returned the ensuing kickoff 79 yards to paydirt.
The conversion run failed.
With Kendell Threatt, Lang. Johnson and Lynn Nicholas putting pressure on front the front line, and Armanni Rivera, Sam Emmanuel, Roman, Hudson and Logan Danville at linebacker, Stratford had trouble establishing its rushing attack.
Cannata went up top again, this time finding Bryan Lesperence in stride down the sideline for a 66-yard catch-and-carry for a score.
That made it 21-6 after the PAT with 3:55 remaining in the half.
Things got worse for the locals, when Colon intercepted a swing pass in the flat and ran untouched for a 28-yard touchdown.
A fumble on its 42 on its next possession put Notre Dame further behind the eight ball.
Kyle Kodnia’s 25-yard field goal put Stratford up 31-6 at the half.
Carl Hoyt and Fulton stopped a sweep and Stratford was forced to punt on its first series of the third quarter.
Junior Matt Moffat came in at quarterback and Edwards followed a fine block by Hakim Fleming for 15 yards.
But Stratford’s put similar pressure on Moffat as it had on Tumba, and the Red Devils held on downs at their 40.
Ten plays later, on the third play of the final period, Stratford’s Milo Mitchell ran 25 yards for a touchdown.
Ludlowe football
Warren Davis scored on touchdown runs of five and one yard for the Falcons in a 41-14 loss to Ridgefield High on Friday night.
The visiting Tigers improved to 1-1, while Ludlowe dropped to 0-2.
Ludlowe will visit Trumbull High (0-2) at 7 p.m. on Friday.
The Eagles are coming off a 37-30 overtime loss to Westhill of Stamford.
Prep football
Prep posted its second straight 47-0 victory of the season when coach Tom Davis’ Jesuits defeated East Haven at Alumni Field on Friday night.
Prep (2-0) scored 34 points in the first quarter to take control of the Easties (1-1).
Chris Golger scored on a 41-yard run before Matt Montani returned an interception seven yards for a touchdown.
Dillon Ryan ran in from 15 yards out and John Moten tacked on a 41-yard run.
Tavon Givens-Hunter scored on a one-yard run in the final seconds and Prep had its lead.
Andrew Vegilante scored on a nine-yard run in the third quarter and Riley Bloom completed the scoring with a five-yard run in the final period.
Liam Coyle made five conversion kicks.
Prep will visit Xavier of Middletown (2-0), the state’s top-ranked team, at Palmer Field at 7 p.m. on Friday.
Warde football
Max Garrett threw for one score and ran for another, but it wasn’t enough as Darien High posted a 44-21 home victory on Saturday.
T.J. Gallagher was first on the board for the Mustangs (0-2) when he ran it in from two yards after the Blue Wave (2-0) held a 24-0 lead in the second quarter.
Connor McGuinness added the first of three conversion kicks.
Garrett scored on a 36-yard run between a pair of Darien touchdowns in the third period.
Ryan Jacob caught a 17-yard touchdown pass from Garrett in the final stanza.
Warde will host New Canaan (1-1) at 10:30 a.m. on Saturday.
The Rams are coming off a 31-28 overtime loss to Trinity Catholic of Stamford.

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