Warde takes home Gallagher-Baynas Memorial Trophy

Warde's Brandon Bisack threw for three touchdowns. (Photos by Bill Bloxsom)

Warde’s Brandon Bisack threw for three touchdowns.
(Photos by Bill Bloxsom)

The Fairfield Warde football team overcame an early 12-0 deficit and posted a 27-12 victory over Fairfield Ludlowe before a crowd of 1,800 at Tetreau-Davis Field on Thanksgiving Day.
Brandon Bisack threw three touchdowns passes to Ryan Brown and coach Duncan Dellavolpe’s Mustangs finished the season with a 6-5 record. Daleek Chambers and Chris Howell scored touchdowns for coach Vin Camera’s Falcons (4-7).
Brown, who had six catches for 92 yards and the three scores, was Warde’s MVP. Howell took home MVP honors for Ludlowe.
“To have a winning season with this group is special,” Dellavolpe said. “We played as close to a (complete) well-played game as we could.”
Ludlowe took a 6-0 lead on its first play from scrimmage, when Chambers raced 80 yards up the sideline for a score.
After Warde’s second empty series to start the game, Ludlowe quarterback Bryan Pacewicz hooked up with Mitch Wykoff for a 65-yard gain to the Warde 5-yard line.
Running behind George Harris, Will Melbourne, Jake Tymon, Alex Zeko and Billy Stapleton, Howell bulldozed his way into the end zone from there, and Ludlowe led 12-0 with 6:18 remaining in the first quarter.
After a high snap from midfield was recovered by Warde’s Wade Petro at the Ludlowe 25-yard line, Bisack hooked up with Jake Dougherty for 16 yards and then threw an 8-yard touchdown pass to Brown.
The first of three conversion kicks by Chris Jones with 1:47 left in the first period.
“We shot ourselves in the foot,” Camera said. “It’s 12-0 with the ball and we hand them a touchdown. We never regained momentum.”

Ryan Brown goes up for one of his three touchdown receptions.

Ryan Brown goes up for one of his three touchdown receptions.

Warde’s defense got the ball back and led by Aristotle Proskinitopoulos, Joe Ward, Tyler Mazut, Will Mitola and Petro, the Mustangs’ took the ball 62 yards on 10 plays. Bryan Azarian got to the edge and scored on a 9-yard run to take the lead at 14-12.
After a double possession (Jack Dailey had recovered a fumbled punt) by Ludlowe ran out of steam after a 22-yard loss on a high snap and a 24-yard pass to Jake Kiremidjian was negated by penalty, Warde got the ball back on its 24.
Jack Whiting and Nick Nardone had the bulk of the carries, and Aubrey Raha a key reception, and the Mustangs drove the distance in 12 plays.
Bisack found Brown for a 27-yard touchdown and Jones’ PAT made it 21-12 with 18.4 seconds left in the first half.
In the third quarter, Bisack looked for Nardone over the middle, but Zeko dropped from his linebacker position, reached up to tip the ball, and made a diving interception on the 34.
Howell broke loose behind a great block by Harris for a 19-yard gain, but a false start set the drive back.
Warde never let up and marched 87 yards in 10 plays to take a 27-12 lead on Brown’s 17-yard touchdown grab with 1:48 to play in the third quarter.

Mitch Wykoff makes a catch before turning it into a touchdown.

Mitch Wykoff makes a catch before turning it into a touchdown.

Ludlowe put together a 10-play drive of its own, which took the game into the final quarter, but the Falcons gave the ball back on downs at the Warde 39 after Hassan Miller dropped Pacewicz for a loss on 4th-and-eight.
Warde controlled the line of scrimmage for seven of the final 10 minutes to retain possession of the Gallagher-Baynas Memorial Trophy.
Bisack finished the game 24-of-33 passing for 224 yards with three scores and an interception. Nardone had six catches for 46 yards.
Petro (nine tackles), Max Snapper (eight), Mike Cerminaro (six), Conor Gallagher (five), Danny Reale (five), John Cassette (five) and Brown (five) led the defense.

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