Football: Mistakes cost Fairfield Ludlowe

Ludlowe's Aiden Kudzy (7) looks to get away from two Trumbull High defenders. — Steve D'Amato photo

Fairfield Ludlowe’s Aiden Kudzy (7) looks to get away from two Trumbull High defenders. — Steve D’Amato photo

As Hall-of-Fame NFL football coach Bill Parcells said: “You are what your record says you are.” Fairfield Ludlowe head football coach Vin Camera agrees.

“Yes, we left points on the field and special team mistakes accounted for a swing of fourteen points, but you can’t spot a good team like Trumbull touchdowns,” he said after Ludlowe lost its season opener to the visiting Eagles, 35-6, before a large crowd at Taft Field on Friday night.

“Our depth was tried and they wore us down. We gave up big plays and didn’t finish off big plays.”

Ludlowe stopped Trumbull on its first possession, as Chris Howell intercepted Johnny McElroy on the Falcons’ six-yard line.

Here’s where Trumbull showed off its edge in special teams. Harrison Klas broke through after a three-and-out and his blocked punt gave the Eagles the ball at the Ludlowe six-yard line. Markeese Woods scored from the one two plays later.

“You can chalk (a lot of Trumbull’s points) to special teams,” Camera said. “We’ll be going back to fundamentals. We had a good preseason, but a bad week of practice.”

The Eagles were back in business when Dustin Siqueria recovered a squibbed kickoff on the Falcon 37. But led by Billy Stapleton and Tommy Chandler, the Falcons held on downs at their 29.

Two plays later, quarterback Aiden Kudzy play-faked a handoff and fired a pass to Javion Beasley, who stiff-armed a would-be tackler on the 48 and scampered 65 yards inside a fine stalk block from Mitch Wykoff.

The long PAT attempt after a penalty was blocked, and it was a 7-6 game with 4:14 left in the quarter.

After one exchange of punts, Ludlowe’s Markus Schuemann booted a 46-yarder. McElroy got all the yards, plus 25 more, when he dropped a pass into Woods’ arms while the sophomore was racing up the near sideline.

Hoffmann’s kick made it 14-6 with 2:36 remaining on the clock before halftime.

Kudzy, behind the blocking of Brendan Casey, Jasper Jones, Will Melbourne, Schuemann and Stapleton, guided the Falcons down field with Sean Close gaining key yards and Howell catching an 18-yard pass.

With 2.3 seconds left, Kudzy put the ball where only Beasley could catch it, but the junior couldn’t come up with the catch cleanly in the end zone as the half ended.

Klas’ pinned Ludlowe deep with a great punt on his own early in the third quarter.

Ryan Kelly dropped the Falcons for a seven-yard loss to the three and Klas again broke through to block the punt.

This time he won a scramble for the ball in the end zone for the touchdown. Hoffmann’s kick made it 21-6 at the 3:21 mark of the third period.

Ludlowe had two straight chances to climb back in the game.

Kudzy rambled 47 yards on a keeper and moved the chains to the Trumbull 18 with an 11-yard carry.

Cory Haslam came up big for the Eagles, joining Desmond Washington for one stop and then submarining Kudzy while fighting off a trap block for no gain on a third-and-two run from the 10.

On fourth down, the Eagles shot their linebackers threw the gaps and Joey Ryan got a piece of Kudzy and waited for help to arrive for the drive-stopping eight-yard loss.

Ludlowe had another opportunity when the Trumbull punter’s knee touched the ground and gave it possession just inside the 10, but the Eagle defense held on downs.

Ludlowe’s defense, led by Jones, forced a three-and-out, but the ball kicked off a blocker’s foot and Zach Lombardi recovered for Trumbull at its own 32.

Two plays later, McElroy went up top to the mercurial Hoffman, who took his reception for a 73-yard touchdown.

Jonny DeRosa jumped a pass route and his interception gave the ball back to Trumbull at the 44.

Hoffmann then went right before he cut back and went the distance to complete the scoring with 4:12 left in the final period.

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