Ludlowe-Warde game story

The Fairfield Ludlowe football team sent coach Matt McCloskey out on the winning side and brought the Gallagher-Baryas Trophy back to its side of town with a 31-13 victory over Fairfield Warde before more than 2,500 fans at Tetreau-Davis Field on Thanksgiving.
Ludlowe (5-5) finished its season with four straight victories, all coming after McCloskey let his team know he was resigning.
“This is a great group of kids,” McCloskey said. “They went through a tough season [a year ago] and had a tough [1-5] start this year.
“I told them [of his decision] and they took the last four games and went off running.
“The kids were amazing.”
Matt White, who boosted the Falcons to a 21-13 lead with a 52-yard touchdown run on their first possession of the third quarter, was Ludlowe’s MVP.
“It means a lot to all of us, winning over Warde is a huge accomplishment,” White said. “The way this team ended the season, ended this game, I couldn’t ask for anything better.”
It was during halftime that Ludlowe received its marching orders.
“I said to them that we have to get a push up front and we’d pop one,” McCloskey said. “Our offensive line did a great job caving in the outside.”
Sam Murphy, Jake Garrell, Dylan Claiborne, David Harris, Alex Gorsuch and Stephan Zadravec held off the Warde defense, and White’s run up the sideline on an sweep put Warde in a two-score hole only 8:24 into the third quarter.
The Mustangs (1-9) countered with a 59-yard drive with Mustang MVP Mark Byrne catching passes of 18 and 34 yards to move the chains.
T.J. Gallagher scored on a two-yard run to make it 21-13 at the 2:25 mark of the third.
The Mustangs forced a punt and moved to the Ludlowe 14, only to give up another fumble.
Ludlowe drove 75 yards in a time-consuming 15 plays, as the game went from the third quarter and into the fourth.
On fourth-and-one from midfield, McCloskey rolled the dice and White went on a quick count and gained two yards for a first down to keep possession.
Stephen Scholz and Christian Ghiorzi had chain-moving carries, before Scholz ripped off a 13-yard touchdown run for a 28-13 lead with 2:59 left to play.
“We needed our O-line to play better,” said Grinnell, a 5-11, 230-pound junior. “We were giving it hard on defense and had to do it up front on offense.
“This win means a lot to our seniors, our team, and our coach.”
D’Ascenzo kicked a 32-yard field goal for Ludlowe in the final minute.
Ludlowe’s Sal Loris intercepted a pass on Warde’s first possession, but the Mustangs held from midfield with Dan Cetta, Dan Skelton and Colin McKeown making plays.
On Warde’s next series, the Falcons’ Jimmy Gasper blocked a Warde punt from the 22 and recovered the ball in the end zone. Victor D’Ascenzo made the first of four PATs for a 7-0 lead with 1:21 remaining in the first period.
Ludlowe’s Kyle Dammeyer and Warde’s Tommy Ward had matching fumble recoveries before the next turnover was game-turning.
Warde, which suffered four fumbles to take away from a sustained offensive attack, drove to the Ludlowe four-yard line.
Here, a bobbled handoff was picked up by Ludlowe’s Ben Brzoski on the 11 and he rambled 89 yards for a Falcon touchdown with 7:49 left in the half.
“That’s been our season more or less,” Mustang coach Duncan DellaVolpe said. “It’s not been through lack of effort or lack of trying, it’s just something I can’t explain.”
Warde had reason to expect the good would eventually over come the bad, as it moved the ball well.
Gallagher had a fine kickoff return and Warde put together a 69-yard drive to get on the board with 2:50 to play in the half.
Kerven Jacques had some good gains and a pass reception to help move the chains, before Max Garrett scored on an 11-yard run. Conor McGuinness added the conversion kick.
Warde couldn’t move the ball to start the third quarter, and that’s when White took off on his 52-yard scoring gallop.
“From game one until today we had to eliminate our mistakes,” DellaVolpe said. “The seniors held us together and our kids showed up every day and gave it their best.”

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