WILTON, Conn. The Wilton Junior 6th-Grade Black defense bent but did not break against Darien in its Fairfield County Football League season opener Sunday. Clinging to a slim 2-point lead, Wilton held off three Darien drives in the fourth quarter to hang on to win. Lineman Brennan Troy's emphatic stop on fourth down on Darien's final possession sealed the 14-12 victory for Wilton Black.
Wilton made noise early with a 38-yard interception return by Zach Zeyher to the 4-yard line on the second play of the game. Two plays later, Jack Mcerlain plunged into the end zone to give Wilton a lead it would never relinquish.
Darien answered early in the second quarter when Kevin Grune broke free and dashed 90 yards for a touchdown. Darien failed on the extra point conversion, however, which would prove to be the difference in the game.
On the next Wilton drive, Robert Hermann pulled in an over-the-shoulder catch on a perfectly lobbed pass from quarterback Quinn Schneider for a 36-yard touchdown. Wilton converted on the extra point again, increasing the lead to eight by halftime.
Darien's Edward Tierney struck early in the third quarter with a 22-yard dash to the end zone. Darien failed to add the potential game-tying 2-point conversion.
From there, the game came down to defense. Wilton answered the call each time, coming up with the critical stops when it needed them on third and fourth downs.
Herman, Troy and Dominic Romero starred on defense, rushing the quarterback all afternoon. Ethan Reichgut ended the second quarter with a bone-crunching hit that fired up Wilton into halftime.
Head coach Kurt Schneider said the win was "a total team effort." Wilton Junior 6th-Grade Black will host Darien Junior Wave on Saturday at 6:30 p.m. at Wilton High School.
Video highlights from this game are at http://bcove.me/3pwbhp81
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