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Wilton 3 White Battles to a Standstill

WILTON, Conn -- The Wilton White 3rd Grade football team settled for a 0 – 0 tie with Fairfield after a hard fought defensive battle in the Fairfield County Football League.

The game started with Wilton’s defense on the field against the Fairfield’s disciplined and physical offense that was intent on running the ball with authority.  But with defensive ends Joshua White and Austin Cameron containing the running backs and outside linebackers Davis Cote and Quinn Wiseman running up to make big tackles, the Fairfield drive finally stalled deep in Wilton territory.  On a fourth down play with three minutes remaining in the first quarter, Fairfield tested the middle of the Wilton defense only to be slowed by interior linemates  Matt Gulbin, Michael Coffey, Henry Sell and Blake Pagano-Walley, as middle linebacker Sean Sullivan drove the ballcarrier back for a loss.

The Wilton offense responded with a balanced running attack that featured nice gains on sweeps by quarterback Everett Andersen and running backs Sullivan and Cote.  Nice blocking by Logan Brady, Jason Bivona and Jack Fielden helped the drive push deep into Fairfield territory.  The Wilton offense fumbled away the momentum they were building but Wilton’s defense responded, forcing a Fairfield punt on their next possession after a great tackle by linebacker Wiseman.  As was to be the story of the day however, Wilton’s offense would be stopped short of the end zone on its next possession despite three nice runs by Blake Pagano-Walley and a nice pass reception by Coffey in a newly unveiled aerial attack led by quarterback Andersen.

With only 28 seconds left in the half, the Fairfield quarterback completed a beautiful pass up the middle that looked like it might break the deadlock until Pagano-Walley and cornerbacks Spencer Dean and Luke O’Neil combined on a touchdown saving tackle to end the half.

As the second half started Wilton’s offensive frustrations continued  as a 50 yard touchdown run by fullback Coffey, made possible by solid blocking from Charlie Hastings, Bivona, Sell, Brady, Cameron, White, Pagano-Walley and Gulbin, was called back due to a penalty.   It was now clear the defense had to carry the load on this afternoon.  And on Fairfield’s first possession of the second half White, Cameron, Sell and Sullivan responded with multiple tackles for loss.  Alex Smith, Connor Healey, Daniel Gruseke, Jake Eagen, Michael Gruseke and Jack Fielden all made great contributions on defense and were a huge part of keeping Fairfield out of the end zone throughout the second half.

Wilton’s defense withstood one final push deep into its territory late in the fourth quarter.  With only two minutes left, the Warriors stiffened their backs and made a courageous stand.  A second and goal play at their own 5-yard line was turned into a loss by an impressive tackle by linebacker Sullivan.  On 3rd and goal, the Fairfield running back seemed to have an angle on the end zone, but defensive end Austin Cameron made a punishing open field tackle, dropping the runner for a loss and saving the game for the Warriors.  Fairfield’s  fourth down pass attempt fell incomplete.

Wilton had one last chance with 13 seconds left in the game deep in their territory but the pass fell incomplete and the young Warriors experienced their first tie.

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