After graduating more than 75 percent of its starters most around Fairfield county would consider the Darien High School football team in rebuild mode.
The junior starting quarterback threw for four touchdowns and ran for another in his as the Blue Wave blitzed Fairfield Ludlowe, 38-13 on Saturday at Darien High School.
"I was very happy for him," Trifone said of Baldwin. "Henry has earned his stripes and it showed this afternoon."
After losing 17 of 22 starters from a squad that won the 2010 FCIAC title, Darien broke in almost an entirely fresh squad with something to prove. That includes Baldwin who was starting his first varsity game, after sitting behind starter Chris Allam a year ago.
"A lot of kids made their first starts today and everyone played well," Baldwin said. "We've all been excited to carry on from last year's FCIAC championship team."
Baldwin finished with 139 yards, all coming in the first half and threw touchdowns to four different Darien receivers-- Patrick McDonald, Matthew Forelli, Ryan Barthold and Michael Stovall. The Blue Wave led 35-0 at halftime.
"They're methodical in everything they do," Ludlowe coach Matt McCloskey said of Darien.
Ludlowe quarterback Tommy Howell and Stephen Scholz each ran for touchdowns in the second half, as the Falcons fell in their season opener for the third straight year. Scholz led the Falcons with 38 yards rushing.
"We're moving in the right direction," McCloskey said. "We have to stay positive, the school has to stay positive and we'll be fine."
It took the defending FCIAC champions exactly 56 seconds to get on the board in the 2011 season. The Blue Wave went 64 yards in three plays, capped by 39 yard pass play from Baldwin to McDonald to put Darien up 7-0.
"[Baldwin] has a great arm," McCloskey said.
After Ludlowe went three-and-out, Darien went 48 yards in eight plays, finished by a 10 yard connection between Baldwin and Barthold to put the Blue Wave in front 14-0.
"It was an important confidence builder for this group," Trifone said.
The Blue Wave offensive line gave Baldwin ample time to throw, and maneuver in the pocket, as Darien scored on its first five offensive drives. The Blue Wave did not punt in the game.
"He had a ton of time back there," McCloskey said of Baldwin. "When you don't have any pressure back there, it makes it that easy."
"The line played great," Baldwin said.
Darien's defense shined, too as the Blue Wave held Ludlowe to just 33 yards in the first half.
"We take pride in our offensive and defensive line play," Trifone said. "I was very impressed by them."
Trifone and his team knows the Blue Wave are in for a test in a week, though as Darien will travel to Fairfield Warde on Friday night at 7 p.m. The Mustangs are 1-0 and shocked the Blue Wave on Darien's last trip to Fairfield in 2009.
"They're big, strong, fast and well coached," Trifone said. "It's going to be a good challenge."