Ludlowe football tops Norwalk in OT
Published 11:36 pm, Thursday, November 15, 2012
FAIRFIELD -- Held to negative yards in second half offense until the final minutes, and staring a defeat in the face, Fairfield Ludlowe 's football team got late game-tying 64-yard touchdown run from quarterback Matthew White and went on to edge visiting Norwalk 21-20 in overtime on a cold Thursday night.
The host Falcons won their third straight game and kept their hopes of a .500 season alive, improving to 4-5 heading into the season finale against crosstown rival Warde on Thanksgiving. Norwalk, meanwhile, fell to 2-6.
Ludlowe had the first opportunity to score in overtime, set up by extra play rules with a fresh set of downs and a first-and-goal from the 10-yard line. The Falcons cashed in on third down when White connected with Stephen Zadravec for a diving reception the front of the end zone from eight yards out. Victor D'Ascenzo's point after kick turned out to be the difference in the game. Norwalk also scored on its OT chance, when Tomar Joseph ran the ball in from two yards out on fourth down. The Bears, rather than try to knot the score, went for the win. Quarterback Jeremy Linton's pass into the back corner of the end zone was just out of the reach of a leaping Jonathan Torres-Wills, ending the game.
"If we had to do it all over again we'd call the same exact play," said Norwalk Coach Sean Ireland, alluding to his team's kicking woes.
The Bears didn't try an extra point kick in the game, although Andy Lovo was called on for a 30-yard field goal try on the last play of the game. The kick fell short, sending the game into OT. Norwalk's final-play bid to win in regulation was made possible on a too many men on the field penalty against Ludlowe when the Bears set up to punt on fourth down with 1:48 remaining.
The game was full of miscues. Ludlowe and Norwalk had consecutive possessions between them that led to four straight turnovers at one point in the first half.
The Bears took a 6-0 lead on Joseph's 18-yard run but Norwalk failed on a two-point conversion run attempt. Ludlowe answered with a first quarter TD of its own when Christian Ghiorzi scored from one yard out. D'Ascenzo's kick gave the Falcons the lead. Then the turnover battle began in the second quarter.
Norwalk's Daniel Jakab intercepted a pass but Ludlowe got the ball right back on a fumble recovery. The Bears recovered a fumble on the next series, then promptly gave it back when Ludlowe's Thomas Howell intercepted pass. Norwalk's strong defense kept the Falcons on their half of the field for much of the rest of the game. Norwalk's Lance Lauture scored on a four yard run to get the lead back for the Bears, and Linton connected with Torres-Wills for a seven-point lead before the break which held up until White's clutch game-tying scamper with only 4:56 remaining in regulation.
"That's the beauty of the option," Ludlowe Coach Matt McCloskey said of the play call to set up White's TD.
"It's huge for these kids," the Ludlowe coach added. "I couldn't be more proud."
Ireland couldn't have been more disappointed. "It's very disappointing. We outplayed them besides one long run," the Norwalk coach said.
Ludlowe 21, Norwalk 20 (OT)
Norwalk 6 8 0 0 6--20
Ludlowe 7 0 0 7 7--21
N--Tomar Joseph 18 run (run failed)
L--Christian Ghiorzi 1 run (Victor D'Ascenzo kick)
N--Lance Lauture 4 run (Jeremy Linton pass to Jonathan Torres-Wills)
L--Matthew White 64 run (D'Ascenzo kick)
L--Stephan Zadravec 8 pass from White (D'Ascenzo kick)
N--Joseph 2 run (pass failed)
Records: Norwalk 2-6; Ludlowe 4-5