If there were any FCIAC footbal teams on upset alert over the course of Week 1 action, Darien certainly was not one of those teams.

The Blue Wave scored touchdowns on their first four possessions and led from coast-to-coast at Fairfield Ludlowe High School to cruise past the Falcons 41-7.

"It's a veteran group," Trifone said. "The thing that impressed me the most tonight was the defensive pursuit. They did a great job flying to the ball."

After the Darien defense forced a three-and-out to start the game, its offense needed only three plays to go 53 yards for a 7-0 lead, as Ian Vanderhorn ran a reverse 33 yards to pay dirt.

Darien's Brian Wiegard killed Ludlowe's next possession with an interception, and Jay Harrison scored on a 15-yard touchdown run for the 14-0 lead.

Darien's next two possessions resulted in a pair of scoring strikes from Henry Baldwin to Nick Lombardo from 55 and 33 yards out, respectively. The latter was the final play of the first quarter and resulted in a commanding 28-0 lead for the Blue Wave.

"Coming out 28-0, you can't ask for anything more than that," said Baldwin, who went 10-for-23 for 269 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. "We ran the ball great. We have a great stable of running backs. Nick was awesome. He's got wheels and I don't think anyone can catch him."

With 25 seconds remaining in the half, Baldwin found Lombardo for a third time on a 63-yard bomb to make the score 34-0 at halftime.

Though opening night didn't go as they would have wanted, the Falcons managed to get on the board on a 31-yard touchdown pass from Matthew White to Victor D'Ascenzo to close it to 34-7.

However, Darien's Ian Vanderhorn returned the ensuing kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown to close out the scoring at 41-7.

"We've got a lot of work to do. There's a lot of things we need to fix," Ludlowe coach Matt McCloskey said. "(The scoring drive) is a confidence builder, and we kept them out of the end zone a few times in the second half when they still had their starters in."

Darien erred on the side of caution by holding running back Peter Gesualdi out of the game, who turned an ankle two weeks ago.

Although pleased with his team's overall performance, Trifone would like to see his team correct what few mistakes it made, including three fumbles on punt returns, one of which was recovered by Ludlowe.

"I thought we were sloppy at times, especially in the second half. It's to be expected some times with high school kids when you're up 34-0 at the half," Trifone said.

Darien 41, Ludlowe 7

DARIEN 28 6 7 0--41


D--Ian Vanderhorn, 33 run (Daly Hebert kick)

D-- Jay Harrison, 15 run (Hebert kick)

D--Nick Lombardo, 55 pass from Henry Baldwin (Hebert kick)

D--Lombardo, 33 pass from Baldwin (Hebert kick)

D--Lombardo, 63 pass from Baldwin (PAT blocked)

FL--Victor D'Ascenzo, 31 pass from Matthew White (D'Ascenzo kick)

D--Vanderhorn 91 kick return touchdown (Hebert kick)

Records: Darien 1-0; Fairfield Ludlowe 0-1