FAIRFIELD -- If you're a skill player on Darien's offense, you need to be ready when your number is called.

It's been a season-long theme for the Blue Wave, and while some of their earlier matchups saw Nick Lombardo light up the stat sheet, it was Griffin Ross' turn Friday night at Warde High School.

The junior receiver hauled in 12 catches for 196 yards and two touchdowns on bombs of 48 and 43 yards, leading the Blue Wave to a bounce back 31-6 win over the Mustangs.

"It wouldn't have been possible without the play of the O-line and (QB) Silas (Wyper) made some great throws," Ross said. "Going into the game, we knew we would have a big game throwing the ball. We knew they'd be playing far off and that they would bite on the ball, and that's what led to the big plays."

Darien, which often takes multiple shots downfield, came in to Fairfield Ludlowe High School planning to air it out.

"We felt we could go vertical on them and stretch the field," Darien coach Rob Trifone said. "We had some success early. I thought they shut it down afterwards."

The Blue Wave required just 1:31 to take the lead for good, as its game-opening four-play drive was capped by a 48-yard Wyper-to-Ross connection.

Following a Warde punt, Darien marched 56 yards in five plays. This time Lombardo capped the drive on an eight-yard touchdown reception. Lombardo made the catch at the 2 with his back to the goal line, and despite being wrapped up, managed to turn to his right and stretch the ball over the goal line for a 13-0 lead.

Warde managed to move the ball in spurts, but its drives typically stalled after a first down or two, and it wasn't until just 35 seconds remained that the Mustangs avoided the shutout, as backup quarterback Aubrey Raha scored on a 1-yard quarterback sneak.

Led by a pair of sacks from George Reed, the Blue Wave nearly pitched the shutout.

"I'm a little disappointed because we had a lot of things we thought we could do when we were practicing during the week that we didn't carry over into the game," Warde coach Duncan Dellavolpe said. "They give you certain things on defense. They want to take certain things away, and what they were giving to us we didn't take advantage of."

With 7:51 remaining in the second half, Darien moved 85 yards in just five plays, culminating in a 43-yard strike to Ross. On the drive, Wyper completed all four pass attempts for 73 yards.

Aided by a pass interference penalty on Warde as time expired in the half, Darien moved into field goal range and Daly Hebert booted a 37-yard try to make it 24-0 at halftime.

Darien's final score of the night occurred with 3:08 left in the third quarter, as the Blue Wave went 30 yards in three plays. On the second of those plays, Jay Harrison weaved through the Warde defense for 22 yards down to the 1 before scoring on a dive on the next play.

"It was the bend but not break, don't give up the big play type of thing. (Warde) is big up front," Trifone said. "I thought they did a good job running the ball in spurts. But it seemed whenever our defense needed to answer the call, they did."

jchik@bcnnew.com; @jchik17


DARIEN 13 11 7 0--31


D--Griffin Ross 48 pass Silas Wyper (Daly Hebert kick)

D--Nick Lombardo 8 pass Wyper (kick blocked)

D--Ross 43 pass Wyper (John Reed pass Wyper)

D--Hebert 37 field goal

D--Jay Harrison 1 run (Hebert kick)

FW--Aubrey Raha 1 run (kick failed)

Records: Darien 4-1, 3-1 FCIAC; Fairfield Warde 1-4, 1-3.