FAIRFIELD -- Three teams moved the ball efficiently up and down Tetreau/Davis Field on Friday night, including the one wearing stripes.

Neither Fairfield Warde nor Foran will want to see penalty totals like that ever again, but Warde took a big lead and held on for a 24-21 win to open the season.

"We probably would have lost a game like that in the past in some freak way," Warde coach Duncan DellaVolpe said. "I think we're over that hump. Now we've got to get to the point where we put a team away when we're winning."

The Mustangs, behind senior quarterback Brandon Bisack (13-for-25, 221 yards, three touchdowns), scored a touchdown in each quarter to take a 24-7 lead.

Then the Lions' string of penalties ended, letting them get some momentum going for quarterback Jake Kasuba and running back Stephen Longley. They scored a couple of touchdowns in the last six minutes, including fullback Kevin O'Connor's 1-yard plunge with 1:37 left.

Warde recovered both of Foran's onside kick attempts to hold on.

"I just told the kids, we ran out of time," Foran coach Jeff Bevino said.

"We just shot ourselves in the foot too much. Penalties, I've got to look and see on film. I've got a lot of questions about some of them, but obviously the officials thought they were penalties. But again, too many of them. We had too many penalties."

The Lions committed 15 penalties (including two kickoffs out of bounds) for 145 yards. Five of the Mustangs' 11 flags were illegal-procedure calls, limiting their damage to 72 yards.

Bisack had given the Mustangs a 12-0 halftime lead on an 11-yard touchdown pass to neighbor Ryan Brown (six catches, 78 yards) and a 42-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Girard.

Foran opened the second half with a 69-yard drive and Kasuba's 12-yard scoring run, but Warde answered with a drive of its own, capped by a 20-yard strike as Brown cut back to the middle on a play Bisack changed at the line.

"Offensively, our chemistry is getting a lot better right now," Bisack said. "I saw a couple of things with me and my No. 1 receiver, Ryan Brown, we knew we could take advantage of."

The teams traded penalties to open the fourth quarter, but the exchange helped the Mustangs get deep to set up T.J. Gallagher's 1-yard run.

"Those skill guys have worked so well together over the last couple of years," DellaVolpe said, "through scout team, that's when they started taking it seriously, and that's why they're pretty decent players."

Kasuba ran for 109 yards and two touchdowns and threw for 190 yards.

"The quarterback's a player," DellaVolpe said about Kasuba. "He can throw it. He can run it. They're an aggressive-type, Milford-attitude team. It's good that we could withstand that tonight."

Foran was without a couple of injured seniors. One, inside linebacker Dave McLenithan, was cleared medically Friday, but Bevino wasn't throwing him in without practice time.

"We'll get healthy. We've got no excuses," Bevino said. "We have enough to win if we play well. But it's too many mistakes. It's the way it is, and it kills you. We've been harping on the guys on this for a while."

mfornabaio@ctpost.com; http://twitter.com/fornabaioctp; http://blog.connpost.com/fornabaio

FORAN 0 0 7 14--21

WARDE 6 6 6 6--24

W--Ryan Brown 11 pass Brandon Bisack (kick failed)

W--Andrew Girard 42 pass Bisack (pass failed)

F--Jake Kasuba 12 run (Joe Radecki kick)

W--Brown 20 pass Bisack (kick failed)

W--T.J. Gallagher 1 run (run failed)

F--Kasuba 8 run (kick failed)

F--Kevin O'Connor 1 run (Kasuba run)

Records: Foran 0-1; Warde 1-0