White-led Ludlowe edges Norwalk
NORWALK -- After a 13-6 victory over Norwalk on Saturday, the last player on the bench for the Ludlowe football team, cleaning up garbage before filling his arms with two helmets, a hat and a few loose pieces of clothing was not a JV player but rather senior starting quarterback and team captain Matthew White.
It was apparently not enough that White threw for 121 yards while running for 61 and a touchdown or that he was lowering his shoulder, fighting for yards every time he ran. He also cleaned the place up after the game.
He made for a pretty decent equipment manager, but, according to his coach, he is kind of good at everything that has to do with football.
"Here's the thing about Matt," Ludlowe coach Matt McCloskey said. "We put him at quarterback, he's the best quarterback on the roster. We put him at halfback, he might be the best halfback on the roster. If we put him at fullback he might be the best fullback on the roster. He's a football player."
The Falcons (4-2, 3-2 FCIAC) only had the ball twice in the first half as Norwalk churned its offense up and down the field but could not score.
The Bears (2-4, 1-4 FCIAC) turned the ball over on downs after a 16-play, 8:20 drive, stalling at the 6.
After a Ludlowe punt, the Bears ran 15 plays and got down to the 13 before a fumble gave the Falcons the ball.
Not being able to punch the ball in, untimely penalties and giving the ball away has dogged Norwalk all season.
"It's just frustrating," Norwalk coach Sean Ireland said. "The things we preach, the things we practice we do OK, but when we come out here it looks like we never even worked on it."
Ludlowe took over at its 15 after recovering the fumble. White took over, busting a 40-yard run, converting two third-down passes and scoring on an 8-yard run, plowing his way into the end zone.
White said he looks for contact, rather than trying to avoid it.
"As a captain I feel more pressure on me and I love it. I like to be the leader and have the guys rally around us," White said. "I don't want to get hit, I'll give the hit. I don't want to step out of bounds."
In the third quarter, the Bears were again stung by a turnover on a bad snap out of the shotgun with Ludlowe's Stephen Zadravec scooping up the ball on the 30 and taking it in for a touchdown.
Norwalk drove down the field and scored with 13 seconds left in the game with Jeremy Linton connecting with Patrick Corley in the corner of the end zone, making it 13-6.
The Bears recovered the onside kick, but a 39-yard Hail Mary as time expired fell short and the Falcons escaped with a victory.
"It's good to get a win," White said. "We are where we want to be now at 4-2 going into our last away game. We grinded out a win and they played a great game, controlled the clock most of the first half and have some big guys on the defensive line but I thought our offensive line did a great job opening up holes for us to run."
Ludlowe 13, Norwalk 6
LUDLOWE 0 7 6 0 -- 13
NORWALK 0 0 0 6 -- 6
Records: L -- 4-2, 3-2 FCIAC; N -- 2-4, 1-4 FCIAC
L -- Matthew White 8 run (Michael Arman kick)
L - Stephen Zadravec 30 fumble return (kick failed)
N -- Patrick Corley 14 pass Jeremy Linton (pass failed)