Ludlowe pulls away from Trumbull
FAIRFIELD — It’s not very often a football player fumbles and their initial reaction is laughter. That’s what Ludlowe’s Carlos Moreno did when he lost the ball in the third quarter against Trumbull Friday night.
And Moreno had a good enough reason.
The ball pinged forward directly into the hands of Falcons’ offensive lineman Lucas Mayer who caught it in stride for 10 more yards and nearly for a touchdown. The sequence set up James Bourque’s 5-yard touchdown, which reestablished Ludlowe’s two-score advantage and put the Falcons on their way to a 39-27 victory at Taft Field.
“I fumbled and I see him catch it and the first thing I do is just laugh,” said Moreno, who caught two second-half touchdown passes.
Initially it looked like it might be an easy night for Ludlowe, which improved to 5-2.
The Falcons led 14-0 after dominating the first quarter thanks to a 14-play drive capped by a Bourque touchdown pass to Dylan Fragomeni and a 22-yard fumble return by Colin Fleming — the first of four Trumbull turnovers, which also included a Drew Buckley first-quarter interception.
Trumbull (2-5) changed its offense and switched to a Wildcat approach that got the ball in the hands of junior Mileeq Green, who promptly scored on a 20-yard run to get the Eagles back into it.
“I felt like (Green) needed to touch the ball,” Eagles’ coach Marce Petroccio said.
Ludlowe went ahead 21-7 on Fragomeni’s second touchdown catch, this one thrown by Quinn Pavoz, but Trumbull answered.
Kyle Atherton’s 45-yard catch set up his own 20-yard touchdown grab over the back shoulder on a nice throw from Riley Simpson with 41 seconds left in the half to make it 21-14. The Eagles got the ball back on Owen Solano’s interception on the next Falcons’ play from scrimmage, which set up Simpson’s one-yard plunge to tie it.
Atherton finished with 129 yards receiving and two touchdowns.
“They came out in the wildcat and we were baffled by it on defense,” Bourque said. “Our defense adjusted to it pretty well.”
Ludlowe took back control in the third thanks in part to Moreno’s first touchdown catch.
“We cleaned up the mistakes and had a really good second half,” Falcons coach Mitchell Ross said. “It’s nice to win one on Senior Day.”
Throughout the game Trumbull was unable to figure out a way to slow down Bourque, whether he lined up at quarterback, halfback or receiver.
“The kid Bourque is what makes them go,” Petroccio said. “I think he’s a special player. We couldn’t wrap him up. We couldn’t tackle him.”
Ludlowe turns its attention toward next week’s home game against defending Class LL champion Greenwich. The Falcons know they’d have to score a major upset and then run the table to have any opportunity to squeeze into the Class LL playoffs.
“We’re 5-2 and we still have a shot at the state playoffs with three games left,” Bourque said. “We probably have to win out, but I’m not surprised. This team can do it. I like this team a lot.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
James Bourque, Fairfield Ludlowe. The senior did a little bit of everything on offense for the Falcons, throwing two touchdowns and rushing for another.
“He’s actually rugby player. … This kid’s always talking about getting the ball. He’s always like, ‘Coach can I get the ball?’ It went right into his hands. He was ready for it. I wish he got in. It’s awesome. It’s something he’ll remember his whole life.” — Bourque on Ludlowe offensive lineman Lucas Mayer’s fumble recovery and near-touchdown in the third quarter.
TRUMBULL 0 21 0 6—27
LUDLOWE 14 7 12 6—39
FL—Dylan Fragomeni 12 pass James Bourque (Nolan Izzo kick)
FL—Colin Fleming 22 yard fumble return (Izzo kick)
T—Mileeq Green 20 run (Andrew Ilie kick)
FL—Fragomeni 8 pass Quinn Pavoz (Izzo kick)
T—Kyle Atherton 20 pass Riley Simpson (Ilie kick)
T—Simpson 1 run (Ilie kick)
FL—Carlos Moreno 14 pass Pavoz (kick failed)
FL—Bourque 5 run (pass failed)
FL—Moreno 24 pass Bourque (pass failed)
T—Atherton 14 pass Simpson (pass failed)
Records: Trumbull 2-5; Fairfield Ludlowe 5-2