Janz, Warde capitalize on mistakes to beat rival Ludlowe
FAIRFIELD — A flurry of mistakes made for a rotten start to Thanksgiving for Ludlowe.
Rival Warde capitalized on five Falcon turnovers and rolled to a 46-20 victory Thursday morning at Taft Field.
“Their offense was so good all year. We had a good plan, I thought,” Warde coach Duncan DellaVolpe said. “We came out of the gates and executed it. Our defense was absolutely fantastic.”
Senior Ryan Janz ran for five touchdowns and won team MVP honors, helping the Mustangs to a 5-5 season and their sixth victory over Ludlowe in seven years. The Falcons finished 6-4.
“Our defense, man, they had a great game plan,” Janz said. “They just came in and they balled out.”
The Mustangs scored on their first play from scrimmage, a 1-yard run by Janz, after Hunter Rasmussen returned a fumble by James Bourque. Ludlowe committed two more turnovers in the first half, including another fumble by Bourque, and fell behind 33-7.
“We’re not a strong enough team to overcome five turnovers,” Falcons coach Mitchell Ross said. “Uncharacteristically, we put the ball on the ground from some of our better players. That certainly hurt and gave us a big uphill battle to fight.”
A 45-yard run by Bourque pulled Ludlowe a bit closer at 33-13, but the Falcons never could mount any type of rally. Janz’s final two touchdowns of the day — runs of 5 and 4 yards — shut the door for Warde.
“It was a great win,” said Janz, who also had touchdowns of 2 and 21 yards. “We came out from the start; the defense was playing their butts off.”
Senior Dylan Fragomeni caught two touchdowns and was named Ludlowe’s game MVP. Junior Colin Fleming was also a bright spot for the Falcons, recording three interceptions.
The Falcons jumped ahead 7-6 with 6:52 left in the first quarter when Fragomeni hauled in a 47-yard pass from Bourque. However, Warde answered on an 8-yard run by Chris Idieu for a 12-7 lead. The Mustangs closed the half with 27 unanswered points.
Despite the loss, Ross took some satisfaction in posting a second straight winning season.
“We overachieved this year,” he said. “We have a senior class of 13 or 14 players only, and of those 13 or 14, only five or six played all four years. We had a big underclass group. We expect to keep moving forward.”
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Ryan Janz, Warde: The senior was the pace-setter for the Mustangs’ offense, rushing for five touchdowns, including three in the first half.
“We knew Ryan was going to be that type of runner all year. Chris (Idieu) is a little bit of a change-up for us, but this was (Ryan’s) day,” Warde coach Duncan Dellavolpe said of Janz.
MARKING HER MARK
Senior Jessica Pitaniello kicked two extra points for Warde, bringing her season total to 17. A senior, Pitaniello made the football team at the beginning of the season after playing junior varsity soccer.
“At first it was definitely really nerve-wracking, but the guys are really welcoming,” she said of making the team. “It’s been super easy.”
FAIRFIELD WARDE 46,
FAIRFIELD LUDLOWE 20
WARDE 12 21 7 6 — 46
LUDLOWE 7 0 6 7 — 20
W — Ryan Janz 1 run (Kick failed)
L — Dylan Fragomeni 47 pass James Bourque (Nolan Izzo kick)
W — Chris Idieu 8 run (Two-point try failed)
W — Jack McKenna 10 pass Joey Gulbin (Idieu run)
W — Janz 2 run (Two-point try failed)
W — Janz 21 run (Jessica Pitaniello kick)
L — Bourque 45 run (Kick failed)
W — Janz 5 run (Pitaniello kick)
W — Janz 4 run (Kick failed)
L — Fragomeni 71 pass Quinn Pavoz (Izzo kick)
Records: Warde 5-5; Ludlowe 6-4