NORWALK, Conn. – Brien McMahon High’s football team followed its game plan flawlessly, received big plays from all the components of the game and hung on to stun Ridgefield, 22-14, on Friday night in Norwalk.
The Senators (4-3) snapped a five-game winning streak for the Tigers (5-2) and put a serious dent in Ridgefield’s hopes to play in the state tournament. Trevon Forney ran for 102 yards and two touchdowns while Kyle Jordan rushed for 132 yards. The Senators survived a desperation pass into the end zone as time expired.
“I told the kids that if we played 100 percent from the first whistle to the last we could beat these guys,’’ McMahon coach A.J. Albano said. “We had a good week of practice and a good scheme. I thought if we could get off to a good start and give ourselves a chance to believe, we could play with them. And that’s exactly what happened.”
McMahon controlled the first half, taking a 13-0 lead. Forney’s 13-yard run and Matt Downey’s 7-yard pass to Matt Hargrove accounted for the McMahon touchdowns. More important, McMahon’s offense kept Ridgefield off the field. The Senators controlled the ball for more than 17 minutes in the first half behind the running of Forney and Jordan, limiting Ridgefield’s possessions.
Ridgefield fought back to 13-6 on Will Bonaparte’s 10-yard touchdown run with 3:55 left in the third quarter. In the fourth quarter, McMahon’s defense sealed the game.
Hargrove’s fumble recovery with 5:39 left set McMahon up on the Ridgefield 18-yard line. Alex Scallion’s 28-yard field goal gave McMahon a 16-6 lead. On Ridgefield’s next possession, Danny O’Brien stripped Ridgefield quarterback Matt Roe and Allan Leonard recovered. Three plays later, Forney raced 39 yards to give the Senators a 22-6 lead with 1:56 left.
Ridgefield answered with a scoring drive capped by Sam Gravitte’s 1-yard run with 35.4 seconds left. The Tigers recovered the onsides kick and moved to the McMahon 26. The Tigers took a couple of shots into the end zone, but McMahon held.
“For the first time this season, we started to play good defense last week,’’ Albano said. “Ridgefield is one of the best teams in the FCIAC. We told them when you play good defense, it gives you a chance. We bend but don’t break. The same thing happened two years ago when we beat them here.”
McMahon, 4-3, has won two straight after a three-game losing streak. “This is for the kids and anybody that played here,’’ Albano said. “We lost some games and they could’ve turned their backs and pointed fingers. That’s the first thing I told them. This a grind, a journey, and this is just one of the stops along the way. And it’s a big one.”