NORWALK, Conn. The thoughts of the Brien McMahon High football players, coaches and fans were the same with about two minutes remaining in the third quarter of Friday nights game against Wilton: Oh no. Here we go again.
For the third week in a row, the McMahon football team let a big lead slip away. The Senators led 28-8 midway through the second quarter only to see Wilton climb all the way back to tie the game, 35-35, with just more than three minutes remaining.
This time, however, McMahon had the final say. The Senators marched 69 yards down the field, topped off by a 9-yard diving touchdown catch by Zack OConnor with six seconds remaining. McMahon avoided another heart-wrenching loss, squeaking out a 42-35 victory over Wilton.
When they tied it up, 28-28, we just looked at each other and said, This cant happen again, OConnor said. I just knew for some reason we were going to score on that last drive after what weve been through the last two weeks.
McMahons running game looked unstoppable for the first half, as the tandem of Kyle Jordan and Chris Jerome combined for nearly 150 yards rushing and two touchdowns in the first two quarters. But Wilton was not about to give in.
Wilton chipped away with consecutive long drives to open the second half, each resulting in a touchdown and tying the score, 28-28. With the fans bracing for another letdown, each team went to its bag of tricks on fourth down.
McMahon responded on the ensuing drive. Jordan and Jerome found their momentum again and powered the Senators' offense deep into Wilton territory. Vega connected with OConnor on a gutsy fourth down play for a 5-yard score, giving McMahon a brief 35-28 lead.
But the defense could not hold, as Wilton quickly marched 65 yards down the field. Warriors head coach Bruce Cunningham went for it twice on fourth down, converting both. Travis Stella punched in a 4-yard run to knot the game once again, this time at 35-all.
Wilton left too much time on the clock, however, and McMahon pieced together its impressive winning drive.
We were up by two touchdowns at halftime and we were still nervous, Jerome said. I didnt know we had it until the final seconds. This win just proves that we have to work hard and play every down.
Vega finished a near-perfect 10-for-11 in passing for 197 yards and three touchdowns. He connected with Ryan Scott on the second play from scrimmage for a 75-yard catch-and-run score. Jerome and Jordan combined for more than 200 yards.
McMahon (2-3) begins a three-game road trip next week, starting with winless Fairfield Ludlowe next Saturday at 2 p.m.
Watch " FCIAC Football Fast Five " next Thursday for analysis of this game and others in the conference!
Click here to sign up for Daily Voice's free daily emails and news alerts.