Wave Falls to Number 5 Ranked Spartans


Pete Paguaga

Darien head coach Mike Forget coaching on the sideline Friday Night.

For the first Friday Night Lights of the 2022 campaign, the state champion vs. state champion battle took to the gridiron. The Spartans of Maloney High School came to DHS hungry and bested the Wave 21-9 in week 3.

Darien got the ball first in this one and ran a 9-play, 26-yard drive that found themselves on the Maloney 38-yard line with a 4th and 4. Darien looking to set the tone went for it. A 1-yard reception to Connor Lane left them short, handing the ball to Maloney.

The Spartans had a long first drive themselves, going 7 plays and 67 yards. This was sparked by a Jaden Vasquez 59-yard catch setting the Spartans up in the RedZone. After a pass interference was called against Darien, Maloney would have a 4th and goal on the 3-yard line, and a rush to Josh Boganski came up short for the turnover on downs.

Darien would go three and out on their next drive punting back to the Spartans. A good punt return from Joziah Gonzalez gave Maloney the ball on the Darien 14-yard line late in the first quarter. Kyle Valentine dropped back on the 2nd and 10 and find junior receiver Donte Kelly in the corner of the end zone for the Spartan touchdown.

That was the end of the first quarter, and Darien saw some life early in the second with a 10-play drive that sadly resulted in a punt. The next 3 drives that followed all ended in the same result.

With 5:47 remaining before the half, junior Ryan Girlamo had a good punt return giving the Wave the ball on their own 44-yard line searching for some life.

A crucial conversion on 3rd down with Doll throwing to McMullin kept the drive alive for a score to follow. 1st and 10 on the Maloney 12-yard line. Doll handed it off to Jake Wilson, who had a hole in the middle, and took it to the house tying the game.

Darien celebrating a touchdown run from Jake Wilson against the Maloney Spartans

Wilson finished the first half with only 35 rushing yards, including the 12-yard TD but heading into the locker room it was 7-7.

Maloney opened the 2nd half with a three and out. Before Simeon Doll and co took over in hopes for a better 2nd half.

On the second play of the drive, Doll was looking for Isaac McMullin but was met with a Spartan in Zakkai Moore who picked off the pass.

Maloney had the ball on the Darien 32, and a long 30-yard completion to Donte Kelly set them up at the 2. Inside handoff to Josh Boganski right up the middle gave the Spartans the advantage right back 13-7.

Moving along to the later parts of the third quarter, senior Doug Sommerville was out to punt for the wave. He sent a spiral to the air where Joziah Gonzalez broke defender after defender before Austin Ennor took him down at the 1-yard line.

The first play was an inside handoff, stopped for no gain. The second play an inside handoff was also stopped for no gain. However, the third time was the charm as Boganski rushed to the outside and went uncontested to a Maloney score.

Darien now trialing 21-7 needed a spark plug. They would run a 14-play, 60-yard drive to open the 4th quarter however, 4 chances on the 4th and goal came up short for another turnover on downs.

The Wave would stay alive for a bit. Valentine threw an interception to the Norte Dame lacrosse commit Brady Pokorny taking the pick back into the RedZone for Darien.

This time it was a 2 play fumble that turned the ball over to Maloney. The teams exchanged the ball throughout 3 plays, and Darien’s hopes of a comeback was slowly fading away.

Darien got one final shot when a bad snap on a Maloney punt and unsportsmanlike conduct penalty on Maloney gave the Wave the ball on the Spartan 9-yard line.

Back-to-back Simeon Doll rushes found them with a 4th and goal on the 2-yard line, but the Wave came up short again this time with Jake Wilson rushing for a yard.

Darien’s Brady Pokorny getting tripped up on RedZone play.

Layton Reesor would pick up a safety on Maloney when the Spartans tried to get off their own 1-yard line but was tackled for the loss.

Darien fell 21-9 to the Spartans and falls to 1-2 on the season. This is the first time since 2009 that the Wave are 1-2 after 3 weeks of play. Darien had 3 crucial RedZone opportunities in the late game and failed to convert on them. Darien went 0-2 on RedZone opportunities against St. Joes in week 1 but here in week 3 still struggled with the goal line offense.

The Wave looks for a much-needed bounce back next week as they travel to Fairfield Warde to take on the 3-0 Mustangs on Friday the 30th. Darien so far is 0-2 against their fellow Class L opponents, and Warde will offer a chance to make up some ground on playoff teams.

Darien huddles after the 21-9 loss to Maloney at the DHS Stadium Field Friday night.




MALONEY 7 0 14 0 —21

DARIEN 0 7 0 2 — 9


M – Kyle Valentine 12 yard passing TD to Donte Kelly (Scaramuzzo PAT good)

D – Jake Wilson 12 yard rushing TD (Stevens PAT good)

M – Josh Boganski 1 yard rushing TD (Scaramuzzo PAT good)

M – Josh Boganski 2 yard rushing TD (Scaramuzzo PAT good)

D – Layton Reesor safety of Josh Boganski


QB: M – Kyle Valentine 5-19 (26.3%), 125 yds, 1 td, 1 Int; D – Simeon Doll 13-32 (40.6%), 121 yds, 0 tds, 2 Int.

RB: M- Josh Boganski 23 carries, 63 yds, 2 td; D – Jake Wilson 28 carries, 59 yds, 1 tds.

DEF: M – Armani Ortiz, Rafael Rodriguez, Logan Kicklighter, 1 sack; Zakkai Moore, Jesus Martell, 1 interception; D – Layton Reesor, 1 Safety; Brady Pokorny, 1 interception.

Records: Maloney 3-0 ; Darien 1-2.