Darien @ Fairfield Warde – Week 4 Preview


Hard to believe, but the 2022 football season is already 30% complete. With 3 games in the books, Darien currently sits in 13th place in the CIAC Class L Standings. The Wave is technically only a game out of the state playoffs, with New Milford controlling the 8th spot at 2-1. This week Darien will travel along the coastline to Tetreau/Davis Field on the campus of Fairfield Warde.

The Mustangs, despite a 2-8 campaign in 2021, have already done better in 2022 at 3-0 on the season. This will be the first real test for Fairfield Warde in week four with the three teams they defeated thus far being a combined 0-9 on the season.

Meanwhile, for Darien, the Wave has played arguably one of the hardest schedules to open up the slate. Except for Bridgeport Central, the Maloney Spartans and St. Joseph Hogs are both still unbeaten at 3-0.

Darien’s Jake Wilson celebrating a touchdown run vs Maloney in week 3 (photo courtesy of DAF)

Darien has hit some early struggles thus far. The team averages roughly 285 total yards a game, which is a heavy decrease from last year’s 400 a game. Quarterback Simeon Doll showed last week that he has some wheels he can use, rushing 12 times against the Spartans. Darien’s passing game is still slow to get going, with only 4 passing TDs to this point and only a handful of receivers with 100+ yards on the season. This whole season, an adjustment from the likes of Miles Drake, Matt Minicus, Tighe Cummiskey, Jeremiah Stafford, and Jaylen Lesperance, to name a few, but the offense still has been waiting to explode for a game. On the defensive end, the team has been showing some potential. Two-way player Brady Pokorny picked off a pass from Maloney QB Kyle Valentine late in the week 3 game. The DL still has not recorded a sack yet on the season. The defense has been the lead for Darien this season holding a tough Spartans team to only 21 points. They are giving opportunities to the offense, which hasn’t been able to convert. The biggest struggle of them all for Darien has been the RedZone opportunities. The team could not convert on three crucial RedZone looks late vs. Maloney, all of which played a role in the shutout they had in the second half. This is still a Wave team with great potential, but questions have remained about the lack of breakthroughs this far.

Warde QB Charlie Gulbin rushing in a 2021 game vs Darien (photo courtest of GametimeCT)

As for the Mustangs. It’s a very different story. The Warde offense has come out of the gate firing, scoring 71 points in the first 3 games! Junior quarterback Charlie Gulbin is having a good start to the season with an 8-touchdown, 742-yard start! Receivers such as Lucas Coleman, Colman Gately, and TJ Sinis lead the way and pave the reason for why Gulbin has had 150+ passing yards in each of the team’s first three games. And that’s not all. Gulbin is a duel threat QB, he leads the Mustangs in rushing yards at 88 on the season, but the main offensive production has been through the air. This was the big question mark on the Mustangs’ 2021 campaign, a platoon of running backs such as Bermudez, Valiante, and Imschweiler lacked the offensive rushing presence. However, fast forward a year, and Gulbin has turned it on in the passing game! That is what the Mustangs are going to ride all night, the arm of Gulbin looking for his receivers for the big plays.

2009 was the last time the Mustangs took down the Wave. 2009 was also the last time Darien started a season 1-2. The Wave has gone 16-1 vs. Fairfield Warde in the past 17 meetings, and this Friday Night has some major implications. The Mustangs have a chance to show they are the real deal in 2022, while the Blue Wave has a chance to knock off a Class L playoff team and rejoin the playoff race.


Friday Gameplan

Kickoff is scheduled for 7:00 at Tetreau/Davis Field. It’s about a 16-mile drive to Warde, but with Friday traffic, trying to go north on I-95 or the Merritt could be a nightmare. The forecast has the rain holding off until the weekend, so a clear sky and temperatures in the high 50’s-low 60s range can be expected.

For all those fans that are not spending their Friday night batting the traffic to Fairfield. There is no live stream option available for the game. So getting updates from the game might be hard to come by.