Darien @ Fairfield Ludlowe – Week 7 Preview


The 3-2 Darien Blue Wave football squad officially enters the second half of the 2022 campaign. Coming off a nail bitter with Wilton on Friday Night, the Wave will take to the road once again as they take on the Fairfield Ludlowe Falcons at Taft Field. This game will conclude a three-game road streak for the team that finds the Wave 2-0.

Darien currently sits in 8th place in the CIAC class L playoff rankings. So they are in a playoff spot, where they would go to number one St. Joseph in the quarterfinals. The Wave still has five games to play against some strong teams. This is Darien’s 4th road game of the season and their last major road trip.

The Falcons, on the other hand, are on the outside looking in, with a 3-2 record they sit in 10th place in the Class L standings and will look for a win Friday night to make up ground on the playoffs.

The 2022 CIAC Class L football standings heading into week 7.
Darien running back Jake Wilson rushing in a game vs. Fairfield Warde

Darien will look to continue the defensive stalemate they played in Wilton allowing only 15 points to a tough 5-0 Wilton team. Darien will look to get Jake Wilson going again as he had multiple shorter rushes that combined for 120 yards on the ground. And in the air, you know Trevor Herget will be making those big catches having 12 receptions for 249 yards and four touchdowns in the past two games alone! The Wave’s defense had some breakthrough games from junior Carter Hagen, Jack Barber, and Dash Ross making his debut. So those three will look to provide solid efforts on the defensive end. Darien is very close to getting the senior receiver and, new Denison football commit Liam McBride back from an injury, this may be the final game that he will miss this season. Until he returns, the platoon guys in Isaac McMullin, Briggs McGuckin, and Brady Pokorny will continue to see receptions and advance the ball for the Wave. The big area still in question for Darien has been the special teams unit. Darien went 0/2 on PATs against Wilton including a bad snap on one and a blocked PAT after being overpowered on the line. This combined with the fact that Darien did not punt the ball at all and went for long 4th downs shows that head coach Mike Forget has some doubts about his special teams’ units. Darien has the talent in Anson Sikora and Tucker Stevens for the kicking game and Trevor Herget on the punts, but where things have gone wrong or not want to be used is still a question. The big thing for Darien is similar to Wilton but does not come in with overconfidence. Last year when the Wave came to Taft field and found themselves down 8-0 after Aaron Field returned the opening kick to the house. If Darien can fire the jets and play as they did in the fourth quarter vs. Wilton for the entire 48 minutes, then Darien will be a tough opponent to face.

Looking at the Falcons’ side of things, they returned many pieces from their 6-4 season a year ago including star speedster Aaron Field and senior kicker Caleb McNeil. The Falcons returned four offensive starters and three defensive starters from a year ago. Ludlowe is led by former Darien coordinator and colleague of Mike Forget, Mitch Ross. And in 2004, Mike Forget served as the Ludlowe Head football coach, so there is some extra level of rivalry to this one for Mike Forget.

Ludlowe’s Aaron Field rushing past the Norwalk defenders

But the 2022 campaign for Fairfield Ludlowe finds them at 3-2 on the season. Coming off two straight wins vs. Norwalk and Brien McMahon, the team rides in hot for this battle with the Wave. Looking at a common opponent, both of these teams have now played the Wilton Warriors. For Darien, a late comeback gave them the 18-15 win over Wilton. Ludlowe, was up 14-0 at the half gave up 24 unanswered in the second and fell 24-14. This is a Ludlowe team that will come out of the gates firing, but the stamina will be a major question. The stamina of their QB Jackson Cooke, who only has three passing Touchdowns thus far to his seven interceptions. Last year the Falcons ran a wildcat offense with no real QB option, in 2022, they continue to run the same style riding the tail of their senior running back Aaron Field, who has seen 105 carries for 702 yards and 12 touchdowns on the season. Field has the speed and agility to break the holes in the defense, but similar to Wilton, if Darien can shut down their one main producer on the offense it could be a long night for the Falcons. On the flip side of the ball, Ludlowe’s DL consists of pass disrupters junior Freddy Cacciari leading the team with three sacks, and senior Aidan Sanders with a team leading 64 tackles. The Ludlowe secondary has been a big point of accomplishment this season. The team has picked off 11 passes this season, 5 of which coming from senior Ryan Farris. Ludlowe’s offense might be inconsistent, but the defense will apply the pressure for all 48 minutes and give Darien a tough time hitting its routes.


Friday Gameplan

If you are heading up to Ludlowe’s Taft Field, traffic may be heavy going north, however, parking should be easy to come by, and the field is right in the center of campus. The forecast is calling for sunny skies with temperatures in the low 60s. This is going to be another white out, and based on the turnout in Wilton, you know Ludlowe will have a packed house, and Darien should have some fateful that make the track.

And if you find yourselves with other plans on Friday night, DAF has you covered with the live stream. You can listen to DAF commentators Dylan DeRiso, and Cooper Puff call the action with kickoff at 7:00 pm.