DARIEN, Conn -- The Darien Junior 5 Blue team won its first round playoff game over Westport 5 South by a score of 33-12 on Saturday at Darien High School. Despite controlling most of the game, Darien got off to a rough start. On the first play of the game, Westport scored on a 60 yard pass. The Darien defensive line was able to stop the point after touchdown conversion, but less than 30 seconds into the game, Darien trailed 6-0. Then the Darien offense turned the ball over to Westport on a lost fumble, and the Darien team was facing a Westport drive that threatened to put Westport two scores ahead only minutes into the game.
The Darien defense stood firm though as the defensive backfield knocked down two pass attempts, and Darien's offense got the ball back. Two plays later, running back Jack Bogdan scored the first of his two offensive touchdowns, and quarterback Cooper Hancock converted the PAT to put Darien on top 7-6 with 9:20 left in the first quarter. On its next offensive series, Darien faced thirdand long. The Darien offensive line opened a wide hole in the Westport defense, and Bogdan broke free and scored on a long breakaway TD run. Running back Jack Maley then converted the extra point with a dramatic run where he ran left but, with nowhere to go, reversed field and outran the entire Westport team and ended the run with a dive into the end zone. With 1:52 left in the first quarter, Darien now led 14-6. Following a Westport fumble, Darien took over on offense. Cooper Hancock connected on a beautiful pass to Alex von Jena for a 35 yard touchdown pass with 48 seconds left in the half, and Darien went ahead 20-6.
Westport mounted a drive just before half and got the ball down to the Darien 30 yard line, calling time out with 4.7 seconds left before the break. Westport then attempted to throw the ball, but it was intercepted by linebacker Jack Bogdan who broke to the right side of the field and scampered 63 yards into the end zone as the clock ran out on the first half. The extra point was good, and Darien took a 27 - 6 halftime lead. Despite the demoralizing end of half turnover that put Westport 21 points behind on the scoreboard, the Westport team came out strong in the third quarter and scored on a long TD run. The extra point attempt failed as Quenten Ehlers intercepted the pass, but Westport had cut the Darien lead to 27-12 with most of the second half left to play. Darien's defense stood strong as the defensive line and linebackers made it impossible for Westport to run the ball effectively, and the Darien defensive secondary shut down Westport's ability to move the ball in the air. Tough tackling by Griffin Martens followed by an interception by Sean Seiler combined to stop a Westport drive. After a number of back and forth offensive series by both teams, Darien mounted one last offensive scoring drive, ending with quarterback Hancock taking the ball in from the 1-yard line on a QB sneak. Darien 5 Blue moved its record to 5-4 on the 2011 season and, because of the weather cancellations last week, must prepare in a shortened week for its next playoff game on Wednesday, Nov. 9 against the 7-1 Wilton Black at 7:30PM at Wilton High School. Wilton 5 Black is the team to which Blue narrowly lost 12-6 two weeks ago. Readers can see the entire Fairfield County Football League playoff grid by clicking onto this weblink.
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