The Darien 7th grade Blue team opened its 2011 campaign with a 7-0 victory over Wilton Friday night. Darien's defense was led by fearsome line play, which included Jake Bieler, Joe Strada, John Stevenson, Brian Keating and Stefan Schneider. Defensive ends Charlie Wright and Quinn Fay made numerous stops on Wilton sweep attempts, and linebackers Brian Peters, Ben Wilson, Ethan Ehlers and Timmy Herget provided great support on both inside and outside running attempts by Wilton. Riley Stewart and Joe Hardison made numerous tackles, and both had an interception from their safety positions to thwart Wilton's passing attack. On offense, Darien moved the ball well but bogged down late on several drives. Sam McMullin, Peters, Herget, Stewart and Ehlers ran hard behind great blocking from the Blue offensive line, consisting of Keating, Bieler, Stevenson, Jacob Velasco-Navarro, Carl Hunter and Wright, and Kevin Fitzmaurice did an outstanding job all night at center. Wilson and Hardison provided extra blocking support from their fullback positions. Peters connected on a number of passes to Wright, which helped to keep Darien's drives alive. Outstanding blocking was also provided by Ryan Corcoran and Teddy Fuller. Darien's one score came on a sweep around left end by Herget that resulted in a 43-yard touchdown jaunt. The play was well-blocked on the left side of the line by Carl Hunter, Jacob Velasco-Navarro, Stevenson, Peters and Wilson, with Hardison flattening the last remaining Wilton defender to clear the way for Herget. The game was interrupted for 25 minutes when Wilton's lights failed to come on but, once the lighting situation was fixed, the Darien defense thwarted Wilton's last few offensive drives to preserve the victory.
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