DARIEN, Conn. – The last two games for the Darien High School football team have come down to the final play of the game. The Class L semifinal against fourth-seeded Middletown High School on Saturday Dec. 7, might be another nail-biter for the Blue Wave and their fans.
Top-seeded Darien (11-1) meets Middletown (11-1) at 2 p.m. at Pomperaug High School in Southbury. Darien carries an eight-game winning streak into the contest.
Darien beat Hand High School, 31-29, on Daly Hebert’s 18-yard field goal as time expired in a first-round game on Tuesday, Dec. 3. Against New Canaan on Thanksgiving, the Rams drove deep into Darien territory before the Blue Wave held on the final play to secure a 28-24 victory.
Darien has run the table since losing to St. Joseph, 28-14, on Oct. 5. Since then, the Blue Wave have beaten three other teams that reached the state tournament – Ridgefield, North Haven and New Canaan high schools. The Rams meet North Haven in the other Class L semifinal on Saturday.
Tuesday’s victory was a see-saw contest that saw Darien take a 28-22 lead on Nick Lombardo’s 66-yard pass reception from Silas Wyper in the fourth quarter. Hand, the defending state champion, went ahead on a 5-yard touchdown run by Dan Rogers with just over five minutes remaining. Darien marched 69 yards to set up Hebert's game-winning kick.
Middletown’s only loss was a 23-21 setback to New London on Nov. 8. Middletown easily won the rematch in the first-round of the state tournament, 49-14. Three turnovers helped Middletown roll to the victory.
Darien is one of four teams from the Fairfield County Interscholastic Athletic Conference still alive in the four divisions of the state tournament. St. Joseph, Ridgefield and New Canaan will also play on Saturday.
Darien is seeking its first trip to the state championship game since 2008. Darien is also seeking its first state title since 1996. The Blue Wave have won four state titles.
Real-time updates on Saturday's game will be available on the Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference website.