A year ago, the St. Joseph football team scored 28 straight points in the fourth quarter to stun Ridgefield, 38-35, in Trumbull.
Friday night’s rematch was decided much, much earlier.
St. Joseph scored 20 unanswered points in the first quarter and went on to crush host Ridgefield, 42-0, at Tiger Hollow.
The loss was the second straight for Ridgefield, which dropped to 2-3 at the midpoint of the regular season.
Ranked fourth in the state entering the game, St. Joseph improved to 4-1. The reigning Class S state champs have outscored their last two opponents, Wilton and Ridgefield, by a combined 89-0.
With the offense thwarted all evening, Ridgefield’s defense provided the few high points for the hosts. Jackson Mitchell blocked a St. Joseph field goal attempt, and cornerback Alex Hanna intercepted two passes.
On its second offensive series, St. Joseph went ahead for good when Jaden Shirden scored on a two-yard run with 6:12 left in the opening quarter. The touchdown came after two consecutive quarterback sneaks by David Summers for first downs. Ridgefield blocked the extra point, leaving the Cadets with a 6-0 lead.
A sack of quarterback Owen Matthews then left Ridgefield facing a fourth-and-17 and forced to punt. St. Joseph got the ball back and began its next series from the Tigers’ 32-yard line with about four minutes left in the quarter.
Hanna broke up a pass in the red zone, and a penalty against the Cadets put them in a third-and-14 situation. Summers then struck again. After running for 13 yards, he threw a 24-yard touchdown pass to William Diamantis on a fourth-and-one play. The extra point gave St. Joseph a 13-0 lead.
As the first quarter was winding down, Matthews threw an interception on a third-and-eight play and the Cadets took over at the Ridgefield 30-yard line. On the ensuing play, defensive miscommunication allowed Diamantis to get wide open for an easy touchdown pass from Summers.
St. Joseph scored once more in the opening half as a stunning, off-balance pass from Summers to Diamantis went for a 62-yard gain and set up Summers’ six-yard touchdown pass to wide receiver Ace Luzietti, pushing the Cadets’ advantage to 26-0 at the break.
Shirden took over in the second half, running 59 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter and adding a 19-yard scoring run in the fourth period. In between, the Cadets tacked on two more points via a safety on Ridgefield.
Notes: Following a bye week, the Tigers return to action with a road game against arch-rival Wilton on Saturday, Oct. 22, at 2 p.m. Ridgefield has won its last 20 games against the Warriors, who are 3-2 so far this season.