Staples’ defense gets stingy in win over Ridgefield

Staples quarterback Ryan Thompson after a 26-10 win over Ridgefield on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021 in Westport, Conn.

Staples quarterback Ryan Thompson after a 26-10 win over Ridgefield on Friday, Nov. 12, 2021 in Westport, Conn.

Dan Gardella / For Hearst Connecticut Media

WESTPORT —After Week 3, Staples was 1-2 after a loss to Cheshire. Seven weeks later, the Wreckers enter the final week of the season with a chance to make the Class LL playoffs.

After just six first-half points, the Staples offense found its footing and the Wrecker defense held Ridgefield scoreless in the second half to beat the Tigers 26-10 Friday night.

After scoring on its first drive of the night, the Staples offense, which had been rolling during its five-game winning streak, was silenced.

The Tigers took a 7-6 lead early in the second quarter as Justin Keller found Logan Gels from 10 yards away and Cole Montanaro connected on a 26-yard field goal with three seconds left in the half to take a 10-6 lead into halftime.

Staples quarterback Ryan Thompson pointed to his team’s self-inflicted play that resulted in the deficit.

“It was such a big game for implications we got away from playing football, which is what we do best,” Thompson said. “It’s definitely in the back of your head, but you can’t think ahead.”

With Ridgefield starting with the ball in the second half, Staples forced a three-and-out and gave their offense a chance to retake the lead.

Staples quickly marched into the Ridgefield red zone before facing a fourth- and-goal on the 17-yard line. Thompson found Tyler Clark on an acrobatic catch to give Staples a 13-10 lead.

“It was one of the plays we usually draw up in the red zone,” Clark said. “My defender held me a little bit and I just threw my hands up at the ball. I couldn’t even see it.”

The Staples defense continued to dominate, forcing a turnover on downs and a three-and-out, which led to another passing touchdown from Thompson to Miles Scarfo. The Wreckers added one more score on the final play of the game to close out a special night in Westport.

Not only was it senior night, but Staples dedicated the field to former coach Paul Lane at halftime. Lane, who coached Staples for nearly 30 years, passed away in June at the age of 93.

“I’ve gotten to know his son pretty well,” Staples head coach Adam Behrends said. “My very first day here I had the privilege of meeting coach Lane. I’m really excited that they did this for him.”

As Staples extended its winning streak to six in a row, Behrends understands there is one more hurdle to jump before he can even think about the possibility of the state playoffs.

“We have to get healthy and then we have to get going on Greenwich,” Behrends said. “We have to make sure we’re prepared for everything they bring our way on Thanksgiving.”


Ryan Thompson, Staples Sr. QB: Threw for two second-half touchdowns to lead Staples to a second-half comeback.


“There’s been so much that we’ve gone through. Coach Behrends was one of the best at rallying us together and showing us why it matters other than winning state championships. He was able to build a culture that everyone believed in.” — Staples quarterback Ryan Thompson.


STAPLES 6 0 7 13 — 26

RIDGEFIELD 0 10 0 0 — 10

S—Tanner Connors 8-yard run (Pass failed)

R—Justin Keller 10-yard pass to Logan Gels (Kick good)

R—Cole Montanaro 26-yard field goal

S—Ryan Thompson 16-yard pass to Tyler Clark (Kick good)

S—Ryan Thompson 17-yard pass to Miles Scarfo (Kick good)

S—Tanner Connors 2-yard run (No kick)