Matthews fires three TDs as Ridgefield routs Stamford, 42-12 (updated)

Jack Englert takes a Stamford defender along for the ride during a run Friday night. — Scott Mullin photo
Jack Englert takes a Stamford defender along for the ride during a run Friday night. — Scott Mullin photo

Junior quarterback Owen Matthews threw three touchdown passes as the Ridgefield High football team routed Stamford, 42-12, on Friday night at Tiger Hollow.

Ridgefield evened its record at 1-1 while Stamford dropped to 0-2.

Both offenses started slowly: Ridgefield had a three-and-out on its first drive and Stamford turned the ball over on downs on its opening possession.

After stopping the Tigers, Stamford got the ball back and picked up its initial first down on a Lenny Garcia run. The Black Knights reached the Ridgefield 28-yard line before quarterback Isaiah Johnson was sacked by Ridgefield linebacker Dan Moroney on a third-and-eight play.

With Stamford unable to get a first down, the Tigers took over and embarked on their first scoring drive. A 17-yard run by Moroney gave Ridgefield a first down at the Stamford 25-yard line. Following a six-yard pass from Matthews to wide receiver Evan Wein, Moroney forced his way into the end zone from two yards out.

The first of Sebastian Gasparo's six extra points put Ridgefield ahead, 7-0, with 57.5 seconds left in the first quarter.

It was all Ridgefield from there. Led by defensive end Nick Hall, the Tigers stopped Stamford short on consecutive third-and-one and fourth-and-one plays at midfield. Ridgefield took over and cashed in, with Matthews throwing a 29-yard dart to Brian Showstead for a 14-0 lead.

Just a few minutes later, Matthews connected with Wein for 27 yards and then hit Gianni Gorham on a 24-yard touchdown pass. Gasparo's extra point made it 21-0 with under four minutes left in the opening half.

“Wein and (senior receiver) Jackson (Mitchell) take a lot of the attention away from the other receivers, so it opens up the game for everyone else,” said Matthews.

After Stamford began the second half with a three-and-out, Ridgefield extended its lead to 28-0 on Matthews' 37-yard touchdown toss to Max Bornstein with 9:01 left in the third quarter.

The Ridgefield defense provided the next points. Mitchell sacked Johnson and forced a fumble that Moroney recovered near the Black Knights' 20-yard line before racing into the end zone. Another extra point from Gasparo put the Tigers ahead 35-0 with 7:53 left in the third quarter.

Ben Seward ended the Ridgefield scoring on an eight-yard touchdown run less than three minutes into the final quarter. Gasparo kicked his sixth extra point, giving the Tigers a 42-0 lead.

Stamford scored the game's final 12 points on a 16-yard touchdown run from Garcia and a 12-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Cameron Cahoon to Jay Lockwood. Hall blocked the first extra point for Ridgefield, and teammate Chris Hagele added a block on Stamford's second extra-point kick.

Notes: Former Ridgefield Police Chief John Roche, who died from a heart ailment last month, was recognized during a pregame ceremony.