Ridgefield football team gets Homecoming win over McMahon

There was a good reason why the Ridgefield High football team didn't mind that the second half of Friday night's Homecoming game against Brien McMahon was scoreless.

The Tigers, after all, had accounted for all but six of the 30 points scored during the opening two quarters.

That first-half dominance carried Ridgefield to a 24-6 triumph over McMahon at Tiger Hollow. The win was the second straight for Ridgefield, which is now 4-3 going into this Friday night's home game against unbeaten Greenwich (6-0).

The Tigers took a 7-0 lead over McMahon when quarterback Owen Matthews threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Evan Wein and Sebastian Gasparo added the extra point midway through the first quarter.

McMahon responded on Michael Macari's eight-yard touchdown run with less than 20 seconds left in the quarter. But Kurt Monahan and Nick Hall combined to block the extra point and keep Ridgefield ahead, 7-6.

A 44-yard completion from Matthews to senior standout Jackson Mitchell set up Matthews' four-yard touchdown pass to Jack Wright early in the second quarter. Gasparo's extra point extended Ridgefield's lead to 14-6.

With the half winding down, McMahon got a shot of momentum when senior defensive end Devin Baker sacked Matthews, prompting a huge reaction from the Senators' sideline.

But the emotional lift was cut short as Ridgefield defensive back Owen Gaydos intercepted a McMahon pass with under three minutes to go in the second quarter.

Matthews and company used a couple of plays to gain yardage before senior running back Ben Seward dashed 35 yards into the end zone. Gasparo's extra point put the Tigers ahead, 21-6.

Head coach Kevin Callahan then opted for an onside kick that caught McMahon by surprise. Ridgefield recovered the ball, and Gasparo kicked a 21-yard field goal on the final play of the period to give the Tigers a 24-6 halftime lead.

An uneventful second half included many penalties and unsuccessful drives. Ridgefield's defense used a combination of quarterback pressure and lockdown coverage to keep McMahon scoreless in the third and fourth quarters.

The Tigers limited McMahon to only 113 yards of total offense in the game. McMahon had just three plays that gained more than 10 yards, with the longest an 18-yard pass.

“I thought our defense played really well the whole night,” said Matthews. “It was a good game to build off of going into Greenwich.”

Notes: By beating McMahon, Ridgefield moved up to 14th in the Class LL point rankings. The top-eight teams at the end of the regular season advance to the state playoffs.