After a tough loss last week, the New Canaan Red eighth grade football team rebounded for a 27-6 win over Ridgefield Black.

The contest was decided in the trenches where New Canaan dominated on both sides of the ball. Ridgefield's first possession was stunted by a New Canaan defensive surge led with two tackles from Miles Turpin and a bruising gang tackle by Gardner Read, John Hetherington and nose guard Kieran Schaney, forcing a Ridgefield three-and-out.

New Canaan went to work with decisive running by Kyle Smith behind great blocks by Hetherington, Robbie Smith and David Noonan. Smith weaved around end and sprinted 27 yards for the first score, and Justin Clark's extra point made it 7-0.

The New Canaan defense went back to work with Turpin, Read and linebacker Nick Femia combining to shut off running lanes.

After a short punt, New Canaan combined great runs by Charlie Erdmann, a 22-yard burst from Matt Cognetta and a 20-yard run from Smith to surge deep into Ridgefield territory. On the next play, Charlie Erdmann punched in from 11 yards out to run the score to 14-0 after a Clark extra point.

On Ridgefield's third possession, a gang tackle by Schaney, Ryan Riigione, Anthony Marciano, Read and Clark forced a fumble which was recovered by Read.

Quarterback Mike Collins led the team on a drive punctuated by the great running of Nick Femia, Smith and Matt Cognetta. Collins also connected with wideout Jarrett Torromeo (four receptions) to keep the drive alive. Later in the drive, Smith hurdled over right tackle and scampered 22 yards for a touchdown to make the score 21-0.

The New Canaan secondary of Adam Ruth and Mike Cognetta shut down virtually all passing for the first half.

In the third quarter, Ridgefield mounted an 80-yard drive, resulting in a score and failed extra point to cut the New Canaan lead to 21-6.

New Canaan mounted a final fourth quarter push behind an iron offensive curtain of Noonan, Robbie Smith, Andrew Chalon and Read. After strong runs by Femia set up a play action pass, Clark connected with Smith on a 40-yard touchdown strike.

In its final possession of the game, a Ridgefield runner broke free in the New Canaan secondary only to be stopped on an open field tackle by Mike Cognetta to end the game.

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