Wilton football turns up defense in defeating McMahon, sparked by McLauglin's interception return

Wilton football celebrates touchdown against McMahon

Wilton football celebrates touchdown against McMahon

scott ericson

WILTON—Despite entering their homecoming game 3-0, the Wilton football team felt it had yet to play its best.

Midway through the first quarter, McMahon was getting the better of the Warriors but one play changed everything.

Leading by three, the Senators were in prime position to go up by more after an interception by Adrian Vega, but in an attempt to avoid a sack, McMahon quarterback Callum Letters threw an interception to middle linebacker Christian McLaughlin, who rumbled 85 yards for a touchdown.

From that point forward, the Wilton defense held McMahon in check and held the Senators without an offensive touchdown on the way to a 28-11 win.

“I saw the ball going up and it was like slow motion and  caught it and ran down the field as fast as I could. I was winded, honestly” McLaughlin said. “This was a huge win. This is the first time we are 4-0 in a really long time. Now we have to focus on Tolland and trying to go 5-0.”

Wilton coach EJ DiNunzio said there are plenty of areas the Warriors need to improve going forward.

“We have a lot to still clean up,” DiNunzio said. “We are 4-0 but the schedule ahs been favoring us. We have not played well the first four games. This was the best we have played. I was happy to see that but there is a lot to clean up. We are young and rebuilding but at least we are winning some games as we rebuild.”

Wilton (4-0) travels to Tolland for an Alliance game next Saturday at 1 p.m. before returning to the FCIAC for a home tilt with Darien Oct. 14.

Wilton would take a 14-3 lead into the half after a 14-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Acosta-Rua to Thomas McKiernan with 3:05 left in the second quarter.

They would increase the lead with a 9-yard rushing touchdown by Peter Reyes and a rushing touchdown in the fourth quarter.

McMahon would score late in the fourth quarter on a 60- yard scoop and score by Lucas Silva after an errant pitch by Wilton.

“Turnovers in the red zone, we can’t have those,” McMahon coach Jeff Queiroga said. “You have to learn how to win. We have been beat down for a few years and you get down and that’s the coaches job. We have to coach that better. We thought we had a good chance coming into the game and we fought hard but it is what it is.”

McMahon marched down the field after the opening kickoff but had to settle for a 32-yard field goal by Alex Letters.

McMahon (1-3) has a bye next week and hosts Ludlowe Oct. 14 at 7 p.m.

PLAYER OF THE GAME

Christian McLaughlin, Wilton: The senior linebacker made the play of his career and gave Wilton the spark it needed to flip the momentum of the game.

QUOTABLE

“I wasn’t happy after the first series. Thankfully, our defense rose to the challenge inside the 20 and held them to 3 there, which was huge,” DiNunzio said. “That play by (McLaughlin) was huge. My caps off to our defense, we played a really good game defensively.”

WILTON 28  MCMAHON 11

MCMAHON        3 0 0 8--11

WILTON               7 7 7 7--28

M—Alex Letters 32 field goal

W—Christian McLaughlin 85 interception return (Michael Wall kick)

W—Thomas McKiernan 14 pass Andrew Acosta-Rua (Wall kick)

W—Peter Reyes 9 run (Wall kick)

W—Unknown 4 run (Wall kick)

M—Lucas Silva 60 fumble return (William Moy pass Callum Letters)