St. Joseph football upsets No. 2 Darien on two late scores by Brandon Hutchinson
TRUMBULL—There were not too many around the state giving the unranked St. Joseph football team much of a chance on opening day against Darien, the No. 2 ranked team in the preseason GameTimeCT Poll.
In fact, nine GameTimeCT staffers picked Darien with just the inanimate 8-Ball siding with St. Joseph in the weekly picks.
St. Joseph used all that plus the fact it had not beaten Darien since 2013 as motivation.
As time wound down in the fourth quarter, the St. Joseph student section even chanted “the 8-ball never lies.”
In a game that was scoreless into the fourth quarter, St. Joseph wide receiver Brandon Hutchinson scored twice in the final 12 minutes, giving the Cadets the improbable 14-0 win over their FCIAC rival.
“I don’t even know what to say, I’m so happy,” Hutchinson said. “Ever since we lost to them last year, the school went into a depression and we were looking forward to this game all year. I remember writing ’99 days’ on the board in the workout room and now 99 days is here. As a team, we beat them and I love this team.”
Darien came in as the defending CIAC Class LL champion and have won four state titles in the last eight seasons, collecting 93 total wins in that span. But on Saturday, the Blue Wave could not get any offense going.
“I saw a St. Joe’s team that wanted it more than the Darien team today,” Darien coach Mike Forget said. “They made plays, we didn’t make plays. There’s nowhere to go but up after this one.”
The teams traded punts for three quarters.
With just under 10 minutes to play in the fourth, Darien kicked one of those punts short and St. Joseph began with the ball in Blue Wave territory.
On a third-down play from the 16-yard line, quarterback Will Singewald hit Hutchinson on a post pattern in the end zone, putting St. Joseph up 7-0 with 8:26 to play.
Darien’s next possession ended in an interception by TJ Wright and a few plays later, Singewald again hooked up with Hutchinson, this time on a 40-yard corner route.
“The first one was a post and I had worked a lot in the offseason with my brother about flipping hips and beating them with speed. I lack in height so I have to beat people with speed,” Hutchinson said. “The second touchdown, I saw a bunch of people and was running around and made a few cuts, got open and Singe found me. Couldn’t do it without Singe.”
Darien drove down inside the St. Joseph 10-yard line late in the game, but the drive ended with an interception by Sam Rosa.
Darien’s schedule includes a game against defending Class L champion Maloney as well as showdowns against No. 1 ranked Greenwich and No. 4 New Canaan.
The Blue Wave’s home opener is next Saturday against Bridgeport Central.
This was just the beginning of a challenging slate for St. Joseph, who is hosting Staples and Masuk the next two weeks with games looming later in the season against Greenwich, Ridgefield, New Canaan and Trumbull.
PLAYER OF THE GAME
Brandon Hutchinson, St. Joseph: Hutchinson’s two touchdowns were all the Cadets needed. This is only Hutchinson’s second year playing football, coming over from the St. Joseph baseball team last year.
“We don’t have a lot of depth and we were cramping up all over the field but other kids stepped in and played nicely. You can will your way to anything if you believe in it and I think our kids believed all week and today they came in so confident. I am so proud of them,” St. Joseph coach Joe DellaVecchia said. “This is a huge confidence builder for us."
ST. JOSEPH 14 DARIEN 0
DARIEN 0 0 0 0--0
ST. JOSEPH 0 0 0 14—14
SJ—Brandon Hutchinson 16 pass Will Singewald Logan Spolestra kick
SJ—Hutchinson 40 pass Singewald Spolestra kick