Football: St. Joseph stuns Ridgefield with late come back

St. Joseph’s David Summers threw his fourth touchdown pass of the game, a 20-yarder to Phil Pasmeg with 2:42 remaining, and the Cadets came back from a 35-10 deficit to defeat Ridgefield, 38-35, at Dalling Field in Trumbull on Saturday.

“I think we have one of the best group of receivers in the state,” said Summers, after coach Joe Della Vecchia’s club recovered a pair of onside kicks in the final eight minutes. “This was a great team win.”

Della Vecchia agreed.

“That (rally) showed a lot of character as players and as people,” he said, after St. Joseph improved to 4-1.

“They believe in each other. They kept telling me, ‘We’re fine.’”

Ridgefield’s Greg Gato gave the Tigers the big lead with a five-touchdown performance.

Coach Kevin Callahan’s Tigers led 7-3 after one quarter, 21-10 at the half and 35-10 after three periods.

“Special team mistakes made our defense stay longer on the field than they should have and that kept our offense on the sideline for too long,” Callahan said after the Tigers fell to 3-2.

Before Pasmeg, who was on the receiving end of 13 passes for 177 yards and a pair of scores helped St. Joseph rally, Ridgefield took its 25-point lead on Gatto’s 14-yard pass to Jackson Mitchell with 3:06 remaining in the third period.

Mitchell caught 16 passes for 231 yards and three TDs.

Gatto completed 33 of 46 passes for 411 yards.

The Tigers were limited to a pair of three and outs the rest of the way, before St. Joseph held Ridgefield on downs on its third possession at its 34 on a 4th-and-one play with 9.6 seconds on the clock.

After the first punt, the Cadets went 41 yards in just four plays scoring on Summers 5-yard pass to Will Diamantis.

Luke Kirby, who opened the scoring with a 28-yard field goal, added the PAT to make it 35-17 with 8:08 remaining.

Jared Mallozzi recovered the left-footed Kirby’s onside kick and St. Joseph had possession at the Tigers’ 39.

Summers, who completed 31-for-45 passes for 307 yards, found Mallozzi open on the two and he dove into the end zone to complete a 12-yard TD pass with 6:31 to go.

After the PAT it was 35-24.

Kirby’s next onside kick went off a Ridgefield player and Connor Murphy came out of the pile up with the ball.

St. Joseph had the ball at the Ridgefield 25 down by 11 points.

Summers ran for a 17-yard gain to the one and went in on the next play.

The Cadets went for two points, but the pass fell incomplete.

Ridgefield led 35-30 with 5:47 remaining.

A run and two passes went for one yard, and THomas Formus’ strong leg punted the ball to the Cadets’ 31.

Jaden Shirden had a 27-yard reception, with Summers surviving another big hit on the throw, to the Tigers’ 20.

Summers went over the middle to Pasmeg for the go-ahead score on the next snap from center.

Ridgefield’s Evan Wein (36 yards) and Luke Gaydos (23 yards) also caught TD passes.

Mitchell’s scoring receptions were from 8, 54 and 14 yards.