Tigers can't out quick Cadets

The St. Joseph High football team knows a thing or two about playing fast. When it comes to running an up-tempo, no-huddle offense, veteran senior quarterback Jordan Vazzano and the Cadets are as good as anyone in the state.

Then there is Ridgefield, which has taken its own version of fast and made it even faster, using an Oregon-type pace that squeezes as many offensive plays out of a game as possible.

During Saturday afternoon’s FCIAC clash against the Cadets, the Tigers produced a gaudy 72 snaps, not including punts.

At times, Ridgefield junior quarterback Ryan Dunn was calling a play before the chain gang had a chance to get the yard markers set.

“This is our third year in it,” said Ridgefield head coach Kevin Callahan of his fast-paced offensive system. “You’re always hoping to be faster. As you stay in it more, you just get better at it.”

For most teams, that often spells disaster. But as Callahan found out early, St. Joseph is no ordinary team.

St. Joseph proved why it is one of the top-ranked teams in the state, using its explosive offense and shut-down defense to post a 41-12 victory over the Tigers in a battle of previously undefeated teams.

The Cadets (3-0 overall, 1-0 FCIAC), ranked fifth in the coaches poll and sixth by the writers, scored early and often, jumping out to a 14-0 lead after their first two possessions just 3:25 into the game.

Midway through the third quarter, St. Joseph had run half as many plays as Ridgefield, but led 35-0 because of its explosiveness.

St. Joseph scored six touchdowns — Vazzano threw for three and ran for another — and four of them went for 50 yards or more, including a 55-yard pass to Shane Miller to make it 14-0 and scoring strikes of 73 and 58 yards to Lars Petersen, one in the second quarter and one in the third.