Costly mistakes were the difference for the Weston football team in its 21-19 home loss to Stratford on Saturday afternoon

Stratford broke a five-game losing streak and raised its record to 3-5, while Weston dropped to 4-4.

The Red Devils moved the ball well in the first half and scored all of their points before the break. Stratford senior quarterback Markey Desruisseaux used both his arm and legs to ignite the offense, which marched 65 yards on four plays in its first possession of the game. Senior tailback Aaron Ball opened the scoring with a 44-yard touchdown run with 9:47 remaining in the first quarter and classmate Adam Eyerman kicked the extra point to make it 7-0.

"We tried to make adjustments on the fly, but they weren't working, so we switched to a base defense," Trojans Coach Joe Lato said.

Weston moved the ball well at times and answered with a six-play, 50-yard drive, which was set up by senior quad-captain Eddie Hutchins' 37-yard kickoff return to midfield. Senior quad-captain quarterback Joe Falci (22 carries for 90 yards) broke tackles on a 23-yard run to the Red Devils' 10-yard line. Two plays later, Hutchins scored on a 4-yard touchdown run with 6:18 left.

The difference in the game came on the point-after conversion attempt was botched, which cost Weston as it tried to catch up later.

"It always hurts [to lose because of a missed extra point]," Lato said. "Anytime you lose, it hurts. Mistakes always hurt."

The Trojans began their second drive of the game on their 42 and marched 58 yards on 10 plays. Falci (11-17 for 136 yards) hit sophomore Tyler Hassett (four catches for 43 yards) for a 12-yard gain on a fourth-and-six to keep the drive alive and give Weston a first down on Stratford's 10. Two plays later, Hutchins (21 carries for 74 yards, four catches for 58 yards) scored on a 5-yard touchdown run on the last play of the first quarter. Simons kicked the extra point to give the Trojans a 13-7 lead.

However, Simons kicked it off short and after junior Jailen Johnson returned it five yards, Stratford had a first down on its 45. On the next play, Desruisseaux threw a 55-yard touchdown pass to junior Brandon Ramos, who was a few steps ahead of the defensive back. Eyerman kicked the extra point to give the Red Devils a 14-13 lead.

Turnovers also hurt Weston. Falci fumbled after scrambling for nine yards and Stratford junior Lawrence Butler reversed it on the Trojan 24. Six plays later on a third-and-eight, Desruisseaux threw a 10-yard touchdown pass to Johnson with 1:36 to go in the half. Eyerman's kick gave the Red Devils a 21-13 halftime lead.

Weston had its chances in the second half. After having its first drive stall on Stratford's 36, it marched 72 yards on 10 plays with Falci breaking tackles for a 20-yard gain to Stratford's 29. Falci also threw a 15-yard pass to senior Jacob Spencer (two catches for 27 yards) to make it first-and-goal on the 9 and Falci capped it with a 9-yard touchdown run. The Trojans went for two, but Hutchins was stopped short of the goal line.

Defensively, the Trojans were solid in the second half. Spencer (nine tackles), senior quad-captains Jack Crowell (four tackles, two quarterback pressures) and Drew Clevinger (four tackles), classmate Carmine Magnoli (five tackles) and junior Matt Keeney (six tackles, one quarterback pressure) were instrumental in shutting down the run. Falci, Hutchins and junior Austin Delaney each broke up a pass.

In the fourth quarter, Weston appeared to be poised to take lead when Hutchins ran for eight yards on a second-and-six from 25. However, he fumbled the ball and the Red Devils recovered it.

On the ensuing play, the Trojans had life when Simons intercepted a Desruisseaux pass on the Red Devil 30. Freshman Danny Rogers (four carries for 32 yards, one kickoff return for 37 yards) had a 17-yard gain on a reverse to the 11 and Falci's three-yard gain to the 8 made it first and goal, but Weston couldn't punch it in. Falci also hit Keeney (two catches for 17 yards) for a six-yard gain on the drive. On a third-and-goal from the 4, Hutchins ran it on the wildcat formation but instead of going to the middle of the field, he went to the left side and was stopped for no gain, which made it a harder angle for Simons' field goal attempt, which he was wide on.

"I wanted to get it into the end zone and I thought it was our best chance to score on the play," Lato said. "There are a couple of things I wish I could have done differently."

Gridiron notes: Crowell threw a nine-yard pass off of punt formation and had two kickoff returns as the up-man for 16 yards. Weston had 341 net yards. Falci, Hutchins and Delaney each had two tackles.