WINDHAM-Windham got off to a rough start to the game. Deering won the toss and deferred to Windham. On the kick off, Eric Webb caught the ball and weaved his way through traffic. Unfortunately, Webb coughed up the ball and Deering recovered on the Eagle 35-yard line. Windham then actually sealed the victory in the first quarter after Griffin Jacobson converted fourth-and-one into a 37-yard touchdown and Josh Dugas booted the point after touchdown (PAT). However, it didn’t keep them from running their offense and using their defense to keep the game in control. Deering answered at the beginning of the second quarter on a 3-yard passing play. Jacob Coon missed the extra point. Windham had a great opportunity when Patrick Leavitt intercepted a Coon pass and advanced deep into Deering territory. Windham turned the ball over on downs. After that, both teams went back and forth and the half ended with a very close score.
To open the third, Deering almost ran back the kick off. Kicker, Josh Dugas, made a valiant tackle at mid-field to stop Dan Marzilli. The Windham defense held the Rams tough and forced them to punt on fourth-and-sixteen. Windham started at its own 31-yard line. On third-and-twelve, Liam Sullivan broke out and ran 71-yards to give Windham another touchdown. Josh Dugas added the PAT.
After both teams swapped possessions and the game entered the fourth quarter, Windham’s Eric Webb signaled a fair catch on a Deering punt. Windham started at its own 19-yard line. With a grinding offense based on Liam Sullivan, Dylan Koza and Griffin Jacobson, the Eagles put together a string of plays to get to the opposite end of the field. Griffin Jacobson scampered 3 yards to give Windham a 20-6 lead. On the PAT kick, it wasn’t clear if it was a broken play or designed, but holder Tanner Laberge completed the two point conversion. On the kick off, Anthony Pruitt gained some ground and Windham was penalized for a horse-collar tackle. Deering started on the Eagle 14-yard line. The Windham defense held strong and thwarted the Ram opportunity. Windham took over on their 8-yard line. After a few plays, Liam Sullivan broke free and ran 78 yards for a touchdown. Josh Dugas’ kick was low and he missed the PAT.
Liam Sullivan rushed for 285 yards to set a new single game school rushing record. After the game, Coach Perkins commented on his team’s performance. “I was proud of our kids and how they came out in the second half. They really controlled the game.” I asked Perkins about the youngness of his squad. “We aren’t going to use that as an excuse. We are going to focus on playing hard, and focus on what needs to be done.”
Windham travels to Auburn to take on Edward Little today. Windham moved to the Class A East conference this season when the Maine Principal’s Association redistricted a bunch of schools. In addition to Deering, Windham will also face former Western Class A rivals Cheverus, Portland and Bonny Eagle.