Friday, October 11, 2013

Windham Middle School JV Football - By Eric Colby

For the second straight week, on October 5, the Windham Middle School football program’s junior varsity team played as a cohesive unit and convincingly defeated a strong Bonny Eagle team during Windham’s Homecoming weekend on Saturday night. 

In the first of two games played under the lights at home in the stadium, the JV Eagles gave up an early touchdown and two-point conversion to the Scots, but then some great team blocking by the offensive line of Blake Colby, Braxton Cassidy, Cameron Arsenault, Matt Paradis and Owen Shepard freed up quarterback Treva Valliere for a long run to the end zone. The team converted for two points and the game was on.

After Bonny Eagle returned a Parker Varney attempt at an on-side kick for a small gain, the Eagle’s defense stepped up. From his nose-tackle position, Colby busted through the line, sacking the quarterback, forcing a fumble and recovering the ball in Scots’ territory. Two plays later, speedster Garret Peeples ran around the left side, sprinting down the sideline for the Eagles’ second score. On the attempt at the two-point conversion, a misdirection handoff to the right, Parker Varney faked the Bonny Eagle defender out of his cleats with a fantastic spin move before diving into the end zone to put his team up by a score of 14-8.

With Colby, Ricky Brichetto and Logan Douglas clogging up the middle preventing the Scots from running inside, the visitors didn’t find much success trying to run to the outside or pass thanks to the disciplined play of defensive ends Dylan Varney and Ezra Davison and some well-timed blitzes by linebackers Josh Mora and Valliere. Cornerback Rich Graham made an excellent one-on-one tackle on a Scots’ ball carrier, preventing a long gain.

In the third quarter, with his line again providing some strong blocking, Valliere broke free and flew 86 yards down the sideline to give the Eagles an insurance touchdown, much to the approval of coaches Tony Leslie, Rick Forbush and Dominic Pelletier. Mora came up just short on the conversion, but the Eagles were now leading by a score of 20-8.

But the Scots weren’t throwing in the towel. A strong drive late in the fourth quarter produced the final score of the game, a touchdown. The attempt at the conversion came up short and the Eagles came away with their second straight victory, 20-14.

Perhaps the most rewarding aspect of this game for the Windham parents was the growing camaraderie among the junior varsity players. After the game the boys were all complimenting each other on their effort with proud smiles on their faces. And that was a victory for all the kids in the program.

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