Friday, September 19, 2014

WMS football team splits with Bonny Eagle - By Eric Colby

Having two game-starting touchdowns on the same drive called back by penalties, losing two critical players and throwing a couple of interceptions were too much for the Windham Eagles Middle School football team to overcome as they dropped a game to Bonny Eagle last Sunday in Standish.

“It was just a combination of things that derailed our attempts at a victory,” said Windham head coach Tony Leslie. 

The final score was 28-12 for the varsity while the Windham junior varsity team scored a convincing 16-0 win.
The varsity game began strong for the Eagles as Treva Valliere took the opening kickoff deep into Scots’ territory. On the next play, quarterback Blake Houser found wide receiver Garrett Peeples who hauled in a tough catch for a big gain. Grant Jacobson took a handoff and plowed through the Bonny Eagle defense for an apparent touchdown—until Windham got called for a penalty.

Unfazed Windham lined up again and Valliere took a handoff and tore through the opponents en route to the end zone. Another flag neutralized that touchdown as well and the score was stuck at 0-0. 

On the next play, Houser dropped back and a Bonny Eagle defender stepped in front of a pass intended for Josh Mora. Bonny Eagle couldn’t capitalize and the two teams traded possessions without scoring. At the end of the first quarter, Bonny Eagle struck on a long pass for the score. The two-point conversion put the Scots up 8-0.
During the week leading up to the game, offensive lineman Jack Alderman was removed from the Windham team for disciplinary reasons. He was replaced by Owen Shepard whom Leslie said did a good job. Valliere hurt his back during the first quarter of Sunday’s game and did not return. Blake Colby replaced Valliere at linebacker while Rich Graham and Seth Wall both played well on offense in his absence. 

Jacobson continued to steamroll the Scots and he scored Windham’s first touchdown of the game. Windham failed on the two-point conversion, leaving the score at 8-6. Bonny Eagle didn’t take long to counter, going up 16-6 on a scoring run by the quarterback and a two-point conversion.

The deficit grew in the third quarter when another long Bonny Eagle pass set up first and goal. The Scots were suddenly in command 22-12. The teams traded possessions in the second half, but it wasn’t until late in the fourth quarter that Bonny Eagle scored an insurance touchdown to lead by 28-12. Some late game excitement came for Windham when Mora recovered a Bonny Eagle fumble to put the Eagles in scoring position. Houser completed a 15-yard pass to Jacboson and on the next play the officials awarded a questionable interception to Bonny Eagle. The game ended soon after.

Reflecting on the varsity game, Leslie saw positives. “Grant had a great game. I didn’t utilize him well enough,” said the coach. He also liked what he saw of Graham running the ball, saying, “He has the speed to get outside and turn upfield.” 

For the Eagles junior varsity team, Leslie pointed out the performances of running back Seth Wall and the defensive effort of George Butts. “He just took over,” said Leslie. “He got a lot of tackles behind the line of scrimmage.”

This Sunday the Eagles host undefeated Portland, with whom Leslie thinks his team can play competitively. “That’s going to be a real test for us,” he said. “It’s going to come down to the guys believing in themselves.”

For identification purposes Rich Graham is #44
Rich Graham ran the ball well in the varsity game. Photo by Eric Colby

For identification purposes George Butts is #72
George Butts terrorized the Scots JV offense. Photo by Carrie Wall.

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