Friday, October 7, 2016

Windham Eagles football dominates Edward Little 27-6 - By Stephen Signor

On Friday night Edward Little (2-2) faced off with Windham (2-2). A solid defense and productive offense put the Eagles back in the winning column after a tough loss last week. Both defenses started out strong but Windham broke the 0-0 tie with the first score of the game. After stopping Edward Little with a much improved defense and ensuing punt, Windham began their drive deep in their own territory. A few plays later Blake Houser caught one of his two receiving touchdown passes. This touchdown, a 75-yard swing pass thrown by Desmond Leslie, was aided by excellent downfield blocking.

With the score still 7-0 late in the second quarter Leslie would again find Houser, this time wide open. A perfectly thrown ball found its mark and Houser took it 70 yards for Windham’s second score with 1:22 remaining. With a failed attempt at a two point conversion Windham took a 13-0 lead into the locker room at halftime. 

With 5:39 remaining in the third quarter, a drive, fueled by a string of Windham penalties, resulted in a 17-yard scoring pass by EL’s Grant Hartley that found the hands of Tyler Blanchard. It would be their first and only score of the game. Although the extra point was blocked, the touchdown at the time did reduce Windham’s lead and that’s how the third quarter ended, with Windham up by seven. The only other time Edward Little got close to scoring was when Hartley threw a bomb, which if caught would have put them in the end zone. One official threw a flag for pass interference, but after a brief discussion with the other officials the pass was ruled as uncatchable and the call subsequently reversed in Windham’s favor.

The rest of second half would be dominated by the Eagles as they would continue to score. On the first play of the fourth quarter, Leslie took off up the middle on a quarterback draw for a 10-yard touchdown. The point after was good and Windham had a 20-6 lead. With 6:13 remaining in the game, Leslie put the icing on the cake with a quarterback draw from EL’s 33. Leslies’ 177 yards passing and 111 rushing for two touchdowns combined with Houser’s 145 yards and two touchdowns gave the offense a total of 433 yards and proved to be one of the deciding factors in the game.

EL is known for its passing game and it was obvious Perkins had his defense prepared. Constant pressure on Hartley forced him out of the pocket which resulted in three sacks and two interceptions. He would finish 24 of 41 throws for 207 yards. This and excellent open field tackling by the Eagles, when he did complete passes, prevented any measurable success.

After the game a comparison was made how the game stacked up against last week’s squeaker with Thornton Academy. “Last week we had our chances against a stronger team but didn’t finish. We took a lot of big steps forward and tonight it showed. We have a lot of good talent with our quarterbacks and receivers. While we have had some injuries, the players have stepped up,” said Head Coach Matt Perkins.

After starting the season at 2-0 the Eagles dropped their last two games. Their hope is that with this win they will be back on the right path. Their next game is at home against non-conference rival and undefeated 5-0 Bonny Eagle. Game time is 7 p.m.

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