The Windham Jaguars in their third year of varsity football have come a long way very fast. In their first year in Division 5 playing with all under underclassman they took their lumps. Coach Bill Raycraft started with a group of young sophomores that are now matured into a big fast group of talented seniors. Making it to the Division 5 championship game last year was quit of a accomplishment but this year they have stepped up in class into a very competitive Division 4.
Their first test on Saturday was to take on a Laconia Sachems team that is a consistent visitor to the Division 4 playoffs in November. Saturday's performance you have to give the Jaguars and A+. They dominated in every phase of the game and stunned the Sachems 52-6.
This game was over fast. On the Jaguars first possession they started in excellent field position from the Sachems 48. The first play from scrimmage with the Laconia defense crowding the line to stop the run orientated double wing offense #44 Kevin Cooney ran a fullback middle trap which sprung him into the Sachem secondary and he was off to the races but was caught from behind at the one yard line. On the next play #28 Danny Cannone (who had a monster game) scored and in the blink of an eye Windham was up 7-0.
Coach Raycraft has been running the double wing offense for over 10 years. This group of Jaguars after running it for 3 years have mastered the intricate timing and blocking schemes. The bottom line is this team is going to score a ton of points in 2012.
This just was not Laconia's day. Their all state running back #6 David Mahoney had a couple nice runs gaining 61 yards on 11 carries but for the most part Windham was able to keep Mahoney from breaking and big runs. Windham has a lot of weapons, Kevin Cooney who rushed for over a 100 yards had a big game but the big star on Saturday was #28 Daniel Cannone. Cannone rushed for 167 yards and 5 touchdowns! Daniel had touchdown runs of 1,10,54,5, and 30 yards. He also had 2 receptions. Not a bad start of the season for the young man. The running backs get their names in the paper but the key to executing the double wing is the blocking upfront. The guys who do the dirty work upfront were #72 Danny Rousseau, #59 Connor Golden, #56 Zach Breton, #64 Pat Sap, and #53 Colin Lagos all seniors!
If you are scouting to play against the Jaguars don't think they are all about running the football. Quarterback #3 Joe Lorenz can throw the ball he completed 7 of 9 for 88 yards and 2 touchdowns. He hit #87 Artem Aristov for one score and #22 Joe Frake for another. Sophomore #25 Kellin Bail also had a couple nice catches. All this offense was done in one half 49-0 at the intermission. The second half saw a lot of 2nd team players by both teams. Laconia was able to get a score late in the game on a short run by quarterback #9 Matt Swormstedt. To put the icing on the cake Windham hit a 42 yard field goal in the 2nd half just to show everyone that they also have that weapon.
Division 4 is a very competitive division with a lot of good teams Trinity, Plymouth, St. Thomas and Kennett. Saturday's performance let everyone know that come November the Windham Jaguars have to be in the conversation. As for Laconia coach Craig Kozens is a very good coach he will need to regroup and try to bounce back next week against Hanover. The Sachems will win their share of games this year but the playoffs may not be in their future considering all the other good teams in their division.