Sunday, October 27, 2013

Windham Crushes Trinity 52-20 #StatementWin

Coming into this game it was 2 evenly matched teams. But clearly, one of them brought their 'A' game (Windham) and the other team (Trinity) did not. QB Brendan McInnis (pictured left), Kurtis Jolicoeur, Kellin Bail and Joey Frake all had huge games (all 4 players are only juniors too), and Windham a statement on Saturday that they are a force to be reckoned with in Division II. The Jaguars broke the game open on the first drive of the 2nd half when McInnis hit Bail for a 20 yard TD pass. That made it a 3 score game (23-6) and Windham did not look back from there, as the Jaguars went on to score a whopping 37 points in the 2nd half to win 52-20.

"They had been playing a cover 3 earlier: said McInnis, who was 10/14 for 184 passing yards and 3 TDs, plus 95 yards rushing. "Joe came up to me, said they were biting so we ran it and caught them off guard. Myself, Kellin, Kurtis and Joe - we've been playing together since 4th grade. I also have to give credit to our line."

These same 2 teams will meet in the first round of the playoffs, but on Saturday Windham sent a message to Trinity. Windham may have been the smaller team, but they executed better, were tougher, made more plays and were ore disciplined all game long. Trinity got on the board first, with a 1 yard TD plunge by Zach Poole. But from there the Jaguars scored the game's next 23 consecutive points, taking a commanding 23-6 lead with 9:32 to go in the 3rd quarter. Trinity didn't come within 2 scores of Windham the rest of the way.

"We knew knew coming in that we would do this" Frake said. "We had complete confidence in ourselves. They were bigger, but so is every team we play. But we make up for that with our toughness and tenacity. We have four nasty dudes on our line."

The first half was actually pretty evenly matched, with Trinity leading 6-0 after 1 quarter of play and only trailing 7-6 late in the half.

After Poole put the Pioneers up 6-0, Windham nearly answered right back with a score of their own. Austin 'Waldo' Chambers made a good tackle, but then Bail picked up a crucial 1st down run on 3rd and 6. Then McInnis ran for 24 yards down to the Trinity 16 yard line. Windham was now really getting some momentum on offense, and was looking to punch it in. But when McInnis dropped back to throw he got hit, and the pass was intercepted by Chambers on the Trinity 2 yard line. At that time that was looking like a huge play.

The Pioneers were unable to take advantage of that turnover though, as Jolicoeur made some terrific tackles against the run. Trinity was forced to punt.

"They run the same offense as us" said Windham head coach Bill Raycraft. "So we had to do some different things. We did a great deal of scouting on them coming in to this game."

On Windham's ensuing drive they would once again come very close to scoring a TD but came up empty. They got great field position on the Trinity 34 yard line thanks to a helmet hit penalty on the Pioneers on the punt. The Jaguars got first downs on a Jolicoeur run for 6 yards and a 16 yard pass from McInnis to Bail. That set up 1st and goal on the THS 8 yard line. McInnis threw it to the end zone, but Pioneers DB Brad Rhoades made a great play to dive in front and knock the ball away to prevent the TD. Trinity's defense continued to clamp down, setting up a 4th and goal on the 5 yard line. Windham had McInnis try to run it in for the score, but he was stopped short at the 1 yard line. Turnover on downs. Scary to think that Windham twice turned it over inside the 5 yard line and STILL won by 25.

So now it's Trinity ball on their own 1 yard line. Pioneers senior QB Carmen Giampetruzzi had his pass intercepted by Windham's Troy Peters (yes, he's only a junior too). Giampetruzzi is a great player but this was just not his day.

Windham's next possession is when they finally broke through and got on the scoreboard. Following the interception they had the ball on the Trinity 18 yard line. McInnis ran for a 14 yard gain, then Peters scored on a 4 yard TD run. The extra point was good, and the Jaguars led 7-6 with 7:44 left 2nd quarter. They would lead for the rest of the game.

Trinity's next drive was the game's turning point. They had a great drive going, and were poised to answer Windham's TD with one of their own to go back ahead but then turned it over. Giampetruzzi hit Ryan Boldwin for a 13 yard pass play, and then 'G' picked up a 1st down on the ground with a 6 yard pickup. Chambers then ran for 16 yards with some very tough running, fighting for those extra yards and refusing to go down. Rhoades then got the call, and he picked up a 1st down on the ground. Trinity was definitely gaining momentum, grinding out a solid drive and getting deep into Jaguars' territory. But just like that the drive was over, as Saikou Bah took the handoff, fumbled the ball and it was recovered by Bail. Trinity's sideline went from being all pumped up to disappointed with the drop of a hat, and they started yelling at each other and pointing fingers.

Not only did Windham score a touchdown on their next drive but they added the 2 point conversion so it was a 2 score game going into halftime. McInnis had runs of 15 and 11 yards, followed by a big 26 yard run by Jolicoeur. Shane Lafond (only a sophomore) ran for 8 yards and a 1st down, then McInnis hit Anthony Gallo (also only a junior) for an 11 yard TD pass. Jolicoeur ran it in for the 2 point conversion and it was 15-6 Windham with just :34 left 1st half.

Trinity tried to answer back in their last possession of the half. Giampetruzzi hit Boldwin for an 11 yard gain. That got them to midfield, but then 'G' was brought down for a sack by Jolicoeur and Davis Potter (also just a junior). That was the last play of the 1st half.

So after a slow start with a couple of missed chances, Windham really built momentum in the 2nd quarter with their 2 TDs, and the 2 costly Trinity turnovers. The jaguars kept that momentum rolling in the 3rd quarter.

Windham got the ball first to start the 2nd half, and immediately went back to work. McInnis hit Guillaume Gauthier for a 12 yard pass, then hit Bail right in stride for a 20 yard TD pass. It was yet another great pass by McInnis who had an outstanding game at QB. Jolicoeur again ran in the 2 point conversion and it was 23-6 Windham, 9:23 left 3rd quarters. The Jags were really rolling now.

Trinity answered right back though. Chambers (team leading 80 yards rushing) picked up 8 yards on the ground, then Will Sheppard (only a sophomore) ran for 10 of his own. Poole also made some tough runs, and then Chambers picked up 8 yards on 4th and inches on the Windham 22 yard line. Then Poole ran for a 13 yard TD, although he clearly grabbed the facemask of a Jaguars defender while trying to avoid the tackle so the TD shouldn't have counted. The 2 point conversion was stopped by the Jaguars, as Frake and David Crichton teamed up for a big hit.

Windham responded with a TD of their own to once again make it a 3 score game. McInnis hit Lafond for a 1st down pass play, then after a costly personal foul penalty on Trinity, Jolicoeur and Bail came up with some tough runs. Then McInnis ran for a 1st down to set up 1st and goal on the Trinity 10 yard line. A couple plays later Bail ran in for a 3 yard TD, which was again followed by the 2 point conversion by Jolicoeur. Now it's 31-12 Windham, 1:34 left 3rd quarter.

Trinity's troubles would only continue from there, as Brandon Smith made a great tackle for a loss of yards followed by another interception by Giampetruzzi. This time it was Bail who made the pick, as he made a diving grab right in front of his team's sideline.

Then right after that McInnis threw the 73 yard TD pass, hitting the wide open Frake right in stride. This time on the 2 point conversion it was McInnis on the keeper. He scored and Windham went up 39-12 with 10:21 left 4th quarter. The Jags were now up by 4 touchdowns in the 4th quarter - it was over at this point for sure.

Trinity didn't give up though, as they did tack on another TD. Frake made a great hit to force an incompletion. But then Giampetruzzi hit Boldwin for a 15 yard TD pass. Chambers ran in the 2 point conversion and the Pioneers now trailed by 3 scores, 39-20 with 8:15 left 4th quarter.

Trinity then went for an onside kick. They nearly recovered it but Windham came away with it instead. Jolicoeur then broke loose for a 48 yard run. Jolicoeur had 156 rushing yards on just 14 carries. He's a very tough player on both sides of the football. McInnis then hit Lafond for a an 11 yard pass, and Jolicoeur ended the drive with a 7 yard TD run. 2 point conversion no good, and it was 45-20 Windham with 6:08 left 4th quarter. It was officially over now.

Pioneers' football - they are now really opening up the offense and throwing it deep more to try and get back in it. The Jaguars' defense was up to the challenge though, as Kevin Anderson (yup, he's only a junior too) made a great play in pass coverage to knock the ball away. 'G' threw another interception, this one by Jolicoeur. However it was negated due to a holding penalty on Windham. Then Trinity gave it right back to Windham again though, as they fumbled it and was recovered by the Jags.

As if the 25 point lead wasn't enough Windham added yet another touchdown as the exclamation point on this win. Jolicoeur ran for a 35 yard pickup, then McInnis connected with Gallo for a 15 yard gain. Jolicoeur ran for 8 more yards, then Lafond scored on a 16 yard TD run. The PAT was good, and the final score was Windham 52 Trinity 20.

The statement has been made - Windham is for real, and they're playing as well as anyone in D-II right now.

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