WINDHAM — Windham football knew it faced a daunting task yesterday, welcoming a Plymouth squad that returned many of its top players from a team that finished undefeated and won the (now-defunct) Division 4 state title a season ago.
Unfortunately for the Jaguars, the defending champs more than lived up to their reputation, grabbing a 28-point halftime lead and closing out a 41-7 victory.
“We knew that was an excellent Plymouth team,” said Windham coach Bill Raycraft. “We knew we couldn’t make any mistakes if we wanted to stay in the game, and we made mistakes. Whether it was a missed assignment or a dropped pass or something else, you can’t do that. We obviously have things we need to shore up.”
The Bobcats wasted no time setting the tone for the game, scoring 2:37 into the game on a touchdown by Johnny Thomas — obviously not the Maryland recruit from St. John’s Prep — and adding a second score just 3:27 later.
Led by returning All-State running back Jared Kuehl (128 yards, 2 TDs), Plymouth held a 28-0 advantage heading into the half.
“They are obviously very athletic,” said Raycraft. “There’s a reason they went undefeated last year and returned lots of guys. They executed and that was the biggest difference.”
Windham linebacker Kurtis Jolicoeur and defensive back Kellin Bail did their best to keep the Jaguars in the game. Jolicoeur finished with a team-best 10 tackles while Bail made eight stops and David Crichton had six tackles and a sack.
Quarterback Brendan McInnis led the Jaguar offense. He completed seven passes for 119 yards and the squad’s lone touchdown of the day, a pretty 21-yard connection to Anthony Gallo. Gallo finished with three catches for 78 yards and Bail rushed for a team-high 48 yards on 10 carries.
Windham now hopes to rebound when it hosts Souhegan on Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
“We really feel like we have a very talented team,” said Raycraft. “The only way this loss could be worse is if we didn’t learn from this. We have to be able to perform.”
agateHed:Plymouth 41, Windham 7
agateText:Plymouth (2-0): 14 14 7 6 — 41
agateText:Windham (1-1): 0 0 0 7 — 7
agateText: P — Johnny Thomas 24 run (Silas Murray kick), 9:47
P — Collin Sullivan 1 run (Murray kick), 6:20
agateText: P — Jared Kuehl 20 run (Murray kick), 3:45
P — Kyle Reisert 30 pass from Sullivan (Murray kick), 0:07
agateText: P — Sullivan 1 run (Murray kick), 4:34
agateText: P — Sam Slaughter 64 run (kick failed), 7:21
W — Anthony Gallo 21 pass from Brendan McInnis (Gallo kick), 1:30
agateText:RUSHING: W (27-117) — Kellin Bail 10-48, Kurtis Jolicoeur 5-24, Brendan McInnis 7-17, Shane Lafond 4-16, Matt Shea 1-12; P (36-272) — Jared Kuehl 14-128, Johnny Thomas 11-67, Sam Slaughter 2-64, Justin Robinson 4-13, Collin Sullivan 5-0
agateText:PASSING: W — McInnis 7-17-0, 119; P — Sullivan 3-7-0, 70
agateText:RECEIVING: W — Anthony Gallo 3-78, Lafond 1-19, Bail 1-15, McInnis 1-5, Joey Frake 1-2; P — Jim Nolan 1-35, Kyle Reisert 1-30, Kuehl 1-5