Centaurs pg 9 10-12-17

WOODSTOCK — A lot of effort, a lot of heart was evident on the football field Oct. 6.
“Unfortunately, the football was too sloppy,” Woodstock Academy coach Sean Saucier said. “I give Amherst a lot of credit.”
What the Hurricanes did was exploit a weakness in the Centaurs defense and it brought them a 22-14 win over Woodstock at Community Field on the Amherst- Pelham Regional School campus.
Saucier was concerned about the buck sweep with one back following a pair of guards around the corner.
His goal was to “stop the train.” The Centaurs (2-2) failed to do so.
“They kept doing it over and over and we, obviously, struggled to stop the play,” Saucier said.
It was that play that got the Hurricanes (4-1) what proved to be the game-winning touchdown with 6 minutes, 11 seconds left.
Alex Fernandes (18 carries, 150 yards) did what he had all night, getting to the outside, looking for the hole and when he saw it, cut it up the field for the 8-yard touchdown.
“He’s a very patient runner and he took what was there,” Saucier said.
Just moments before, Woodstock had tied the game at 14.
The Centaurs forged a seven-play, 82-yard drive with the help of a facemask call in just 2:42. Quarterback Derek Thompson (10-for-19 passing, 104 yards) found Luis Miranda for his second long catch of the night, a 22-yard reception, that got the Centaurs to the Hurricanes’ 32.
Thompson then hit Zach Douglas with a 7-yard pass to the 25 and Kameron Janice (22 carries, 123 yards) did the rest, taking it in for his only touchdown of the night.
“I thought Kameron ran his heart out,” Saucier said. “He was everything I had hoped he would be.”
But the Centaurs surrendered a big kickoff return by Steven Steele who took it to the Woodstock 37 and helped set up Fernandes winning score just under two minutes later.
The Centaurs did come back, driving the ball to the Amherst 31-yard line.
But on 4th down-and-1, the officials whistled the Centaurs for a false start and Thompson was sacked on the next play with 3:54 left.
Although they forced the Hurricanes to punt, the Amherst defense kept Woodstock from crossing the midfield stripe for the first time in the half to seal the win.
Amherst scored the only touchdown of the first half after the Centaurs failed to get a first down on a 4th-and-7 from their own 47. It took the Hurricanes nine plays to punch it in but Fernandes finally did so to give Amherst the 6-0 lead at the half.
Woodstock tied it up on their first drive of the second half on a 47-yard Thompson to Miranda (2 catches, 69 yards) connection.
But Amherst regained the lead on a 7-yard run by Joshua Vecchio (14 carries, 46 yards).
“It stinks. This one hurts, I’m not going to lie. The effort was there. The pride in themselves was there. We just have to learn how to win close games,” Saucier said.
Woodstock 0
Waterford 2
Aaron Johnson hit the cross bar in the first half, but it was as close as the Centaurs would get to a goal Oct. 5 as Woodstock Academy fell in Waterford. The loss dropped the Centaurs to 7-4 overall, 4-3 in Eastern Connecticut Conference Division II.
Woodstock 2
Killingly 0
Ian Sohan scored the first goal of his high school career and helped Woodstock Academy to a 2-0 win over Killingly under the lights at Killingly High School Oct. 3. Eli Child put the Centaurs (7-3, 4-2 Eastern Connecticut Conference Division II) on the board in the first half when he scored a goal off an assist from Jack Gelhaus. “The boys passed the ball well, there was good movement. It was a good performance,” coach Paul Rearden said. Killingly fell to 2-6-1, 0-6.
Cross Country
Centaurs take 2 out of 3 in only home meet of season
Coach Peter Lusa didn’t know what to expect from Ethan Aspiras. The freshman runner is very familiar with cross-country, having run at St. James in Danielson for the last three years. But Aspiras let his mileage slide over the last few months.
“He didn’t run a lot this summer so I can’t wait to see what happens when he runs in the summer. His coach last year, Todd LePine, told me he was going to be a dynamo when he got here. I’ve been trying to hold him back, but he just needs to go,” Lusa said.
Lusa took off the reins Oct. 3.
The freshman from Brooklyn responded in the Centaurs only home meet of the season as he finished in 18 minutes, 52 seconds, good for first place on the team and third overall.
“I get worried every time I see him out front at the beginning, thinking he is going out too fast, but then, he just maintains. I’ve got to learn to put that fear aside,” Lusa said.
The Centaurs brought their overall record back to the .500 mark at 3-3 with wins over Plainfield and Windham by the same 23-36 score but saw their Eastern Connecticut Conference Division II record dip to 1-3 with a 19-43 loss to Waterford.
“This is the second-toughest course I’ve ever been on,” Aspiras said of the Stonebridge Road challenge. “A lot of hills, a lot of steep hills.”
The toughest course? Wickham Park.
The bad news for Aspiras is that the Centaurs next run on Saturday at the Wickham Park Invitational. The good news is that he will be running in the freshmen event which is a little shorter than what his varsity teammates will be facing.
Evan Gianfriddo (20:13) finished second for the Centaurs in 10th place overall while Kenneth Birlin was 12th in 20:27.
“It was OK,” Lusa said of the team’s performance. “I knew Waterford would be tough, they have a good pack (the Lancers put five in the top seven). Our guys held in. We had people to chase which was good.”
Marc Allard
Sports Information Director
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