Centaur football pg 9 10-10-19


Digging In
The Woodstock Academy defense digs in against Plainfield Oct. 5. Photo by Joel Tretheway/The Woodstock Academy.

The Woodstock Academy football team was, at times, its own worst enemy Oct. 5.
“We had too many unforced errors,” said Centaurs coach Sean Saucier. “There is a line between being intense and tough and going too far. I don’t know why, I can’t explain it right now, but we were just not disciplined enough.”
That lack of discipline on the field resulted in numerous penalty flags against the Centaurs.
Plainfield took advantage and scored a 30-19 win over Woodstock Academy. It was the first loss of the season for the Centaurs who dropped to 3-1.
The flags started early and didn’t stop. Woodstock Academy was penalized 10 times for 135 yards.
Following the Centaurs first carry on their first possession of the game, a 15-yard personal foul put the Centaurs in a big hole and forced a quick three-and-out.
The Panthers (3-1) got the ball for a first time on the Woodstock Academy 46-yard line and did something a little out of character.
Operating out of their conservative double-wing offense, the Panthers went for a quick strike.
Quarterback Liam Smith went up top and found receiver Khalil Easton for a 38-yard pass to the Centaurs 8-yard line.
Three plays later, running back Lucien Dube carried the ball in from 7 yards out on a counter play to give Plainfield a 7-0 lead.
The Centaurs answered immediately. A 21-yard run by quarterback Ethan Davis gave the Centaurs some breathing room near midfield. One play later, Davis found Nick Bedard open over the middle for a 15-yard gain and running back Ian Welz (21 carries, 67 yards) followed with his longest run of the day, a 34-yard carry to the Plainfield 6.
One play later, Davis scored from 4 yards out to tie the game.
But the first quarter fireworks had truly just begun.
On the ensuing kickoff, Dube picked up a squib kick on the 35-yard line, went from the left hash to the right sideline and found daylight for a 65-yard score to put the Panthers back on top, 15-7.
The Centaurs were more methodical. It took them five plays to answer.
Another personal foul backed up Woodstock Academy to its own 19, but it got some help from the Panthers who were flagged for a helmet-to-helmet incident to move the ball back out to the Centaurs’ 34.
A pass play went in reverse for the Centaurs, backing them up to the 30.
Davis rolled out to his left on the next play and the lefthander looked down the sideline and saw Bedard (7 catches, 135 yards) open. He hit his receiver in stride and Plainfield didn’t stop the senior until he got to the 1-yard line. Davis (12 carries, 59 yards) snuck in from there.
It left the Centaurs down only two, 15-13 — for about 20 seconds.
Easton fielded the kickoff at the Plainfield 17, ran up the left sideline, spun and almost fell at midfield, but regained his balance, charged across the field and found his way to the right sideline for an 83-yard touchdown return.
“It’s a tough way to give up 14 points,” Saucier said. “We have to look at it but they had some great returners. Both kids are pretty speedy. You have them pinned and they’re fast enough to make the corner.”
The Panthers were up 22-13 and there was still 3:48 left in the first quarter.
But suddenly the momentum on both sides stopped. Plainfield, according to coach Pat Smith, never truly found its offensive rhythm. And penalties were numerous on both sides.
Woodstock Academy was forced to punt twice and gave back the ball on an interception, the first of two by Easton, on its next three possessions.
But the Centaurs did have a chance at the end of the half. Luis Miranda picked up a Panther fumble at the Woodstock Academy 43 and returned it to Plainfield’s 29. An unnecessary roughness call against the Panthers moved it to the Plainfield 16 with 1:04 left in the half.
The Centaurs tried five rushing plays, but ran out of time with the ball resting on the 1-yard line after Welz was stopped short of the goal line.
Plainfield added an insurance score at the start of the fourth quarter when Liam Smith again went up top, this time, finding Elijah Brady for a score from 24-yards out.
The Centaurs put the final tally on the board when Davis (16-for-28, 193 yards passing) found Aidan Morin in the corner of the end zone for a 12-yard score with eight seconds left.
“It’s not about hanging in anymore,” Saucier said. “We gave away a football game. (Plainfield is) a good team. They earned it. We did hang in there, but that’s not good enough.”
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy


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