The season came to a close for the Woodstock Academy Centaurs football team Nov. 23.
But it will not soon be forgotten.
The Centaurs completed their best season ever since becoming a varsity football program with a 45-42 win over the CREC Cooperative.
Woodstock Academy finished with a 7-3 record.
“It’s just a nice capstone on a great season,” said Centaurs coach Sean Saucier. “I’m really happy for the kids, especially the seniors; it was a great way to end it.”
The Centaurs also finished third in Division II of the ECC and had a chance of winning or tying for the divisional title right up to the last three weeks of the season. They were also in the hunt for a Class L state playoff berth, but the win over the Colts did not help in that regard as other teams surged past the Centaurs due to point totals.
“I think the bar just kept getting raised,” Saucier said. “Initially, the first win against Ledyard was special but then it was like, ‘OK, let’s not put a cap on this; let’s see what we can do.’ That continued to the very end which I’m proud of.”
The Centaurs overcame one debilitating trait that had defined them in previous years.
When things started to go south, they did not pack it in.
That was true right up to the last game.
CREC held a 42-31 lead with 4:57 left in the third quarter after freshman Raiden McDade stepped in front of Nick Bedard at the Centaurs’ 45-yard line and got the pick-6 for the Colts.
Game over? Not by a longshot.
“That’s what makes them different,” Saucier said. “We’re down 11, late third quarter, made a few mistakes and things were looking grim. We just kept playing.”
It didn’t come immediately, but the Centaurs did respond.
Woodstock Academy drove to the Colts’ 24-yard line but went in reverse and turned the ball over after quarterback Ethan Davis was sacked at midfield.
But two plays later, Trey Ayotte picked up a loose ball at the Centaurs’ 36-yard line and Woodstock Academy was back in business.
Five plays later, Davis found senior Bedard (3 catches, 67 yards) for a 26-yard touchdown on the final play of the third quarter. The two-point conversion attempt failed and the Centaurs trailed, 42-37.
Woodstock Academy surged ahead with 6:46 left in the game.
The Centaurs forced the Colts (6-4) to punt and a touchback gave them the ball at their own 20.
Davis hit Travis White with a 19-yard pass and then took off down the left side for 53 more to the CREC 8-yard line.
After running back Ian Welz moved Woodstock Academy 1 yard closer, Davis found Luis Miranda (4 catches, 75 yards) in the back of the end zone for the game-winning score and also found Miranda for the two-point conversion.
“Luis went out on a great note (Saturday). He was amazing,” Saucier said.
So was Davis. He wasn’t perfect.
He threw three interceptions and was sacked four times.
“The third quarter was pretty rough, he made some mistakes,” Saucier said.
He more than made up for those foibles by accounting for over 400 yards of offense.
Davis completed 21-of-31 passes for 264 yards and four touchdowns and rushed for 161 in 13 carries and added two more scores.
The best thing. He’s only a sophomore.
“In the fourth quarter, he was unbelievable. His ability to keep playing when things are not going his way is a really special quality for a 15-year-old,” Saucier said.
Davis completed 56 percent of his passes this season (129-for-229) for 1,570 yards and 13 touchdowns.
He was also the Centaurs’ leading rusher with 569 yards in 77 carries (7.4 yards per carry) and six touchdowns.
The game opened in a pretty nice way for the Centaurs when the Colts fumbled on their own 15-yard line on the first play from scrimmage.
Davis ran for 13 of those in his first carry and Woodstock Academy was knocking on the door. It was still knocking on the door two plays later before Davis snuck the ball over the goal line just 1:14 into the contest.
But no team can get comfortable against CREC.
Senior quarterback Dorrian Chaney (14-for-25, 298 yards passing) is formidable.
He tied the game moments later on a 27-yard pass to Tomico Williams.
The Centaurs answered with an 11-play drive that culminated with a 9-yard pass from Davis to Aidan Morin (9 catches, 76 yards) to take a 13-6 lead.
CREC scored twice before the end of the first quarter and led, 22-13, going into the second.
The Centaurs threatened early in the second quarter, getting down inside the Colts’ 20-yard line before a fumble seemingly ended the threat.
The Colts returned the favor when Centaurs’ senior JJ Bain picked up a ball on the ground at the Colts’ 25. On the next play, Davis scored to cut the deficit to two.
CREC went up by six when Chaney scored from 8 yards out but the Centaurs tied it on a 47-yard touchdown pass from Davis to Miranda and a two-point conversion pass to the senior.
Woodstock Academy went up by three at the half when Morin, a first-year football player, hit a 36-yard field goal, his fourth field of the season — he also converted on 21-of-23 extra points this year- on the final play of the half.
For some of the Centaurs, the win over CREC meant the final time in a Woodstock Academy uniform.
“It was sad,” senior lineman Gavin Lanning said of the final game. “It’s the last time we get to hang out as a group of guys. We’ve become family over time. Of course, we’re going to see each other at school, but not together.”
But they have accomplished something memorable.
“We set a milestone for how many wins this program has had. We’ve never had a winning season to begin with and the seventh win put the icing on the cake,” Lanning added.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy


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