Centaurs pg 1 11-18-21

capture 1st-
ever ECC
football title
The Woodstock Academy football program made a statement Nov. 13. The Centaurs posted a 42-8 win over Ledyard and that Woodstock its first-ever ECC divisional title as it claimed the Div. II championship with the win.
The Centaurs (7-2) finished with a 4-0 record in Div. II.
It completed a long road back for the program as a whole. “We were, literally, the doormat of the ECC and the state even. We even had to (play out of) conference and play out-of-state. To actually win a championship is crazy,” said Woodstock senior quarterback Ethan Davis.
From 2010 through 2015, the Centaurs went 5-57. In 2016, the school decided not to play football in the ECC, opting to look outside for games against Massachusetts schools, tech programs, and smaller programs it felt it could compete with.
In 2019 the school returned to play an ECC Div. II-only schedule for the upcoming 2020 season. Then COVID delayed that, but it was worth the wait.
The victory Nov. 13 was more than satisfying.
“It’s very important and it’s a great accomplishment,” said coach Sean Saucier fighting back some tears of pride in the process. “I can’t say enough about my coaches and players. They prepared very well. We had three incredible practices this week and the old saying, ‘You play how you practice’, is true. We proved it.”
Davis led the way. He completed 11-of-18 passes for 170 yards and two touchdowns. And he ran for another 262 yards in just 13 carries and four touchdowns.
On the first offensive series, on a 1st-and-10 from the Ledyard 43, Davis hit receiver Carter Saracina who glided into the end zone.
Woodstock took advantage of the Colonels’ disappointment and attempted an onside squib kick. It worked.
Sophomore David Bunning hopped on the football and gave it back to Davis.
The Centaurs immediately went back to the air and Davis saw the same thing he had seen on his previous pass; Saracina downfield, the linebacker and safety nowhere near.
Davis delivered another spot-on pass, going 47 yards to Saracina, and the Centaurs had 15 points in 11 seconds.
A Ledyard interception led to a 9-yard touchdown run to cut the lead to seven with 4 minutes, 35 seconds left in the half.
But Davis carried the ball four times including a 35-yarder that got the Centaurs down to the Ledyard 6-yard line. Payton Barna (16 carries, 51 yards) took it down to the two and Davis did the rest, diving in from a yard out two plays later to give the Centaurs a 22-8 halftime lead.
Davis added all three second-half scores for Woodstock; a 6-yard run on its first offensive possession, an 85-yard haul on its second and to cap things off a 25-yarder on its third early in the fourth quarter.
The defense did the rest. Ledyard (6-3, 2-2) had only 77 yards of offense.
The Centaurs excelled at gang tackling against the Colonels.
“Assignment football,” Saucier said. “It goes back to Jesse Bousquet, our defensive coordinator, knowing exactly what needs to happen to stop the triple option. They knew they couldn’t just pursue to the ball like you would against a more traditional offense, they had to do their job, make sure it wasn’t coming to them and then pursue.”
Saucier and the players will be able to look up at the championship banner and remember.
The Centaurs have one more regular season game to play as they will travel on Thanksgiving Day to face undefeated Killingly (8-0) at 10:30 a.m.
“I’m looking forward to it. It’s a special tradition. I had it when I was growing up and I’m really grateful that our players will get to enjoy the tradition, I don’t know how long it will be around. It might change in the State of Connecticut someday so while we have it, let’s have fun with it,” Saucier said.
Marc Allard
Director of Sports Information
The Woodstock Academy

Woodstock Academy senior Silas Strandson tackles Ledyard running back James Green (7) in the Centaurs 42-8 win over Ledyard on Saturday. (Photo submitted by Woodstock Academy).
Team photo.

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