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Sept. 9: Centaurs roll past Quinebaug Valley, 42-0.

It didn’t look so good at the beginning of the season-opening football game for the Woodstock Academy Centaurs Saturday.

The Quinebaug Valley Pride held on to the football for the first 10 minutes of the game.

“You start to get frustrated, head coach and athletic director Sean Saucier said. “I’m looking at the clock tick..tick..and there was literally two minutes left in the first quarter. I was starting to get a little impatient.”

In this case, patience was a virtue.

His defense stopped the Pride on the Woodstock Academy 7-yard line.

“We came out flat, everyone was arm tackling and then we just stepped up,” said middle linebacker Jacob Lizotte. “That stop set the tone and we did well after that."

It turned out to be a key play in the game which ended in a 42-0 win for the Centaurs.

When the Woodstock Academy offense finally stepped on to the field, it was evident that Quinebaug Valley’s best defense was going to be its offense.

Quarterback Teddy Richardson ran for 30 yards, and then passed twice to Lucas Theriaque (3 catches, 47 yards) for 29 more.

Richardson ran for nine yards, an encroachment penalty moved it to the 20-yard line of the Pride and then Richardson found tight end Sam Clark open over the middle for a touchdown.

Quinebaug Valley then coughed up the ball on their own 19.

Two plays later, Richardson (6-for-7 passing, 131 yards) found Theriaque for a 19-yard score.

“Game over,” Saucier said. “Lesson learned there, stay patient, stay composed even for the coaches. Trust your team that it can do that.”

A big key was Richardson.

“I’m a lot more confident and the game has slowed down for me especially throughout the offseason, I worked really hard,” the quarterback said.

The results showed as he also threw touchdown passes of 36-yards to Henry Wotton and a 27-yard strike to Clark.

"The recievers were running their routes really well. We work routes every day, every practice. We have that chemistry down and it worked (Saturday)," Richardson said.

In addition to the passing, the senior carried the ball eight times for 107 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

“I’m proud of Teddy and a shout out to (offensive coordinator) Connor Elliot because he has developed Teddy,” Saucier said. “There was one play where (Richardson) booted around and a (Quinebaug Valley) guy was there and he froze. Last year, he may just have panicked and gone down at that point. Instead, he picked his head back up and saw a receiver. That wouldn’t have happened last year.”

Saucier also credited the play of the offensive line which opened the holes for Richardson and also gave him time to throw to players like Clark who shined at tight end.

“(Quinebaug Valley) also completed a couple of passes to their wingback (Lyric Teevan) and Connor (Elliott) said, ‘Nobody covers the tight end in high school’ and I had to tell him, ‘Neither do we.’ It’s nice to have a true tight end, we haven’t used one in my seven years, and (Clark) is a true tight end and a heck of a backup quarterback,” Saucier said.  

The defense did pick up the pace.

It allowed 95 yards to the Pride in their opening series.

Quinebaug Valley only got 32 yards in the last 38 minutes.

One problem for the Pride was that junior running back Deven LaMothe, who finished with 63 yards in 12 carries, was injured in the second quarter and did not return.

For the Centaurs, it was a good confidence builder going into an Eastern Connecticut Conference Division I game against East Lyme on the road on Friday at 6:30 p.m.

“It’s nice to be healthy. No injuries, nothing major, that’s great. East Lyme is a real fun place to play on a Friday night,” Saucier said.