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Sept. 15: East Lyme rallies to hand Centaurs first loss

In the season opener, a lot of things went right for the Woodstock Academy football team.

That’s not always the case in high school football.

The Centaurs went on the road for a first time on Friday night and ran into a hungry East Lyme High School football team.

The Vikings had lost in their season opener and made up for it a little bit with a 37-21 win over Woodstock Academy.

It was the first Eastern Connecticut Conference Division I game for both squads.

Things started out well for the Centaurs.

They forced the Vikings to punt on their first possession and didn’t take long to strike.

Woodstock Academy quarterback Teddy Richardson (7-for-14 passing, 97 yards) found junior tight end Sam Clark for a 16-yard pass to the Centaurs 45.

A holding call backed them up 10.

But after an incomplete pass and a 7-yard scamper by Richardson, the quarterback dropped back to pass again.

He spied Clark open down the sideline, hit him in stride and the Centaurs were celebrating after the 58-yard connection ended in the end zone.

The celebration didn’t last long.

Woodstock Academy missed the extra point and the Vikings returned the ensuing kickoff to the Centaur 45.

East Lyme running back Aidan Patterson (15 carries, 114 yards) did the rest.

It took the senior just three carries to find the end zone and allow the Vikings to take a 7-6 lead.

Woodstock Academy failed to get it out of its own territory in the next two series and the Vikings, who were stopped on downs the first time, would take advantage of the short field the second time.

Tom Matlock capped a brief seven-play drive, all runs, by bulling in from two yards out for a 14-6 East Lyme lead.

The Centaurs did put together a 10-play drive that got them down to the East Lyme 22 but they turned the ball over on downs.

The Vikings returned the favor at their own 43 but the Centaurs only moved the ball a yard and were forced to punt.

Jacob Lizotte’s punt was blocked and scooped up on the Woodstock Academy 30 by Malachi Harris who had a clear path to the end zone. After a two-point conversion, East Lyme led at the half, 22-6.

East Lyme would score two more times in the third quarter to guarantee itself the victory.

Woodstock Academy decided at the end of the third quarter to insert Clark at quarterback.

The junior led the Centaurs on a 12-play drive that had its share of ups-and-downs before ending in a 10-yard touchdown pass from Clark to Eric Mathewson on the first play of the fourth quarter.

After the Vikings turned over the ball on the Woodstock Academy 10, Clark (3-for-7 passing, 25 yards) engineered another scoring drive that took nine plays before he found Henry Wotton in the end zone for a 16-yard score.

Woodstock Academy goes back on the road on Friday night to play the Griswold/Wheeler cooperative program (1-1) at 6:30 p.m. in Jewett City.