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Sept. 29: Centaurs even up record with 46-13 win over Montville

There were plenty of performances that had a hand in the Woodstock Academy football team’s 46-13 win over Montville in its Homecoming game on Saturday.

There was the senior quarterback, not playing at 100 percent due to a back injury, using his legs to score the first two touchdowns.

The junior tight end, who had just seen his 90-yard interception return for a touchdown called back, catching a 51-yard touchdown pass two plays later.

The senior running back, in his first year of playing football, rushing for 129 yards and two touchdowns to guarantee a victory.

In order, Teddy Richardson, Sam Clark and Eric Mathewson all stepped up to guide the Centaurs to the win to even up their record at 2-2.

“It was a good day,” Woodstock Academy coach Sean Saucier said. “To go into the bye week 2-2 is huge for us. Now, we can, hopefully, get Teddy healthy and get ready for our two non-league opponents.”

It was a sigh of relief for the Centaurs who were coming off losses to East Lyme and Griswold/Wheeler over the last two weeks.

“It felt great,” said Clark. “Teddy was banged up but he played amazing, played through it. Our (offensive) line was blocking great. Everything just came together perfectly out there.”

The Centaurs defense held the Wolves (2-2) to a three-and-out on their first possession and forced a punt.

The offense quickly set the tone.

The Centaurs marched 62 yards down the field in six plays, all on the ground.

It began a day that would see the Centaurs rush for 294 yards.

“It was a great way to bounce back from last week, we weren’t fully healthy for the last three weeks. Now, with everyone healthy, it was good to bounce back,” said senior tackle Riley O’Brien.

One of those missing against Griswold/Wheeler was senior Kenny Brown due to illness.

“It felt amazing. I was excited to get back out there and get the blood flowing and for the team to get a ‘W’”,” Brown said.

Richardson (10 carries, 107 yards) completed the first drive with a 30-yard run for a score.

The Centaurs forced another Wolves’ punt and got the benefit of a low snap. It forced Montville punter Cole Terni to have to try and scoop the ball and when he did, both Brown and Dylan Phillips swooped in to tackle the senior at the Montville 16-yard line.

Two plays later, Richardson again found the end zone.

“I can’t get out of bed when my back hurts and (Richardson) just played a football game,” Saucier said. “He was not 100 percent. The last drive before halftime, I was a little frustrated that it didn’t work out because then we could have probably rested Teddy a bit more. But then, he started feeling better in the second half and didn’t want come out. Jumping out like that, however, was huge.”

The Centaurs weren’t quite done in the first half.

Clark stepped in front of a pass from Montville quarterback Aidan Johnson and took off downfield going the 90 yards for a score only to see a yellow flag back around midfield as the touchdown was called back by an illegal block.

“It was great, a great feeling to be out here (Saturday) and getting those picks made it even better,” Clark said with a smile.

So, the touchdown didn’t quite work out.

It didn’t matter.

Two plays later, Clark reeled in a 51-yard touchdown pass from Richardson.

“It was a great pass. I’ve said multiple times, “ball don’t lie.” Pick-6 got called back so I had to score, ‘ball don’t lie’,” Clark said.

It’s that kind of attitude that endears the tight end/linebacker to Saucier.

“Sam is just a fantastic football player on both sides of the ball. I haven’t seen many kids enjoy it as much as he does. He’s the same kid whether you are up three touchdowns or down three touchdowns. He loves playing the game and that’s really awesome,” Saucier said.

Clark made a second interception on the next Montville possession but the Centaurs faltered a bit at the end of the half. They held on to the football for almost the entire seven minutes that was left in the half but five penalties conspired to keep them from the end zone.

Mathewson was the third quarter story.

He put Woodstock Academy up 32-0 in the third quarter with a pair of scores from 33 and 21 yards out.

The senior finished with 129 yards in 13 carries.

“That’s awesome. I didn’t know he had that many (yards) but he’s similar to Sam in terms of his attitude and approach to playing the game. It’s supposed to be fun and he makes it fun. He’s a first-year player and is getting better week-to-week,” Saucier said.

Gabe Luperon-Flecha added a 25-yard punt return and Clark, playing in place of Richardson at quarterback in the fourth quarter, added a 32-yard run for the final score.

The Centaurs now get a week off before they have to travel to Milford to play Foran in a non-league game on of all things, Friday, the 13th of October.

“I’m excited, although I’m not excited to drive to Foran on a Friday night,” Saucier said. “It’s going to be fun to play a team that we have never played before.”