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Week 3: Centaurs fall to East Lyme

Woodstock Academy acting head coach Connor Elliott wasn’t sure prior to the game with East Lyme on Saturday whether or not a bye week as early as Oct. 8 was going to be beneficial.

After a 20-7 loss to the Vikings, Elliott thinks the team may need it.

“We’re looking forward to the bye week. We have a lot to learn from this game definitely as a staff and we’re going to clean it up and move forward. We have to keep our heads up. The kids fought which is great and that’s not going away but we have to start playing better football and that’s what we’re going to do,” Elliott said.

The Centaurs (1-2, 0-1 Eastern Connecticut Conference Division I) had a chance early.

On the first possession of the game, Woodstock Academy was forced to punt from its own 44-yard-line.

But Jacob Lizotte’s punt was mishandled by East Lyme and the fumble was recovered by Centaur senior Trevor Savoie.

Savoie (12 carries, 39 yards) then got 13 yards on two plays from scrimmage and quarterback Teddy Richardson (13-for-24 passing, 143 yards) hit junior Lucas Theriaque for nine more to the Vikings 15.

A penalty against East Lyme helped get the Centaurs down to the 6-yard line.

That’s where they stalled and turned the ball over on downs.

“It would have been a big momentum swing,” Elliott said. “To go down there after the recovery but a couple of times in short yardage, we didn’t execute.”

The Vikings turned around and marched it down to the Woodstock Academy 24.

They, too, stalled which led to a scoreless first half.

But it would be the Vikings (1-3, 1-0) who scored first.

Aidan Patterson came out of the half and executed a drive that was all his own.

The running back, after the opening kickoff of the second half, went 61 yards to the Centaurs 11.

Three Patterson runs later, he scored from four yards out, just 2 minutes, 16 seconds into the second half.

Patterson finished with 237 yards in 29 carries for the Vikings.

“It seemed like every time he touched the ball, it was a first down, or five yards a carry or whatever,” Elliott said.

Patterson also guided East Lyme to its second touchdown, carrying the ball four straight times to the 21-yard line of Woodstock Academy early in the fourth quarter.

After a 5-yard penalty against the Vikings, quarterback Ronan McNamara (6-for-11 passing, 61 yards) found Matt Leone on an out pattern to the Centaurs 2-yard line.

Two plays later, McNamara tried to take it himself, fumbled the football in the end zone but it was recovered by his teammate, offensive lineman Thomas Matlock, to give East Lyme a 13-0 lead.

The Centaurs made it interesting just 21 seconds later when Richardson saw Brandon Nagle open in the middle of the field and, on the run from the East Lyme rush, was able to connect with his receiver for a 52-yard touchdown.

After East Lyme turned over the ball on downs at the Woodstock Academy 31, the Centaurs had 5:13 left to try and tie or even take the lead.

But Woodstock Academy also turned over the ball on downs at its own 46 and Patterson, on the next play, went the distance for the insurance touchdown.

The Centaurs go on the road on Oct. 15 to play at Bacon Academy in Colchester at noon.

In between, healing and learning.

“The running game needs work, the offense, in general, needs work. We have a lot of banged up bodies. We have a new quarterback in a system that he is not comfortable in. We will spend the bye week trying to find some common ground with that as well. If the quarterback is comfortable and knows what he is doing, we will flow a lot better overall,” Elliott said.