Game 10: Woodstock Academy falls to Killingly
Woodstock Academy was able to keep the Killingly running game at an acceptable level for a second year in a row on Thanksgiving Day.
Unfortunately, the Centaurs could not take away the arm of Killingly senior quarterback Thomas Dreibholz.
The Killingly quarterback came through in the clutch as he completed 10 of his 15 passes for 219 yards and three touchdowns in a 35-0 win for Killingly over the Centaurs at Vendetti Field on the campus of Nichols College in Dudley, MA.
"They are a dual threat team so you try and take something away but they make plays, they're tough," Woodstock Academy coach Sean Saucier said. “I thought we did a great job against the run. We tackled well, but they have a lot of guys to cover and they beat some one-on-one matchups.”
Junior running back Soren Rief came in with 1,517 yards on the ground in the first nine games, averaging 168-plus yards a game.
The Centaurs limited him to 60 yards in 17 carries and he had only one carry that went for double-figure yardage, a 16-yard scamper late in the first quarter.
But Dreibholz has other weapons and he helped them shine on the Nichols College campus.
Both Woodstock Academy and Killingly could not get first downs on their first possessions of the game.
The Centaurs also stalled on their second drive but on fourth-and-five decided on a little trickery as they faked a punt and Seamus McDermott got the direct snap. But he got only two yards, giving Killingly the ball on the Woodstock Academy 29.
If Killingly did struggle with something on Thanksgiving Day, it was penalties.
They were flagged eight times for 78 yards including twice on their second possession on a holding call and an ineligible receiver which negated a touchdown pass from Dreibholz to Braden Petersen.
But on fourth-and-10 from the Centaurs’ 24-yard line, Dreibholz hit fullback Keith Perry who got loose out into the flat with a pass and Perry weaved his way to the end zone to put Killingly on the scoreboard.
Killingly forced a Woodstock Academy punt on the next possession and got the ball back in Centaur territory at the 48.
Eight plays later, Rief bulled in from five yards out to make it 14-0.
The Killingly defense forced another punt but it pushed them deep into their own territory at the 11-yard line.
Killingly employed a series of three short passes to the sideline to get out of harm’s way at their own 35 and then, instead of short right, Dreibholz went to the air long to the left and hit senior receiver Noah Colangelo (4 catches, 85 yards) in stride for a 65-yard score.
Killingly owned a 28-0 lead at the half as Jax stepped in front of a Woodstock Academy receiver at the 34-yard line and took it to the house for a pick-6 with 2:53 left.
Woodstock Academy had a golden opportunity to get on the scoreboard late in the half.
Two Killingly penalties on the same play, a pass interference and a personal foul, moved Woodstock Academy 30 yards downfield into Killingly territory.
Quarterback Teddy Richardson (11-for-22 passing, 94 yards) completed an 11-yard pass to Brandon Nagle and followed that with a 21-yard strike to Lucas Theriaque (5 catches,55 yards) to the Killingly 5.
But with just seconds left in the half, an incomplete pass was followed by a Richardson scamper. The Centaur quarterback was pushed out of bounds just before the pylon and time ran out before Woodstock Academy could get another play off.
“Monentum-wise, it would have been nice, it would have helped,” Saucier said about the possibility of punching one in just before the half finished. “We had a good talk at halftime and they just wanted to come out and finish with pride and finish strong and we did. I’m good.”
Killingly finished up the scoring when Dreibholz hit Jax (4 catches, 107 yards) with a 39-yard touchdown pass on the third play of the third quarter.
The loss finished the Centaurs season with a 4-6 mark.
“Throw the record out,” Saucier said. “What we have been through and never stopped competing and the attitude never wavered, I’m very happy.”.
The Centaurs also go into next year knowing the cupboard is not bare.
They will have the Richardson-Theriaque combo back and have another playmaker in Seamus McDermott returning.
“There are a few pieces in the puzzle. We have some kids coming back who know how to play ball,” Saucier said.
Woodstock Academy may also have found a home away from home as Nichols College was more than just gracious hosts for the two Connecticut teams.
“It was a great experience. A great day and (Nichols) was great. It’s a beautiful environment. I think it was definitely a great call and worked out very well,” Saucier said.