St. Thomas Aquinas Football '17

Sat, Sep 30, 2017 02:00 PM @ St. Thomas Aquinas
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Windham 7 0 6 12 25
St. Thomas Aquinas 0 10 0 6 16

Windham uses running game to top fellow-unbeaten St. Thomas

  • Currently 0.0 with 0 votes.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Saturday, September, 30 By David Willis
Staff writer

DOVER — With the temperature dropping into the 40s, rain falling and St. Thomas’ natural grass surface growing wetter and more slick, Windham football could not have been happier.

“We love it,” said fullback Royce Belsky. “When the field’s wet you can really pound you opponents, It was a great day for Windham football.”

Behind a three-touchdown career day by running back Cody Stevens and another big day by Belsky, run-first Jaguars packed the box and road their running game to a 25-16 victory over archrival St. Thomas in a battle of New Hampshire Division 2 unbeatens.

“This is a great win,” said defensive lineman/tight end Thomas Splagounias, who had three sacks on the day. “It’s always great to get a victory against a team that really pushes you to the limits. The rivalry against St. Thomas brings out the best in us, and that’s what the game is all about.

With the win, Windham improved to 5-0, while St. Thomas dropped to 4-1. The Jaguars entered the game No. 7 in the Nhfootballreport/Union Leader state-wide rankings, while the Saints were No. 9.
The game also marked the rematch of the two rivals, who have faced off in three state championship football games. They met in back-to-back years for the Division 2 crown — Windham winning in 2014 and St. Thomas in 2015 — and the Saints beat the Jags for the now-defunct Division 5 title in 2011.
“This was a big win for us,” said Windham coach Bill Raycraft. “It’s big not just because of where it puts us in the standings, but it shows us we can compete with a very good team. Last year we didn’t know how we would handle adversity until we were punched in the mouth. So to be trailing today and come back and win really showed something.”
Stepping up big for the Jaguars was junior running back Stevens.
With just 37 rushing yards and one score on the season heading into the game, Stevens exploded for 128 yards and three touchdowns on 20 carries.
“We love to pound the football,” said Stevens, whose shoulder-length blond hair was flowing out of his helmet. “It felt great to score three touchdowns. The sweeps were working great. They just sealed the edge and I got to the outside.”
Belsky also carried 20 times, for 106 yards and the other Jaguar touchdown. It was his second 100-plus yard game of the season. As a team, Windham ran for 321 yards on 64 attempts.
When St. Thomas did have the ball, Shawn Dekome could not escape the Jaguar  rush. Windham sacked the QB eight times, including Splagounias’ three and two for Evan Briggs.
“When you have a team like St, Thomas that has a dynamic offense, you have to get pressure on the QB,” said Splagounias. “It always feels good to get a few sacks. We just kept hitting them hard, and we came out on top. We’re excited to be 5-0.”

Game Statistics:

First Quarter

W — Cody Stevens 4 run (Christopher Burke kick), 4:26

Second Quarter

ST — Tyler Wiggin 22 field goal, 10:13

ST — Lucas Banaian 9 pass from Shawn Dekome (Wiggin kick), 4:22

Third Quarter

W — Stevens 2 run (rush failed), 6:41

Fourth Quarter

W — Stevens 20 run (rush failed), 5:25

W — Royce Belsky 5 run (rush failed), 2:29
ST — Tim Bouchard 55 pass from DeKome (kick failed), 1:00



RUSHING: Windham (63-321) — Cody Stevens 20-128, Royce Belsky 20-106, Jake Aleksa 13-70, Seth Maffeo 3-11, Ryan Marotta 3-10, Cody Potter 4-(-4); St. Thomas (29-64) — Tim Bouchard 11-44, Edwin Estevez 6-33, Shawn Dekome 12-(-13)

PASSING: Windham — Potter 5-8-0, 41; St. Thomas — Dekome 11-24-0, 176, Bouchard 1-1-0, 17

RECEIVING: Windham — Marotta 2-18, Thomas Splagounias 2-17, Belsky 1-6; St. Thomas — Bouchard 4-94, Derek O'Brien 3-43, Lucas Banaian 3-28, Hunter Lassard 1-11,  Dekome 1-17

0 Story Comments