Early scores, physicality lift Windham over Central
STEUBENVILLE — Unbeaten Windham used two quick touchdowns to spoil Catholic Central’s homecoming Saturday with a 36-6 victory inside Harding Stadium.
The now 4-0 Bombers entered the first meeting between the schools ranked 10th in the Division VII, Region 25 computer standings. With the loss, the Crusaders fall to 2-3.
“The won the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball and ultimately that was the difference,” said Central coach Anthony Agresta. “The way we played tonight was disappointing. This is Week 5 and this was by far our worst effort.
“Give credit to Windham. They are a much better football team than they looked on film. They were physical and tonight, they were the better football team. No excuses on this end.”
The visitors from Portage County needed just two plays to score after taking the opening kickoff. Speedy senior Miki Jones collected 13 yards on his first carry, then dashed 44 yards to the end zone. Jones also ran for the two-point conversion.
After the Crusaders fumbled on their initial snap, the Bombers were back in business at the Central 35. This time, Jones went over from 6 yards away. Powerful senior fullback James Hood plowed his way in for two and it was 16-0 Windham with 8:19 left in the first quarter.
Central answered on its next possession, marching 65 yards. The big play on the drive was a 28-yard pass from Andrew Dorsey to Tyler Ialenti. Dashon Seditz got the touchdown on a 3-yard run.
Hood scored from a yard out to start the second quarter. Windham had two opportunities for additional points before the half but lost fumbles deep inside Central territory. The Bombers led 22-6 at the break.
“We shot ourselves in the foot a few times in the first half,” said Windham coach Jake Eye. “We know the tradition down here, we know these guys prepare well and we know they are well-coached. We had the best week of practice since I have been coaching here.
“Kudos to our kids for the way they prepared this week. They were gutty, tough and physical tonight. I think our physicality out there tonight surprised them a little. It was two really good football teams going at it. We knew what was at stake as they did. I’m just really proud of our guys.”
A 6-yard run by Hood put Windham up 30-6 midway through the third. The OHSAA running clock rule kicked in a few minutes later when Lucas Chuchill picked off a Central pass and raced 70 yards for a score.
“They had some athletes and if you are getting those kind of kids to the second level — they are going to make plays,” Agresta said. “We didn’t do a good job of catching the ball when we threw it tonight. They were giving us some things on the perimeter in the passing game but you have to make the throws and catches and we weren’t able to do that. We also hurt ourselves with some penalties (Central had a touchdown run by Dorsey called back due to a holding penalty).
“We didn’t play well tonight. We’ll need to go back and evaluate it. I think the game plan we had defensively was pretty solid, we didn’t executive it very well.
Offensively, they were getting off blocks and making plays. There wasn’t anything we tried to do offensively that I wouldn’t try to do again but those kids were making plays. They just won the game physically tonight — absolutely.”
Windham finished with 263 rushing yards. Jones led the way with 147 on 16 carries. Chase Eye contributed 79 on nine trips and Hood finished with 28.
“We have a lot of speed in the backfield with Chase and Miki,” Coach Eye said. “Then we have power with James. I think we are very hard to defend in that regard.
“I think where we mislead people is up front. Our offensive front is solid. They get off the ball well, they are big, physical and not afraid. So kudos to our guys up front.”
Dorsey finished with 60 rushing yards to lead the Crusaders. He also threw for 99. Ialenti had five receptions for 59 yards.
Central faces another stiff challenge this Saturday when it welcomes 3-1 Barnesville to Harding Stadium.
“We have to play much better next week because we will have our hands full,” Agresta said. “We are going to keep working and keep focusing on improving. Teams have bad weeks as the year goes along.
“We thought we put ourselves in position to play in a ball game that carried some significance and just didn’t play well.”
Meanwhile, Windham will host unbeaten Ravenna Southeast, a Division V squad, on Friday.
“We had a couple of fumbles here and there tonight, but we’ll clean that up this week,” Coach Eye said. “It’s on to Southeast and we have a daunting task ahead of us. Hopefully, we’ll have another good week of practice and get ready to go.”
Windham 36, Catholic Central 6
Windham 16-6-14 -0–36
WINDHAM: Jones 44 run (Jones run)
WINDHAM: Jones 6 run (Hood run)
CENTRAL: Seditz 3 run (run failed)
WINDHAM: Hood 1 run (run failed)
WINDHAM: Hood 6 run (C. Eye pass from Hanshaw)
WINDHAM: Chuchill 70 pass interception (kick failed)
RUSHING: Windham 40-263-4 (Jones 16-147-2; C. Eye 9-79; Hanshaw 1-(-5); J. Eye 2-10; Smith 3-14; Hood 9-28-2); Central 26-101-1 (Dorsey 16-60; Seditz 10-41-1).
PASSING: Windham 2-3-67 (all by Hanshaw); Central 10-20-99-0-int (all by Dorsey).
RECEIVING: Windham 2-67 (Jones 1-33; Chuchill 1-34); Central 10-99 (Ialenti 5-59; Napoleon 2-19; Petrella 1-5; Toriscelli 1-12; Seditz 1-4).
FIRST DOWNS: Windham 12; Central 11.
PENALTIES-YARDS: Windham 5-37; Central 3-21.
PUNTS: Windham 0-0; Central 4-23.
FUMBLES-LOST: Windham 4-4; Central 1-1.