By Chris Paul
The Londonderry High School Football team made a very definite statement as they played their first game of the Division I playoffs, winning 47-0 over the Windham Jaguars at Lancer Park over the weekend.
The Lancers scored four touchdowns in the first half, another three in the second, and never gave up more than 40-yards to the Jags in Round One of the NHIAA Championship on Saturday, Nov. 4.
The Windham squad was a team Londonderry had some trouble with mid-way through the regular season, beating them 21-14 on a rainy night at WHS.
The playoff game was quite a different story, with Londonderry scoring on nearly every drive and never giving their 13th seeded opponent a chance to get near the end-zone.
Senior running back, Jake Schena, rushed for 89-yards in the game, with his longest run being a 45-yard run for a touchdown. Junior quarterback, Sam Ogden, also had a 45-yard touchdown run and totaled 71-yards on the ground.
The LHS squad didn’t need to pass the ball much in the game, attempting just eight passes, completing four, for a total of 50-yards.
Junior Ethan Wheeler had the longest catch of the game, a 31-yard play thrown by senior QB, Cam Brutus.
The Lancers defense had 36 solo tackles, with seniors Ty Miles getting five, and Seth Doyon and Jaydon Navarro each getting four.
The Lancers first touchdown of the game came on their first possession with an eight play drive starting from the 42-yardline ending with junior QB, Alex Villa, running the ball in from the six-yard-line. Junior kicker, Blake Thompson, had his first extra-point attempt for a 6-0 LHS lead.
Londonderry forced a three-and-out on Windham’s next possession and it took LHS nine more plays for their second score of the game.
Schena got his first TD of the contest with a run from the 13-yard line and a 10-yard gain to pay dirt. Following that, Thompson’s second attempt on the point after was good for a 13-0 Lancer lead.
In the second quarter, the Lancers scored two more times.
The first series in that period ended after just one play, Schena got his second touchdown of the game when Villa handed him the ball at the 48-yard line and he carried the ball to the endzone. Thompson added the point after for the 20-0 lead.
Londonderry’s fourth score of the half came on another long run, this time by Ogden, who also ran the ball in from the 48-yard line. This time it took six plays, starting from the 30-yard line.
Starting the second half, with a 27-0 advantage, Londonderry was content to run the ball for most of their plays. Starting at their 28-yard line, LHS had their longest drive of the game. The drive ended, after 12 plays and 72-yards, with Ogden dropping back to the 14-yard line and throwing a completion to junior Mason Paquette, who ran the ball in from the two-yard line.
The Lancers attempted to make it a 35-point lead and start the running clock, but Villa’s attempt at the two-point conversion was stopped short.
Londonderry was able to enact the mercy rule in their following drive, scoring after a three-play drive to go ahead 39-0.
Navarro was able to get his first touchdown of the game with a carry from the two-yard line. The final touchdown of the first round game came when Brutus handed the ball off to junior running back, Caiden Malek, for 26-yards.
Connor Coza came off the bench for the point after to end the scoring.
The victory sends the fourth-seeded Lancers into a quarter-final game with the number five seed, Exeter High School.
The game will take place on Saturday, Nov. 11, at Lancer Park, starting at 1 p.m.
The Lancers beat the Blue Hawks 35-0 in the sixth week of the regular season, handing EHS their second loss.
A win would put them into the semi-finals at the number one seeded Pinkerton Academy or at home against Bishop Guertin (#8) if the Cardinals defeat the Astros.