WINDHAM – Cheverus started and ended the game with gusto Friday night, earning a solid 28-0 victory against Windham in a Western Class A football game.

It was rematch of last year’s regional final, but that’s where the similarity ended.

Windham, the defending Class A state champion, has 15 new starters on both offense and defense. Cheverus is a veteran team with talent at the skill positions and a strong defense, just like last year.

The Stags scored the first time they touched the ball when Peter Gwilym, a quarterback/safety, fielded a punt and sped 58 yards for a touchdown less than three minutes into the game.

“We shut Windham down on its first series and scored the first time we got the ball,” said Gwilym.

“It was a big momentum boost. We beat a good team.”

Cheverus (2-0) controlled the game with a patient offense and stingy defense that prevented Windham (0-2) from threatening to score.

With the final seconds ticking off, Spencer Cooke intercepted a Windham pass in the flat and scored from 30 yards.

“The defense did a nice job,” said Cheverus Coach John Wolfgram. “Once we got ahead, we weren’t going to hurt ourselves. We have some things to button up on. It’s a long season.”

Last November, Cheverus and Windham met for the Western Maine title in a pouring rain. Windham, which had lost to Cheverus in the regular season, scored early in the second half and won, 7-6.

A week later the Eagles won the first state title of their short football history by beating Bangor.

“We’re a very young team that’s going to get better,” said Windham Coach Matt Perkins. “I saw improvement from our opening game. I thought we played well defensively. We gave them two scores.”

They were the opening punt return and the late interception.

On his punt return, Gwilym got a running start, fielded the ball after a high bounce and before the Eagles could react, was halfway through the coverage. Gwilym cut back at the 40, got a good block and went the distance.

It was a play that set the tone.

Cheverus increased its lead to 14-0 early in the second quarter. On a fourth-and-6 from the Windham 18, the Stags scored on a screen pass when Gwilym hit Jack Bushey in the flat and Bushey weaved his way through the defense. Louis DiStasio booted his second extra point to make it 14-0.

The Stags made it 21-0 early in the fourth quarter. Evan Jendrasko bulled his way for 21 yards to the 1 on the last play of the third quarter. Gwilym then scored after the teams changed ends.

The Eagles’ best offense came on passes from Cody Laberge to Drew Gagnon.

The Eagles’ deepest penetration came late in the third, to the Cheverus 24 before fumbling the ball away.

Laberge completed consecutive passes of 20 and 17 yards to Gagnon and Colby Waterhouse before the fumble.

 

Staff Writer Tom Chard can be contacted at 791-6419 or at: [email protected]