WINDHAM – A year ago, Windham converted a dramatic 2-point conversion pass in overtime to beat Bonny Eagle in the playoffs on the way to a state Class A title.

This time, a conversion pass to tie the Scots with 1:49 remaining in regulation fell short and Bonny Eagle held on for a 21-19 Western Class A win Friday night.

“The last two games here have been pretty good ones,” said Bonny Eagle Coach Kevin Cooper.

The Scots (6-0) escaped to remain unbeaten while Eagles (2-4) missed a chance to enhance their playoff chances.

Seemingly comfortable after rallying to take a 21-13 lead with 3:19 remaining, Bonny Eagle had to hold on for dear life as Windham came back. Damien Sheppard’s 57-yard kick return following Bonny Eagle’s final score set the Eagles up at the Scots’ 37.

On second down, Windham quarterback Cody Laberge passed to Drew Gagnon for 25 yards. It appeared the Eagles had scored on the next play as Laberge ran near the goal line only to fumble, with the ball being recovered in the end zone by a Windham player.

But the officials ruled an inadvertent whistle and brought the ball back to the 12.

A pass interference call on the next play gave the Eagles the ball on the 6. One play later, Laberge found Sheppard in the end zone for the touchdown.

Next came the all-important conversion try.

Laberge rolled left, then tossed a pitch to Sheppard, a flanker, coming back the other way. Sheppard, looking to pass, had Kyle Williams open in the end zone, but the pass was a couple of feet short and Williams had no chance despite diving for the toss.

“We’ve run that play in practice,” said Windham offensive coordinator Jason McLeod.

The Eagles attempted an onside kick, but the ball failed to go 10 yards and Bonny Eagle took over on the 47 with time running out. On second down, Ethan Thorne ran for 13 yards to seal it.

The Eagles scored to take a 13-7 lead midway through the third period, but the Scots blocked the PAT kick. That enabled them to take the lead, 14-13, on Nate Martel’s kick after quarterback Matt Rollins sneaked in from the 1 with 9:09 remaining in the fourth.

The Scots then added what appeared to be an insurance score. As it turned out, it was a good thing they did.

Nick Adkins’ fumble recovery at midfield set up the score. Rollins ran 20 yards on first down. Two plays later, Adkins ran 26 yards to the 2, where Rollins took it over with 3:19 left.

Martel’s PAT made it 21-13.

The Eagles had some heroics left, but not quite enough.

“It’s always a good battle with Windham,” said Cooper. “It’s all about matchups in this league, and we both match up well against each other.”

Coach Matt Perkins certainly was not surprised by his team’s comeback.

“My kids have always been like that. They believe they can win any game,” he said.

“I had some sophomores really step up.”

Sophomores like Sheppard.

Nevertheless, it was a tough loss for Windham

“We’re going to have to beat Portland and Westbrook to make the playoffs. That would make us 4-4,” Perkins said.

 

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