WINDHAM — A year after winning the state Class A football championship and graduating several players from that team, Windham is headed back to the playoffs.

The Eagles (4-4) secured what they believe will be the eighth seed in the Western regional with a 29-8 victory over Westbrook (2-6) Friday in their final game of the regular season.

Quarterback Cody Laberge ran for three touchdowns and passed for another as the Eagles controlled both sides of the ball for most of the game.

“It feels great to make the playoffs,” said Laberge, a senior who was a backup to Jackson Taylor last season but has started in the secondary since his sophomore year.

The Eagles improved as the season progressed. With newcomers learning the ropes and players like Laberge getting comfortable in their new roles, Windham showed the resolve to win its last two games of the regular season.

“This is a team that never quits,” said Laberge. “This is becoming a real football community. It took me a while to get comfortable at quarterback and get a feel for the offense.”

Laberge, who has developed into the team’s top runner, rushed for 169 yards and passed for 91 on 11 completions in 21 attempts against the Blue Blazes.

“Cody has really come into his own,” said Windham Coach Matt Perkins. “He’s a great leader.”

Perkins said his team is assured the eighth seed in the playoffs, which begin next weekend. Perkins said the Eagles could move up to seventh if Portland beats South Portland today.

Windham intercepted three passes and recovered two fumbles.

After a scoreless first quarter, Windham took charge with 16 points in the second period.

The Eagles took a 2-0 lead on a safety when Westbrook punter Ben Greene inadvertently put his knee on the turf in the end zone trying to field a low snap.

Windham took advantage of good field position after the free quick and needed only two plays to score a touchdown. Taking over on the Westbrook 39, the Eagles got 5 yards as the Blue Blazes were called for encroachment.

On the next play, Laberge hit Colby Waterhouse on a screen that went for 19 yards. Laberge then passed to Nick Burton, who made a diving catch in the end zone on the 15-yard scoring play.

The Eagles went up 22-0 on a 12-yard scoring run by Laberge with 2:35 left in the third quarter.

The Blue Blazes responded with a long touchdown pass on a halfback option on the first play of the fourth quarter. Trevor Bates, while getting hit, somehow threw a 54-yard strike to split end Magnes Lewis, who got behind the Windham secondary.

Bates ran for the 2-point conversion to make it 22-8.

Westbrook then drove to the Windham 9 before facing a fourth-and-2 with a chance to get back into the game, but the Eagles stuffed the fourth-down run.

Laberge closed out the scoring with a 3-yard run.

“Westbrook played hard,” said Perkins. “It was a real dogfight. Westbrook moved the ball early, but we made some adjustments.”

 

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