Sunday, December 8, 2013
By Kevin Thomas email@example.com
WINDHAM - Windham High saw its 17-point first-quarter lead whittled to three by halftime.
Damien Shepard of Windham spent a lot of time heading to the end zone Friday night in a 31-14 victory against Bonny Eagle. Besides scoring on this 90-yard kickoff – beating Tom Eppich to the end zone – he scored on a fumble recovery, and runs of 35 and 56 yards.
Photos by Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer
Zach Dubiel of Bonny Eagle strives to find an opening before being brought down by Brandon Mitchell of Windham, 55.
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But the Eagles had enough to hold off Bonny Eagle for a 31-14 victory in a Western Class A regular-season finale Friday night.
Just enough defense. And plenty enough of Damien Shepard, the Eagles' quarterback, cornerback and kick returner.
Shepard rushed for 212 yards and scored four long touchdowns, including a 90-yard opening-kickoff return and a 53-yard return after recovering a fumble.
"He's so fast, so athletic and so passionate about the game," Eagles Coach Matt Perkins said. "He just brings that electricity to everybody."
Windham (4-4) secured a spot in the playoffs that begin next weekend.
The Scots are done at 2-6. Senior quarterback Tyson Goodale led Bonny Eagle with 102 yards rushing and 65 passing. He scored both of the Scots' touchdowns, on runs of 3 and 1 yards.
The Eagles got off to a strong start. Their offense was on the field only once, and they already led 17-0.
Shepard received the opening kickoff, made a couple of moves on the slippery turf and bolted 90 yards for the touchdown.
Shepard then had a 6-yard scoring run called back for holding. Windham settled for a 22-yard Josh Dugas field goal.
Bonny Eagle fumbled on its next possession, Shepard scooped it up and ran down the left sideline for a 17-0 lead with 2:52 left in the first quarter.
"He really hurt us in all three phases of the game," Bonny Eagle Coach Kevin Cooper said. "He was the difference tonight. They found ways to get him loose."
Bonny Eagle came back in the second quarter with two drives bolstered by four fourth-down conversions.
Goodale finished a 64-yard drive, highlighted by his 37-yard swing pass to Joe Bissonnette, with a 3-yard run.
Goodale then ran a punt back 26 yards to the Windham 22. An 11-yard pass to Shawn Duane on fourth down keyed the short drive, capped by Goodale's 1-yard run.
Bonny Eagle got the ball to start the second half but went three plays and out against the wind. After a short punt, the Eagles set up at the Scots' 35.
On first down, Shepard broke through the line, slipped a couple of defenders and accelerated for a 35-yard score and a 24-14 lead.
The Scots kept trying to come back and had three straight drives into Windham territory, but the Eagles' defensive line fought back.
On fourth-and-2 from the 7, Joe Francoeur tackled Goodale for a 1-yard loss.
Then, on fourth-and-7 from the 20, a group of tacklers held Goodale to a 3-yard gain.
On fourth-and-9 at the 39, Shawn Francoeur sacked Goodale.
On the next play, Shepard broke loose for a 56-yard touchdown run to clinch it with 6:02 remaining.
The win broke a two-game losing streak for Windham.
Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be contacted at 791-6411 or at:
click image to enlarge
Damien Shepard of Windham prepares to pounce on a fumble, which he returned 53 yards for a touchdown Friday night in the first quarter of a 31-14 victory against Bonny Eagle. Shepard finished with 212 yards rushing as the Eagles improved to 4-4 heading to the Western Class A playoffs.