For Whalers, results are all positive during 26-0 win over Colonels

New London — There were harmonious noises coming from the New London High School football sideline Friday night during its 26-0 win over Ledyard.

Oh, sure, winning can go a long way toward fixing all that ails a team. Yet the Whalers were upbeat from the opening kickoff. They cheered for one another. They offered encouragement. They were positive.

Attitude, more than anything else, was the most notable difference between New London on Friday night and New London earlier in the season.

“We used to say it a lot, ‘get your team up, it's family,’ because we are family," junior Jacob Commander said. “We were saying it a lot in the beginning of the year, but we just stopped. And we were (finally) like we’ve just got to do it. We’ve got to get your family up.”

And so New London has its first two-game winning streak and its first Eastern Connecticut Conference Division I win of the season. The Whalers are 3-6 overall and 1-2 in the division.

It was the way a team wants to celebrate Senior Night and its last home game of the regular season.

“Guys aren’t out here being negative because, unfortunately, attitudes are contagious,” New London coach Juan Roman said. “The guys have a good attitude.

“I said this to them tonight — ‘win for your town and win for your seniors,’ and I think they really, really rallied around that. They did that and that was a big thing.”

Ledyard is 2-7, 0-3.

New London physically overwhelmed the Colonels as its defense held Ledyard to 97 yards, 46 of which came on a halfback option play.

The Whalers’ defense had to adjust on the fly, too. Ledyard switched things up and used a tight double wing formation instead of the spread it had been using and ran on all but three plays.

“I kept assuming that sooner or later they’d come out of (the double wing),” Roman said. “I know he’s (Ledyard’s Jonathan Hernandez) a heck of a coach. I know he knows his stuff. I was thinking something else was coming. Obviously, they saw something on film he thought was going to work.

“Sometimes it’s the fight in the dog, not the size of the dog in the fight. The guys who were out there had a fight in them and got it done.”

Owen George threw a 35-yard touchdown pass to Gio Lopez to give the Whalers a 6-0 lead with 5 minutes, 55 seconds left in the first quarter.

Elijah Parker took a short pass from George, stiff-armed a Colonels defender, and scored a 24-yard touchdown less than a minute into the second quarter. George ran in the two-point conversion to push New London ahead 14-0.

George completed 7 of 16 passes for 135 yards. Several of the incompletions were on dropped passes.

George scored on a 3-yard run with over three minutes left in the quarter to extend the Whalers’ lead to 20-0. Commander ran for a 20-yard touchdown in the closing moments of the game. He had 12 carries for 88 yards.

n.griffen@theday.com

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