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Colonels find all of their weapons

Ledyard Ledyard's game plan was pretty basic.

Coach Jim Buonocore wanted to get the football in his explosive playmakers' hands.

The Colonels did the rest, consistently turning seemingly harmless plays into big gains while beating Bacon Academy, 54-14, in the Eastern Connecticut Conference Medium Division on Friday night.

High-powered Ledyard (4-0, 2-0), ranked eighth in The Day's latest state coaches' poll, is averaging 49.5 points per game, winning by an average of 39 points.

"Offensively, I'm not surprised," Buonocore said. "We've got a pretty good team and we've got a lot of weapons. The guys have done a great job executing and playing with confidence and playing with poise at the same time."

Junior quarterback Ty Ebdon picked from a wealth of weapons.

Senior JoJo Shumaker rushed for 112 yards and three touchdowns, covering 30, 58 and 10 yards, on eight carries.

With enough time in the pocket to eat a three-course meal, Ebdon comfortably completed 15 of 24 passes for 349 yards and two touchdowns. His primary targets were senior River Thomas (five receptions, 112 yards, one rushing TD), senior Phyllip Thomas (5 for 120 yards, two TDs) and junior Luke Saccone (3 for 73 yards).

The Colonels force opposing defenses to make some tough decisions.

"JoJo running the ball keeps everybody up close to the line," Ebdon said. "Then Phyl, River, Luke and Leo (Clinton), when he's not hurt, to go over the top when they bring everybody up.

"That's all them. I've just got to give them the ball and they just run with it and they've got the blocking down field and they've got the vision to see everybody."

Take Ledyard's opening series. River Thomas took a handoff, went right and ran into a wall of defenders. He simply reversed directions and bolted 32 yards for the game's first touchown.

The Colonels scored on their first three series and built a 47-7 lead by halftime. Phyllip Thomas caught a short screen pass and weaved his way through traffic and into the clear for a 40-yard touchdown for a 14-0 lead.

Shumaker raced through a huge hole in the line and went 30 yards for the first of his three first-half touchdown runs. By halftime, Ledyard rolled up roughly 460 yards of total offense. Edbon already had passed for 326 yards and two TDs.

While pleased with his team's offensive output, Buonocore raved about his defense. They limited Bacon (1-3, 0-2) to just one touchdown - quarterback Sean Kelly's 52-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Anderson in the second quarter - before the reserves entered the game.

"Defensively, I was very, very happy with how we played really from the front all the way to the back," Buonocore said. "We got good pressure. Guys got off blocks. We ran to the ball. We tackled well. The secondary stepped up to the challenge.

"... In all facets, we played very well."

Ledyard will be difficult to beat. Waterford gets the next crack at the Colonels.

Ebdon said that Ledyard has faced challenges this season despite the lopsided scores.

"Everybody has been a challenge," Ebdon said. "The score shows a big win. ... You know everybody has a chance of beating us when they come in and play us."

Twitter: @GavinKeefe


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