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Montville ends winless season with loss to Windham

Montville — Among the most tumultuous and disappointing football seasons in the history of Montville High ended Tuesday night, a 70-26 loss to Windham.

The Indians, once a perennial contender for league titles and state playoff berths, finished 0-10.

And yet on the field after the game, a winless season having just ended and the warmth of the locker room calling on a frigid night, many of the players stayed. They cried together, hugged each other and illustrated the program still has life, even in a time of peril.

"Look at that," Montville interim coach Jim Cook said. "It shows you the kids care about the program. The coaches care. The administration cares. The town cares. We just weren't able to put things together this year."

A glance at the lopsided final score hardly suggests it was ever a close game.

Except it was.

Montville rallied from a 14-0 deficit and got within 21-20 in the second period. Quarterback Chas Terni, who threw for 198 yards in the first half, hit Anthony Barbuto with a long completion. Barbuto was running down the right sideline deep in Windham territory before he lost a fumble.

The Whippets (5-5) would score 30 points after that fumble and take a 50-20 lead at halftime.

"A lot of our problems have been self-inflicted," Cook said. "The turnovers tonight really hurt us again."

Montville fell behind 14-0 on two long touchdown runs from Windham's Dustin Solensky, who went 95 and 86 yards the first two times he touched the ball.

Montville responded with Terni throwing touchdown passes to Kanye McClellan for 44 yards (set up by a 41-yard completion to Isaiah Balancier), Miles Sarmiento's 29-yard touchdown run and Terni's 32-yard scoring pass to Barbuto.

But Zachary Robinson Smey scored on a 47-yard touchdown run, his 52-yard fumble return, Jayden Villafane's 22-yard run and Travis Mangual Jr.'s 29-yard touchdown reception — all late in the first half — helped the Whips hit 50 by halftime.

Barbuto caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from Terni in the second half.

"I'm proud of the kids' effort," Cook said. "We came back from 14-0 down. It was nice to see the kids celebrate a little and have some fun."

m.dimauro@theday.com 

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