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    Tuesday, January 31, 2023

    Still unbeaten: Windham defeats NL, moves to 6-0

    New London – Randall Prose, the football coach at Windham High School, discovered something this week that Geno Auriemma has said for many years at UConn:

    “If people think losing is hard,” Auriemma says, “try to deal with winning.”

    And this was a unique week for the Whips, who went from somewhat anonymous to the toast of Connecticut, following their win at defending state champion Killingly. Suddenly, Windham was making headlines, all while Prose tried to prepare his team for Friday night’s game at New London.

    “Like pulling teeth,” he said.

    Ah, but the Whips managed a happy bus ride home after a 42-20 win over the Whalers, who put a scare into still-undefeated Windham (6-0) for a while.

    “We were flat tonight,” Prose said. “The kids were coming off such a high. I was glad we took care of business in the second half.”

    Windham had a 21-6 lead midway through the second period when a skirmish after a late hit out of bounds resulted in several personal fouls and five player ejections (four from New London). And yet the Whalers rallied and got within 21-20 when quarterback Christian Irizarry hit fleet sophomore Tyree Barnes with a 70-yard touchdown pass.

    “Hats off to New London,” Prose said. “Good game plan. We had to change our defense.”

    The defense blanked New London the rest of the way. Meanwhile, Prose let quarterback Zachary Robinson-Smey and fullback Victor Mejia combine for more than 300 rushing yards to stabilize the game.

    Mejia ran for 188 and Robinson-Smey finished with 149 and touchdown runs of 13 and 10 yards.

    “We had to keep our composure,” Robinson-Smey said. “Keep our composure and communicate with each other. When we do that, we’re good.”

    Travis Mangual ran for 54 yards and two touchdowns as well.

    The Whips return to divisional play next week with a game at Waterford.

    “It was a nice week,” Robinson-Smey said. “Nobody really talks about us in the quiet corner. But after we beat Killingly, it was nice to see people talk about Windham.”

    Irizarry also threw a 68-yard touchdown pass to Zuri Craig. The Whalers play East Lyme next week.


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