LEWISTON — It was a humbling opening night for both teams Friday night.

Windham beat Lewiston convincingly in a 57-8 victory in the football season opener, but it was a sobering result.

Lewiston was plagued by mistakes and was outscored 30-0 in the first quarter, while Windham lost standout back Dylan Koza. The senior had already scored two touchdowns and rushed for 131 yards when he went down with a possible broken leg in the first quarter.

“It looked like his foot might have got caught,” Windham coach Matt Perkins said. “I don’t want to speculate. They just said they thought it broke. That’s all I know.”

Koza had just scored his second touchdown, rushing in from the 6. He appeared to get in relatively untouched, but after crossing the goal line, he fell to the ground. He was attended to for a lengthy period of time by trainers and his parents before leaving in an ambulance. Koza rushed for 928 yards last year and 12 touchdowns, despite missing two games.

“He’s a critical piece to us,” said Perkins, whose team won the Eastern A title and has high aspirations this fall. “He has been for a long time. He’s such a great kid. He’s such a quality leader, and it’s his senior year. That’s what’s tough. Sometimes that stuff is unfair.”

Up 14-0 when Koza was injured, the Eagles got some great work from Griffin Jacobson and Kyle Houser to fill the void. Jacobson scored three straight touchdowns and rushed for 104 yards on five carries. Houser added 53 yards on four carries and scored a touchdown.

“We had some real good leaders,” Perkins said. “The guys battled and finished the job.”

Falling behind early, Lewiston couldn’t keep pace. The Blue Devils didn’t get a first down until late in the first half. Lewiston was playing without back Stefan Porter and offensive lineman Chad Dumais, both seniors out with injuries. The Blue Devils couldn’t get a consistent offensive attack going early. 

“Last Friday, when we played Massabesic and EL, we moved the ball,” Lewiston coach Bruce Nicholas said. “All the plays that needed to work worked. Tonight, they didn’t. They scored really fast and all of a sudden we have to change the game plan.”

Lewiston was hurt by mistakes. The Blue Devils threw three interceptions and had a safety when a punt snap sailed through the hands of the punter and out of the end zone. Lewiston also lost the ball when a punt hit a Blue Devils fielder and was recovered by Windham.

“Everything that could go wrong, went wrong,” said Nicholas, who was making his debut as Lewiston’s head coach but was introduced at Bruce Lucas, twice during introductions. “I’ve been doing this for a long time. I remember all the things that happened to me at Oak Hill. All those things, we got them all in one half. We can rebound off that. We’re young. We’ll have better days.”

Windham had the first possession and marched it downfield. Koza finished it off with a four-yard run with 10:07 left in the quarter. After an interception by Eric Webb, Koza needed just two rushes to make it 14-0 with 8:07 left in the quarter.

Then came Lewiston’s safety to make it 16-0. Windham took the subsequent free kick and added to the score when quarterback Desmond Leslie scored from the 4 with 4:29 left in the first quarter.

Windham took advantage of a fumble when a punt hit a Lewiston player downfield. Houser scored from the 22 for the 30-0 lead with 49 seconds left in the quarter.

The lead went to 50-0 by halftime. Jacobson scored three straight touchdowns, scoring from the 32, 4 and 55 in the second quarter.

“The guys kept it going,” Perkins said. “I was really pleased with how they finished in a tough situation.”

Lewiston did finally get some offense going. Quarterback Jared Rubin threw for 141 yards on eight completions. Three passes late in the first half got Lewiston as close as the 7 but a sack nixed hopes for a Blue Devils score.

Lewiston did get a two-yard run from Roman Dennis to end the third quarter. Windham added a score in the fourth when quarterback Blake Houser hit Hunter Griffin on a 20-yard pass.

“(Windham) is coming from the states and losing a few guys,” Nicholas said. “Their goal is to win the whole thing. We started from losing a lot of guys. We didn’t win a lot of games. We just need to grow and grow. We didn’t grow much tonight, maybe a little bit. The nice thing about football is that every week is new. You play a new team next week and that what you focus on.”

[email protected]


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.