WINDHAM — Edward Little and Windham gave fans plenty of action on first, second and third downs during Friday night’s Class A North game, but it was fourth down when they really had them on the edge of their seats.

Edward Little took advantage of a pair of Windham mistakes from punt formation to overcome a couple of miscues of its own to build a 14-point lead at halftime and pulled away in the second half for a 41-21 victory.

Senior quarterback Leighton Girardin rushed for 144 yards and four touchdowns on 27 carries and threw for another touchdown to lead the Red Eddies, who improved to 2-1.

Windham (0-3) sophomore QB Harrison Boyle threw for two touchdowns before being injured while being tackled early in the third quarter. He was taken off the field by Windham Fire-Rescue ambulance and taken to a local hospital. The injury appeared to be to his upper body but he did not appear to lose consciousness. No further update on his condition was available at press time.

Both teams had difficulties in the punting game in the first half.

EL caught the first break when Windham’s punter’s knee touched the ground while fielding a bad snap, which turned the ball over to the Eddies at the Eagles’ 19. Three plays later, Girardin ran it in from 10 yards out, diving for the left pylon to give Edward Little a 7-0 lead.

EL forced another punt on Windham’s next possession, but returned the favor when one of its players tried to field the ball but couldn’t get a handle on before Windham recovered the loose ball. 

That set the Eagles up at Edward Little’s 26, and four plays later Boyle connected with tight end Garrett Peoples for a 15-yard touchdown that tied the game.

The Red Eddies threatened to regain the lead on its next series but stalled at Windham’s 1. The defense forced another punt to get the offense the ball back in good field position, Windham’s 42. Three plays later, Girardin ran left, then reversed course and ran back to the right, followed a block by Josh Hamel and turned the corner for a 29-yard touchdown that put EL in front to stay, 14-7.

Thanks in part to a sack by Tony Fournier, EL forced yet another Windham punt, which Bobby Tremaine blocked and recovered at the Eagles’ 1. Girardin took it in from there on the next play for a 21-7 lead.

Late in the second quarter, Edward Little punter Misha Boulet had to scramble to field a bad snap, recovering at Windham’s 22. EL appeared to stop the Eagles’ threat when Windham was penalized for a false start as it lined up to attempt a 32-yard field goal.

But the Eagles elected to go for it on fourth-and-8 at EL’s 20 as a result of the flag, and Boyle found Peoples again as he beat two defenders for a touchdown that pulled them within 21-14.

Girardin answered quickly for the Eddies, rolling left and throwing halfway across the field to Ricky Cote, who had gotten behind the defense for a 75-yard touchdown that made it 28-14 with 2:30 to go in the half.

EL pulled away in the second half thanks to Girardin’s six-yard TD run and strong running by Isiah Lewis (eight carries, 64 yards, TD, all in second half). 

Sophomore Antonio Byars replaced Boyle at QB after the injury and had a 30-yard TD pass to running back Stuart Salom (25 carries, 85 yards).


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