Trinity beats Windham in Round 1
MANCHESTER — The Trinity of Manchester football team wanted it more. That much was obvious.
In a game that determined the No. 2 seed for the Division IV playoffs, Trinity pounded Windham, 42-7, Friday night at Gill Stadium.
Trinity found the end zone on each of its first four offensive possessions — and added the two-point conversion each time — and capped the first half with Justin Johnson’s 37-yard field goal as time expired. The Pioneers led 35-0 entering the third quarter, and running time was used throughout the second half.
Second-seeded Trinity (8-1) will meet third-seeded Windham (7-2) again in next Saturday’s Division IV semifinals. That game will also be played at Gill Stadium.
While Trinity went all-out to win, Windham appeared to wave the white flag early. Windham coach Bill Raycraft elected not to play several starters, and was selective about who he used on defense.
“We were more concerned with next week than we were with this week,” Raycraft said. “We certainly wanted to win the game, but coming in we knew we had four kids who we wanted to sit. We didn’t play certain kids on defense who we normally play. It made it a little more embarrassing, but hopefully that fires up the kids this week. Credit to Trinity, because they came to play.”
Raycraft said that earlier this month the NHIAA informed him that even if the Jaguars had earned the No. 2 seed, Saturday’s semifinal would not be played in Windham because the school’s field is in poor condition.
“We knew all along it wasn’t going to be playable,” he said. “It is what it is. It gets pretty torn up because we have to practice on it and play on it. We would have had to play at Pelham, or maybe rented another field.”
Trinity wingback Austin Chambers ran for two touchdowns, and caught a TD pass. The Pioneers also received two touchdowns from wingback Romeo Masuko, and one from fullback Ryan Carrier.
Kellin Bail scored Windham’s TD on an 11-yard run with 2:31 to play.
“The game plan was no different than any other week,” Trinity coach Steve Burns said. “Any time these guys strap the helmet on, they play to win, They came out and played physical football on both sides of the ball.”
Next weekend’s Trinity/Windham winner will play either top-seeded Plymouth or fourth-seeded St. Thomas in the Division IV championship game.
Trinity, last year’s Division IV champion, has scored at least 42 points in seven of its eight victories.
Burns said gaining home-field advantage for the playoffs has been a goal since preseason.
“You always want to play at home,” he said. “You never want to go on the road. It’s good to be able to go back to where you’re comfortable.”