A week ago Chris Jones was excited about his defense. With a couple of key players returning from injury he thought the unit could become dominant.
In a win last week against Palmer Ridge the Windsor defense was solid, if not spectacular. But on Thursday night the group put on a show.
Every time Thompson Valley tried to run, the Wizards engulfed the line of scrimmage and made even getting back to the line of scrimmage a tough feat. The Eagles leading rusher on the season, Francisco Marquez, ended the game with 13 yards on 14 carries.
Throwing the ball didn’t work much better for the Eagles (2-2, 0-1 Northern Conference). Every time Spencer Shook dropped back he was hurried by Windsor.
At halftime Thompson Valley had only 26 yards of total offense. Despite that, the Wizards only led 6-0 at the break.
But at the start of the second half the Windsor defense came out with even more intensity and fire and helped blow the game open.
“They tipped some stuff off for us, we were able to get into good defenses and get some good opportunities for ourselves,” Jones said. “The defense did play lights out.”
Lights out indeed. The first three possessions in the second half for Thompson Valley went like this: three-and-out, fumble, interception.
Windsor (3-1, 1-0) was able to turn all of those into touchdowns, two on two-yard runs by Joe Sanger (105 yards and three rushing TDs for the game) and one on a 29-yard run by Blake Bunday.
The defense later put an exclamation mark on its night when Sean McAvoy returned a fumble 66 yards for a score in the last minute of the game.
While the defense was the star, the offense was able to break the game open in the second half as Sanger and Bunday took over.
Bunday, normally a safety, switched to the offensive side and made the most of his first carries of the year, rushing for 117 yards and touchdown runs of 29 and 35 yards.
“They put me in there. I got the chance to do some stuff,” Bunday said. “I ended up doing pretty good in practice so they gave me the shot. It turned out pretty decent.”
The win is an emphatic opening statement for Windsor in its 4A Northern Conference debut, coming on a shortened week, no less.
“Guys were preparing for school and football,” Jones said. “We crunched a lot on them and the guys came through for each other.”
Follow sports reporter Kevin Lytle at twitter.com/Kevin_Lytle