With 6 minutes, 42 seconds left in the first quarter, Windsor senior Alex Weis found himself in just the right place at just the right time.
In the ensuing 41 minutes Friday at H.J. Dudley Field, the Wizards constantly put themselves in the right place at the right time.
Windsor forced six turnovers and methodically pounded Thompson Valley into submission to hand the Eagles their first loss, 48-7, in both teams’ Class 4A Northern Conference opener.
“It was good to set the tone, as a home team, especially,” Wizards senior Drew Bunday said. “It lets (opponents) know that we’re not here to just mess around. We take this seriously, and we’re very specific with our details.”
After each team traded defensive stops in the opening possessions, Windsor (1-0 Northern, 3-1 overall) lit the match that sparked its seven-touchdown inferno when Weis picked off Garrett Smith at the Thompson Valley 25-yard-line and charged to the 1.
As Eagles sophomore Gunner Mengel tried to corral a short pass from Smith, Windsor senior Dylan Wooldridge quickly corralled Mengel.
Wooldridge spun around Mengel near the right sideline, and the ball popped free into Weis’ hands, setting up a 1-yard Blake Bunday touchdown run to give the Wizards a 7-0 lead one play later.
“I didn’t think I was getting the pick,” Weis said. “I just saw my teammates making the tackle – we’re always taught to gang tackle. So, I was just going to help, and the ball got tipped up. ... In a lot of games, there is a play that just shifts the momentum. Sometimes it’s in the fourth quarter, but this time it was in the first.”
Windsor’s opportunistic defense never let up.
Of the Wizards’ seven touchdowns, five came with short fields of 49 yards or less as the Wizards recovered four fumbles and forced two Smith interceptions.
Windsor also benefited from a 67-yard punt return by Bunday to the Thompson Valley 24 that set the stage for a 3-yard run by junior quarterback Tanner Bohm that put the Wizards up 34-0 with 9:53 left in the third.
Moments later, Windsor enacted a 40-point mercy rule-mandated running clock.
Suffice to say, the Wizards’ dominant win against the previously unbeaten Eagles (0-1, 2-1) was exactly what coach Chris Jones was hoping for as his team built momentum with back-to-back lopsided nonleague wins over Fossil Ridge and Palmer Ridge after a 31-22 Week 1 loss to Wheat Ridge.
“We talk about how there is seven league games, and we look at it like seven doors,” Jones said. “The door is going to open and we’re going to be in that room with that team. And, who’s going to come out?
“We lock the door behind us, and our whole team is in there. We trust each other, and we do what we can to come out of that door first and win the game.”
Every time Thompson Valley tried to open a door on Friday, the Wizards were there to slam it shut.
Windsor senior Blake Bunday — Drew’s twin brother — led a balanced Wizards offense that attempted just one pass all game — a 12-yard strike from Bohm to senior Skylar King.
Blake had 73 yards and a touchdown on seven carries, with King (6 carries, 62 yards) and senior Wil Dressor (6 carries, 47 yards) also contributing to the Wizards’ 268 rushing yards.
While Windsor’s offensive totals were solid, its defensive statistics were stellar.
In addition to the six takeaways, the Wizards held Thompson Valley to just 91 offensive yards. The Eagles had minus-1 yard on 20 rushes before recording 21 rushing yards and registering their only touchdowns in the fourth quarter against Windsor’s reserves.
“Our defense is mean and nasty,” Blake said. “During practice, they are a tough defense to run against when we run scout. They’re just nasty and they’ll blow you up anywhere and they’ll force you into turnovers.”
TVHS 0 0 0 7 — 7
WHS 14 13 21 0 — 48
WHS — Blake Bunday 1 run (Joe Shermock kick), 6:38. Drive: 1 play, 1 yard, :04. Key play: Alex Weis 24 interception return to the TVHS 1. Windsor 7, Thompson Valley 0
WHS — Brandon King 1 run (Shermock kick), 2:19. Drive: 4 plays, 49 yards, 2:10. Key play: Sklar King 32 run to TVHS 21. Windsor 14, Thompson Valley 0.
WHS — Drew Bunday 4 run (Shermock kick), 8:41. Drive: 6 plays, 64 yards, 3:12. Windsor 21, Thompson Valley 0.
WHS —Wil Dressor 25 run (Shermock kick failed), 6:15. Drive: 2 plays, 30 yards, :47. Windsor 27, Thompson Valley 0
WHS — Tanner Bohm 3 run (Shermock kick), 9:53. Drive: 4 plays, 24 yards, 1:56. Key play: Drew Bunday 71 kick return to TVHS. Windsor 34, Thompson Valley 0.
WHS — Bohm 7 run (Shermock kick), 8:40. Drive: 2 plays, 17 yards, :17. Windsor 41, Thompson Valley 0.
WHS — Jacob Stone 12 run (Shermock kick), :40. Drive: 3 plays, 59 yards, 2:00. Windsor 48, Thompson Valley 0.
TVHS —Blake Firchau 1 run (L.J. Worthington kick), :40. Drive: 8 plays, 48 yards, 3:50. Windsor 38, Thompson Valley 7.
CenterAlign.59CenterAlign.85RightAlign.109 TVHS WHS
First downs 7 10
Rushes-yards 26-20 38-268
Passing 71 12
Comp-Att-Int 11-17-2 1-1-0
Sacked-yards lost 2-36 0-0
Punts-Avg. 5-33.8 0-0
Fumbles-lost 5-4 2-0
Penalties-yards 5-36 6-50
Rushing — TVHS, Garrett Smith 12-46. WHS, Blake Bunday 7-73 (TD); Skylar King 6-62; Wil Dressor 6-47 (TD).
Passing — TVHS, Smith 11-17-2-71. WHS, Tanner Bohm 1-1-0-12.
Receiving — TVHS, Drew Meintzer 6-52. WHS, King 1-12.