Rainy weather at Windsor-based Loomis Chaffee School Saturday night called for the Brunswick School football team to utilize its running game in its season-opener.
Jalen Madison and Kevonne Wilder answered the call.
Madison and Wilder rushed for two touchdowns apiece in Brunswick’s decisive 36-7 road win against Loomis Chaffee. The game began at 7:10 p.m., 10 minutes later than it was scheduled due to thunder and lightning in the Windsor area. It rained the majority of the game.
“When the weather turned out that way, we knew it was best if we tried to move the ball on the ground,” Bruins coach Mike Hannigan said. “We were confident in our running game.”
Madison, a senior, who was the Bruins’ leading rusher in 2018, got the bulk of the carries. Wilder, a senior wide receiver/running back, also got some carries out of the backfield. Senior quarterback Nick Winegardner ran the offense well and also used his legs to gain significant yards for Brunswick (1-0). Winegarnder is in his second season as a starter, after helping guide the Bruins to the NEPSAC Class A championship bowl last season.
The game marked the head coaching debut of Bruins coach Mike Hannigan, who took over for Jarrett Shine, after Shine stepped down in March.
“I’m glad to get the first one under my belt for sure,” Hannigan said.
The Bruins scored the game’s first touchdown, when Madison reached the end zone on a short run in the opening quarter. In the second quarter, Madison’s touchdown run, followed by Chris Chavez successful point-after attempt gave the Bruins a 13-0 halftime advantage.
Meanwhile, Loomis Chaffee (0-1) had trouble generating much offense against Brunswick’s defense, led by linemen Howard Powell and Colin Mulshine.
“Howard Powell at times was unblockable,” Hannigan said. “He had several tackles for losses and a couple of sacks. “We moved Colin around a little bit on defense and he pressured the quarterback. Our defensive plan was solid and we executed. We were able to keep them in their end of the field in the first half.”
The third quarter saw Wilder post a pair of touchdown runs, putting Loomis in a 27-0 hole. The home team scored its lone touchdown in the third quarter, making it 27-7. In the final quarter, Chavez booted a field goal and Liam Fairback had a touchdown run to seal the Bruins’ scoring.
Up next for Brunswick is a road matchup against Hotchkiss School on Saturday at 3 p.m.
“There is a lot of room for improvement, but we have good things to hang our hat on and a lot of opportunity for growth,” Hannigan said.