Dalton too much for Windham

Tribune Chronicle / Marc Weems Windham’s Hunter Shackelford (32) celebrates with fellow defenders Calvin Harvey (57) and James Harvey (59) after the Bombers stopped Dalton on fourth down Friday at North Canton Hoover in a regional semifinal.

NORTH CANTON — After getting its first playoff win since 2003, the Windham Bombers couldn’t overcome the Dalton Bulldogs’ great defense Friday night at Hoover High School. In their Division VII, Region 25 semifinal matchup, Dalton won, 41-13.

After Dalton recovered its onside kick on the opening kickoff, the Bulldogs were stuffed. Later in the first quarter, Dalton (12-0) marched down the field for a 1-yard touchdown run by Spencer Horst to give it a 7-0 lead. Horst ran for 114 yards and three touchdowns on the night.

“Those seniors poured out their hearts tonight which is what you are supposed to do,” Windham coach Anthony Maiorca. ” I think that we reserved a lot of energy and we never faced a team that physical.

“Not that we backed down but it’s a challenge and you really have to challenge yourself. You have to match their toughness and intensity. I think we did in some spots. Once you go down, it’s hard for those kids to recover from that.”

Windham (9-3) responded just a few minutes later as quarterback Blaze Angle hit wide receiver Eric Park on a 7-yard touchdown. Dalton led 7-6 after a botched extra point. Dalton then scored 34 unanswered points.

Tribune Chronicle / Marc Weems Phillip Maiorca (1) of Windham runs for yardage behind the blocking of Tyler Collins Friday night against Dalton.

“It was a team effort,” Dalton coach Broc Dial said. “We read our keys and play disciplined football throughout the game. They did a good job of keying on Spencer early. We just went with some of our option plays. Some things on the outside and all the guys executed really well.”

For Dalton, it now has the most wins in school history and they have advanced further than any team has in school history.

“They are just a fantastic football team,” Maiorca said. “If we had any chance to beat this team, we had to have no mistakes. They are that good of a team. I think our kids did great. The senior leadership is hopefully an example for the younger guys.”

Windham has a bright future as it won its first playoff game since 2003 last week and will only graduate six seniors.

Park scored for Windham with 2:29 left in the game on a 24-yard punt return to end the scoring.

“Right from the beginning, you could tell they were keying in on Spencer. Which makes sense since he has 2,000 yards. After the first drive, we switched things up,” Dalton running back Alex Alger said.

Alger ran for 60 yards on just five carries while scoring once.

Dalton now goes on to face Cuyahoga Heights Friday at 7:30 p.m. in the Division VII, Region 25 final.