WINDHAM — The Pinkerton football team is getting healthy at the right time.
Saturday afternoon, the Astros welcomed back running back/safety Brady Day and fullback/linebacker Jake MacInnis, who both missed the previous two weeks with injuries.
And both seniors proved how valuable they are.
MacInnis (8 rushes, 131 yards, TD) and Day (63 all-purpose yards, TD, INT) were both front and center, as Pinkerton continued its playoff push with a 28-7 win over Windham.
“It’s great to have (Day) back and it’s great to have Jake MacInnis back,” said Pinkerton coach Brian O’Reilly. “We lost both of them after the Salem game. So getting them back, that’s everything.”
The win is the third in a row for the Astros (5-3), who have significantly increased their playoff odds after a rough, injury-riddled start to the season.
“I don’t think we really need help (to make the playoffs),” said O’Reilly. “However, if there’s an upset next week and we win, we might not go. So that’s not the same as needing help. But when you don’t have the fate in your own hands — and we don’t — you’ve just got to hope that other people do what they’re supposed to do.”
It certainly won’t be easy for the Astros, though, who will welcome Bedford (7-2) Friday night at 7 p.m.
“I know that we have to win next week,” said Day, who returned from a foot injury. “So we’re moving on to Bedford, and we’re just going to work hard in practice and give it all we’ve got.”
To it’s credit, Windham (3-5) continued to play hard like it has all season.
The Jaguars actually got out to an early lead when they took the first drive of the game 68 yards on 15 plays and punched in a 1-yard Rocky Heres touchdown. Behind Heres and running backs Riley Desmarais (18-65) and Bobby DiCicco (14-59), the Jaguars were able to move the ball all game. In fact, Pinkerton only out-gained them in total yardage 281-276.
But the Pinkerton defense came out stout, and costly turnovers killed two Windham drives and kept it off the scoreboard after the initial TD.
“(Windham) does a good job with the option,” said O’Reilly. “They moved the ball all day long, they just didn’t get in the end zone.”
Pinkerton would make it a 7-7 game at halftime on a 1-yard MacInnis touchdown, then take the lead for good late in the third when QB Jeff Potvin found Day on a 31-yard strike up the seam.
“Earlier in the game, I knew that certain pass play was open,” said Day. “So I told Coach, and we were coming back to it. And I just got in the middle of the field, got open and scored.”
Jacob Albert put the game away on a 10-yard touchdown run with five minutes left, and Potvin capped the day’s scoring with a 3-yard burst up the middle with under two minutes left. Defensively, both Day and Evan Wilson came away with interceptions.
Windham will look to end its season strong Friday night at Concord (7 p.m.).
Pinkerton 28, Windham 7
Pinkerton (5-3): 0 7 7 14 — 28
Windham (3-5): 7 0 0 0 — 7
W — Rocky Heres 1 run (Adam Burke kick), 4:42
P — Jake MacInnis 1 run (Brandon Roy kick), 7:19
P — Brady Day 31 pass from Jeff Potvin (Roy kick), 2:28
P — Jacob Albert 10 run (Roy kick), 5:01
P — Potvin 3 run (Caden Kelly kick), 1:39
RUSHING: PINKERTON (33-219): Jake MacInnis 8-131, Evan Wilson 7-40, Brady Day 5-32, Jacob Albert 9-18, Jeff Potvin 3-0, David Clark 1-(-2); WINDHAM (51-212): Rocky Heres 18-84, Riley Desmarais 18-65, Bobby Dicicco 14-59, Curtis Shattuck 1-4
PASSING: P — Potvin 3-5-0, 62; W — Heres 5-16-2, 64
RECEIVING: P — Day 1-31, Trent Leduc 1-24, Albert 1-7; W — Stefan Robert 1-26, Alesandro Jacobellis 1-13,Shattuck 1-12, Desmarais 1-9, Dicicco 1-4