Alvirne’s ‘O’ line controlled Nashua South
There was no real secret to what the Alvirne High School football team did in beating Nashua South 42-14 on Friday night:
The Broncos dominated the line of scrimmage, especially with their offensive line led by Tyler Noonan, Cody Coulombe, and Bennett Parkinson, among others.
In fact it’s the same blueprint the Broncos used in an earlier shutout win over Nashua North. Who would have thought that this team would beat both Nashua public schools by a combined 69-14 to grab the West Conference lead?
“The bottom line was the offensive line,” Alvirne coach Tim Walsh said. “I thought (Friday) was on par with the North game, we dominated them too.
“This (South) team is good. They hit hard, they play hard, but we were able to move them out. A couple of counter plays to offset their aggressiveness, caught them a little off-balance, and it paid off.”
What was even more surprising for Alvirne’s 318-yard rushing total was the fact the Broncos were without junior blocking fullback Ethan Rainville (shoulder) and his 6-foot-1, 245-pound massive look. But senior Kyle Heidbreder (5-9, 200) did the job.
“I thought he did a nice job filling in for Ethan, blocking,” Walsh said.
Alvirne used its entire arsenal the other night. Quarterback Dan Brown got receivers Andrew Stevens and Sam Bonney-Niles into the mix, and besides lead back Jack Mahoney’s 212 yards, senior Ryan Godschall rushed for 106 and Walsh said he’s not afraid to let him get into a rhythm to spell Mahoney.
“We do a lot of things on offense,” Walsh said. “When we see things we want to exploit, we have the weapons to do that. We’re very fortunate.”
Now what? Walsh will be the first to tell you the Broncos haven’t won anything yet, and they’ll very likely see South again the first weekend in November for the conference crown.
“We’re not even looking at that,” Walsh said. “We’re looking at it like this: We’ve got three games left (Londonderry, at Bishop Guertin, Timberlane), teams with rich history, we’ll just take them on one at time. Two out of the three are here, so that’s a real plus.”
Meanwhile, it’s obvious the Panthers are licking their wounds and head coach Scott Knight is looking for some consistency.
“I was a little bit concerned,” Knight said, adding that the team’s practices were a little off and Alvirne showed a couple of looks the Panthers hadn’t seen. “It’s hard to tell, we have to look at it.”
Nashua, which will be heavily favored to get on track this Friday versus Keene at home, couldn’t get its offense in gear. Malik Langa was just 2 of 18 throwing and the Panthers, with the exception of a couple of Josh Perry and Collin Morrow bursts, couldn’t get a running game going.
“We’re at a crossroads right now,” Knight said. “We have to get going this week. Right now we’re not sure. We’ll look to see if it was an effort thing or a scheme thing. It’s been tough. It’s been such a real roller coaster for us. Sometimes I think we look real good and then we look real bad. Unfortunately it was like that during the week.”
Titans left ‘A-game’ in Nashua
Jason Robie didn’t know how much different Friday night’s 51-0 loss to Pinkerton Academy would have gone if Nashua North had played its best, but the Titans coach believed it would have been different.
“When you play against a good football team, you’ve got to bring your A-game,” Robie said. “Even then, there’s no guarantee. We didn’t play the best we’re capable of playing and I don’t know why that is. The team that played against Merrimack last week, I’m not saying it’s a different outcome, but it’s a different score.”
Against Merrimack, the Titans gained over 400 yards of offense, including almost 300 on the ground. On Friday, North had just 59 yards, including minus-1 passing. North had its most success running the ball between the tackles, but went backward when it tried to drop back to pass, or run to the outside.
“We put a game plan in place and we tried to do things that we thought would help,” Robie said. “They countered that pretty well. We’re a run-the-football team and we tried to do some stuff that we thought would be more successful, but it didn’t work.”
Cardinals were in position
Aside from starting at their own 1-yard line after a goal line stand, Bishop Guertin was handed very good starting field position all Friday night in their 34-16 loss to Salem. For most of the evening, Salem refused to kick deep to the Cardinals, preferring a variety of squib kicks and short line-drives. All were fielded cleanly and regularly left Guertin starting well beyond its 30-yard line.
Late in the game, they did finally kick deep to Chase Hughes after scoring their final touchdown, and his return may have illustrated why the Blue Devils were kicking short all night. Hughes took the kick inside his 4-yard line and returned it all the way to the 40, sending the Cardinals on their final scoring drive of the night.
Sabers find balance
The Souhegan High School football team was able to defeat visiting Sanborn 29-14 on Friday night behind a balanced attack.
Junior quarterback Michael Mancini went 6 for 10 for 105 yards including two touchdown passes.
Senior Trevor Barrett (two receptions, 34 yards) was on the receiving end of the first touchdown pass, which covered 7 yards. Junior Zachary Bossi (two receptions, 60 yards) pulled in the second one, which covered 25 yards and came on the final play of the first half.
Bossi then ran in a 2-yard touchdown in the third quarter. Junior running back Cameron Kinney (19 carries, 63 yards) reeled of an 11-yard touchdown run in the fourth quarter.
The Sabers (3-2) only allowed one more touchdown after giving up a touchdown on the first drive of the game which came on a one yard run from junior running back Shawn Gowans.
“They have been excellent,” Sabers coach Mike Lochman said of his defense. “One of the things we have been preaching to those guys all year is the discipline, just focusing on doing your job so I think we did a better job this game then we have all season at that and it paid off.”
Madigan strong in Milford loss
Leading the way for the Milford High School football team in a 38-13 loss against host Trinity at Gill Stadium on Saturday night was junior running back Mark Madigan who accumulated 53 yards on the ground and 67 yards in the receiving game. He also found the back of the end zone from three yards out in the opening quarter.
Junior quarterback Max Urda contributed with a 163 yards passing and 37 yards on the ground including a one yard touchdown run on the opening drive of the second half for the Spartans (4-2).
Junior running back Saikou Bah led the way for the Pioneers (3-2) with 132 rushing yards and 46 receiving yards. He tallied two rushing touchdowns (24 yards and 10 yards), a receiving touchdown (44 yards), a reception on a 2-point conversion and a rush for a 2-point conversion.
Milford will have a bye week next week and then will take on Windham and Manchester West in the next two games. The Pioneers will host Souhegan High School (3-2) on Friday.