Souhegan slips by Milford in football shootout
MILFORD – For the second straight week, the Milford High football team surrendered 40-plus points. This time, the opposition made the Spartans pay.
Souhegan High made just enough big plays to overcome a slew of mistakes and a gritty comeback by the home team, holding on for a thrilling 46-43 heart-stopper and creating some major confusion in the Division II South standings.
Milford, the last remaining unbeaten in the conference, falls to 4-1, joined the Sabers, Alvirne and Hollis Brookline, all of whom have lost once.
This one wasn’t decided until the final Spartan lateral hit the turf as time
What looked to be a comfortable Sabers lead, at 40-21 with three minutes left in the third quarter, disappeared into the chilly night behind some pretty heroic stuff from a severely cramping Gavin Urda.
Touchdowns came in all shapes and sizes. They came early. They came often. And they came from all lengths of the field.
The Sabers led 20-14 at the half behind a pair of Austin Jain TD passes and Riley Lawhorn’s two-yard TD dive.
A wild third saw the margin grow to 40-21 Souhegan as Jain connected on TD pass No. 3, this one a 65-yarder to Reese Colby, both Lawhorn (91 yarder) and Ryan Hauser (24) had long TD runs.
Milford, hampered by myriad injuries including calf cramps that saw Urda yield to his freshman brother Chuck behind center for a series, simply would not go away.
Sean Hanrahan bulled in from the 3, and following a successful onside kick, Urda dashed 57 yards to make it 40-35 with 10:22 to play.
The eventual game-winning score, a 70-yard Lawhorn sprint, made it 46-35 with 10:06, leaving the clock operator, and the rest of the 1,000 or so fans watching breathless.
Urda, who had already run for two scores and scooped up a fumble for a 37-yard defensive TD, had one more highlight left, an 8-yard TD toss to Matt Hannon with 2:29 to play. The two-pointer, yes by Urda, made things even dicier, just a three-point bulge. But the ensuing onside kick rolled out, and Souhegan ran out all but the last 16 seconds.
Milford ran one final multi-lateral play to no avail.
Lawhorn, a junior, finished his career night with 264 rushing yards on 11 carries. Jain hit 6 of 16 passes for 181 yards, and Luke Manning caught three of those for 67 yards and a score.
Urda ran 26 times for 163 yards, taking a beating and never relenting.
Friday night, Milford looks to defend the honor of the South when it heads to North unbeaten Kennett in Conway, while Souhegan hosts Pelham.