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Campbell falls in Division III football quarterfinals

By VINCE RODEMER

Staff Writer

LITCHFIELD – As with most November postseason football, defense and tough yards were the name of the game Saturday at Campbell High School.

Stevens got two huge stops on fourth downs and converted one of their own to knock off Campbell 20-8 in the quarterfinals of the NHIAA playoffs on

Saturday.

“At the end of the day, our kids fought to the end,” Campbell coach Glen Costello said. “Stevens made more plays than we did. Coach Silva does a great job of putting those kids in position to be successful. My hat’s off to them.”

Both teams had a hard time getting things going in the early going.

Stevens got the opening kickoff and quickly got a first down run, but were pushed back by the Campbell defense on the ensuing two plays and eventually had to punt.

Campbell couldn’t do anything with the ball when they got it and as a result, the teams ended the opening quarter scoreless.

Next time the Cougars got the ball, they decided to be a bit more aggressive with their defense doing the job.

The Cougars went for it inside their own 40 on fourth-and-6 and didn’t get it, allowing the visitors to take over with great field position.

The Cardinals took advantage of that and went on a eight-play, 43-yard drive that was capped by Keaghan McAllister two-yard score to put the visitors up 7-0 with 8:03 remaining in the second quarter.

Campbell looked to get the score back on the following possession that opened with a huge Hunter Caron run.

The home team’s drive stalled though inside the Stevens’ 30 when they couldn’t convert a fourth-and-13.

Stevens made another huge stop of Caron on fourth down to take control of the ball midway through the third quarter.

The Cardinals capitalized on that and flipped the field position on a 25-yard catch and run from Lucas Mudge.

McAllister got a huge first down on the ground inside the Campbell 10-yard line and scored from a yard out to make it 14-0 with 38 seconds left in the third.

Campbell had a quick answer though, when on the first play of the fourth quarter, Conor Sweeney hit Carter Vedrani for a 30-yard score and the conversion made it 14-8 in favor of the visitors.

Campbell got a big stop on McAllister on fourth down and recovered his fumble to take over.

The Cougars got a nice gain to Vedrani for 22 yards, but a pair of penalties pushed them back and Sweeney’s fourth down heave was picked off at the Campbell 13.

After a stop on first, Stevens quarterback Owen Taylor ripped off 38 yards to get to midfield.

Mudge got another 43 yards to get inside the Cougars’ 10 and the following play McAllister registered his third score of the day from six yards out to make it 20-8.

Campbell drove to the Cardinals’ 6-yard line, but Sweeney was picked off to end any hope.

McAllister ran for 85 yards and all three Stevens’ scores on the day.

“He’s been a back that’s name has been said for a couple years now,” Costello said. “He’s one of the better backs around. He’s a tough kid to stop and he made some plays today.”

Campbell ends the

season 8-2.