Bedford rallies for win at Dover
Friday, October 19, 2012
The Dover High School football team has proven it can compete with the best teams in Division II. Winning those games, however, has been a problem for the Green Wave.
For the third straight week, Dover pushed a D-II title contender to the brink, only to lose a close game. Visiting Bedford scored the winning touchdown with 10.9 seconds to go, earning a 20-14 win and all but eliminating the Green Wave from playoff contention.
“It’s not one area,” Dover coach Ken Osbon said when asked about his team’s breakdown on the final drive. “That kind of summarizes where we’re at. We’ll make some great plays, and we’ll make some poor plays. Teams that win week to week are consistent. And we’re not consistent.”
Dover’s loss came on the heels of a 21-20 loss at Keene one week earlier and a 31-24 double-overtime loss at home against Winnacunnet a week before that. The combined league record of all three teams Dover has lost to the last three weeks is 13-3. The Green Wave fell to 1-4 in Division II and 1-6 overall. Bedford is all alone in first place at 5-1 (6-1 overall).
“It’s tough getting so close and not capitalizing,” said Dover senior running back Colin Shaughnessy. “As good as the effort is and as much as we play these guys tough, we have to get some Ws.”
Bedford’s winning score came just 70 seconds after the Green Wave tied the game with a touchdown. Shaughnessy rolled into the end zone from 16 yards out, capping a furious 10-play, 89-yard drive that took less than four minutes to execute. Dover quarterback Derek Stegman hit senior tight end Jarret Hudson for passes of 17 and 15 yards during the drive. Shaughnessy ran 16 yards for a first down just before his score.
The Bulldogs, however, wasted no time on their game-winning drive. Quarterback James Caparell completed passes of 13, 18 and 18 yards on the drive before hitting Dylan York for a 4-yard touchdown. Caparell, under heavy pressure from a pair of Dover defenders, broke free and found York on the left wing just in front of the end zone, where he scrambled in for the score.
“We knew that Dover was one of the best teams in the division,” Bedford coach Kurt Hines said. “Dover played a hell of a game from the first snap to the last snap. They’re a hell of a program.”
The drive capped a wacky fourth quarter, in which both teams saw a drive fizzle deep in the others’ territory. The Green Wave took the ball all the way down to the Bulldogs’ 1-foot line when it fumbled, allowing Bedford to recover the ball in the end zone for a touchback. On their subsequent drive, the Bulldogs took the ball all the way to the Dover 4-yard line but fumbled the snap on a 22-yard field goal attempt.
Hudson had a heck of a game, with two interceptions and a 42-yard touchdown reception in the first quarter for Dover’s first score. The Green Wave led 7-0 at the end of the opening frame.
“It’s frustrating,” Hudson said. “We just have to do the little things. We do the big picture right, but it’s the little things that frustrate us at the end. We know we can play with these teams, but it’s the little things.”
Bedford tied the game in the second quarter when Brian Collins made a highlight-reel catch in the back corner of the end zone on an 11-yard pass from Caparell. On the previous play, Caparell broke free for a 24-yard gain on third-and 24 from the Dover 35.
The game was tied 7-7 at halftime. Bedford took the lead late in the third quarter when Caparell threw a 30-yard TD pass to Nick Vailas.
Dover is at Merrimack next week.