Hanover rallies in final seconds for victory over Souhegan
Thursday, September 19, 2013
AMHERST – Souhegan and Hanover treated the fans on hand Friday night to a classic high school football battle, with the Marauders ultimately taking a dramatic 25-21 victory.
Both teams came out firing on all cylinders as Hanover marched 65 yards on its initial drive, getting the ball to the Souhegan 1 yard line. Marauders running back Joey Porter ran the ball into the end zone to give his club the early lead. Dom Linehan kicked the extra point.
Not to be outdone, Souhegan put together an impressive drive of its own on its first possession, most of it on one play – a 53-yard run by running back Andrew Prescott into the Hanover end zone. Alexander Bedard kicked the extra point to tie the game at 7-apiece.
The start of the second quarter saw Hanover going for the touchdown with the ball on the Souhegan four yard line on fourth down but was stopped by Zachery Theriault.
Souhegan took possession of the ball and ate up 6 minutes, combining a ground and aerial assault before quarterback Isaac Nevrla handed off to Prescott, who ran for another 24 yards into the Hanover end zone. Bedard followed it by kicking the extra point to give the Sabers a 14-7 lead.
Hanover looked to tie the score but lost possession on a fumble with 2:38 to play in the half at mid-field.
Souhegan came right back and despite picking up three consecutive offensive penalties resulting in a loss of 20 yards, put the ball in the Hanover end zone for a third time as William Hart caught a 10-yard pass in the flat on the right side of the field from Nevrla and scampered over the goal line with 1.5 seconds remaining in the half. Bedard made it 3 for 3 in the extra point category and Souhegan held a 21-7 lead at halftime.
The second half began with the Hanover kicking off to Souhegan but the Sabers could not mount an attack and punted the ball back to the Marauders.
With the ball on the Souhegan 39, on second down and 7 yards to go to the first down, Hanover took advantage of running back Jeff Gorham’s 33-yard run, which resulted with the ball being placed on the Souhegan 6 yard line.
The Marauders kept the ball on the ground but a holding penalty against Hanover looked to stall their attack, however back up quarterback Henry Anthony-DuScheid, who took over for Cavallaro late in the first quarter, scrambled to the right before finding Teddy Geraghty in the end zone for the 6-yard touchdown pass. The extra point attempt failed, but Hanover had closed the gap 21-13 with 5:40 remaining in the third quarter.
The fourth quarter opened with neither club able to mount any type of attack as the defenses took over.
Hanover broke through with 8:46 left on the board. Gorham took a handoff from Anthony-DuScheid and ran around the right side of the line for a 66-yard touchdown run to pull his team within two points of Souhegan. The Marauders failed on a two-point conversion that would’ve tied it.
Hanover again took control of the ball on their own 37 yard line with 5:31 to play. Cavallaro re-entered the game and engineered a masterful offensive attack leading his club through the Souhegan defense and into Sabers territory. Penalties took over and hurt both sides but a roughing the passer flag did the most damage to the Souhegan defense.
The 15-yard penalty put the ball on the Sabers 14 with 21.2 seconds to play. It took just three plays and 18 seconds before Cavallaro called a keeper and he slashed through the Souhegan defense from the 9-yard line to put his club ahead 25-21.
“It was a great comeback,” Cavallaro said. “Unfortunately, I got injured in the first quarter which sidelined me until the fourth quarter. I knew I could go back in and I thought the only thing I could do was pass but we had no time outs left so I just ran with it. Our team executed perfectly. It was a great team win. We’ve been harping on it the whole year that you never give up. You play the full game. It doesn’t matter what the situation is. It was a huge game for our season and a great win.”