Bedford moves on to D-I semifinal round

NASHUA – A Saturday tale of two twos wasn’t one the Bishop Guertin High School football team wants to read.

The Cardinals were unable to get two 2-point conversions in the final 3:04, including a failed attempt with 4.5 seconds left that gave Bedford a thrilling 41-39 Division I quarterfinal win over BG at Stellos Stadium.

The second failed attempt – a jump ball pass to Nick Lorden in the corner of the end zone, after the Cards had scored a dramatic TD on QB Jordan Hiscoe’s 15-yard pass to Jackson Housman – hurt the most.

"I saw my entire football career flash before me," said Lorden, who was triple covered and couldn’t come down with the catch. "I’ve gotten a lot of those this year, but not that one."

Bedford (9-1) will now advance to the Division I semis against unbeaten Goffstown next Saturday. BG, which led 21-3 after one quarter and 21-17 at halftime, ends its first season under head coach Jeff Moore at 6-4.

It’s the first 2-point attempt with 3:04 to play after BG got to within 34-33 on a Hiscoe-to-Lorden 6-yard TD that could have been viewed as a huge gamble. Hiscoe’s throw to Dylan Fagan near the goal line was incomplete. Hiscoe on the day completed 30 of 38 for 370 yards, five TDs and two picks.

"We were just inconsistent in the kicking game," he said, "and we thought we had a better chance to put the ball in J.T’s hands. We all voted on it. … Our football team never quit. We traded punches with these guys, just came up short at the end."

It was a spectacular finish either way. The Cards led 27-20 on a Housman 11-yard run with 6:45 left in the third and took that lead into the memorable final quarter. But Bedford tied it on the first play of the fourth on sophomore QB Connor Robert’s 1-yard plunge. They took the lead, 34-27, after the second of two interceptions thrown by Hiscoe on Nick Leahy’s 2-yard run.

Then it all got dicey. After the first Cardinal-failed 2-point conversion left BG a point shy at 34-33, the Bulldogs actually scored on a Robert 27-yard run to grab a 41-33 lead with 1:11 left.

But what that did was give Guertin the ball back with one timeout, and – spurred by Sam Raitt’s gimmick 30-yard kick return to the 50 – Guertin drove in for a possible game-tying score.

"They’re an amazing team," Bedford coach Derek Stank said of Guertin. "They know how to get down the field. We were lucky to get by that one."

At first, this looked like a BG blowout. Hiscoe threw TD passes to Dylan Fagan (12 yards), Nick Lorden (amazing 91-yard catch-and-run, plus a 4-yarder), all in the first quarter. The Bulldogs could only manage an 85-yard Cooper Anabal field goal.

The Bulldogs owned the second quarter. Robert, after a big 44-yard run, threw a 9-yard TD to Shahrukh Hussain early in the second. Robert scored with 6:26 left in the half on a 2-yard dive to bring the Bulldogs to within 21-17, and that’s where it stayed going into the half thanks to the first Bulldog pick of Hiscoe. Hiscoe rolled out at the Bedford 12 with his receivers blanketed and, rather than throw the ball away, tossed an interception into the end zone with 2:22 left in the half.

"He said he didn’t mean to throw it," Moore said. "He was going to pull it down.

"I knew (the Bulldogs) were going to wear us down. At least this time we started fast."

But ended barely short.