Spartans slam Sabers

MILFORD – The Milford High School football team needed a win no matter who was on the schedule, but history wasn’t on the Spartans’ side.

Fortunately for Milford, the past had nothing to do with their game Friday night in more ways than one.

The Spartans erased the memory of their blowout loss last to Monadnock, of Swanzey, and for just the second time in program history, defeated Souhegan, 38-7, in a Division II South Conference game.

The Spartans held a 270-18 advantage on offense in the first half, scoring 24 points in the second quarter to take a 31-0 lead at halftime. Evan Perron led Milford (5-3) with 146 yards rushing and two touchdowns, while Mitchell Banuskevich added 89 yards and a score on the ground, and the senior also caught a 10-yard touchdown pass from quarterback Max Urda.

“It feels good to beat anybody,” Milford coach Keith Jones said. “If we beat the Chelsea School of Upholstery, I’d be just as happy. A win is a win. We were focused on that we needed to beat Souhegan.”

To get that win, the Spartans focused on shutting down Drew Prescott and Souhegan’s running game. Milford did just that, holding Prescott to 5 yards on 11 carries as the Sabers had minus-7 yards rushing in the first half.

“We were out-physicaled at just about every position,” Souhegan coach Mike Lochman said. “Everything that we prepared for is what we got. The difference was that their kids are a lot better than our scout players.

“We were schemed to stop the outside running game – in fact, overloaded on it – and we were still unable to stop it. It was mainly their blocking schemes. The kids blocking on the perimeter were blowing our guys off the ball and staying on blocks.”

A week after getting run over by Monadnock on both sides of the ball, Jones and the Spartans went back to the basics.

“We worked hard this week on getting off the ball and not having a repeat performance of last week,” Jones said. “We went back to basics and they did what they needed to do. It was a great group effort up front.”

Milford wasted little time going to work, receiving the opening kickoff and going 68 yards on 11 plays, scoring on a 5-yard touchdown run by Banuskevich.

The Sabers (2-6) answered by moving into Milford territory on a 25-yard completion from Isaac Nevrla to Jerrell Duguay Webster and a pass interference call on the Spartans. But the Souhegan offense stalled, and on fourth-and-12, Neverla was sacked by Kody Palladino. The two first downs the Sabers picked up on that drive were their only ones until the fourth quarter.

Taking over at its own 46, Milford needed eight plays to find the end zone, this time on a 9-yard run by Perron.

After a three-and-out for Souhegan – the first of four straight in the half – Banuskevich returned a punt to the Sabers’ 35. The Spartans picked up a first down, but stalled at the Souhegan 23 before Ross Briggs made a 40-yard field goal to make it 17-0.

In all, the Spartans scored on their first six drives, with five of those coming in the first half.

“It’s nice for them because (the seniors) are such a great group of kids,” Jones said. “I was talking to Coach Lochman before the game and was saying I’d rather be 0-11 with these kids than 11-0 with kids without character. These kids have a great character.”

Milford will end the season Friday at Laconia, while Souhegan will host Hollis Brookline on Friday.