Milford ends season with a win

LACONIA – On a fairly warm Friday evening after Halloween Laconia hosted Milford in the regular season finale, with the Spartans taking a 34-27 victory, bringing their record to 6-3, good for third place in the Division II South Conference.

Mitchell Banuskevich’s 2-yard touchdown carry in the closing minute nailed down the win, though Milford still missed the playoffs for just the second time since 2002.

In the first quarter, the Spartans and the Sachems both had unsuccessful running drives. Scoring came late in the first quarter when the Milford ground attack by Mitchell Banuskevich (112 yards, 29 carries on the night) and Willie Miles (56 yards, 12 carries) came to life. The drive was helped by quarterback Max Urda’s 36-yard pass to Nick Skinner to put them into scoring territory. The drive ended on a 5-yard touchdown run by Banuskevich, with the PAT from Ross Briggs, to make it 7-0 with 1:53 remaining in the first.

Milford had a very nice scoring drive going in the second quarter, which ended on an interception by Kyle Chiasson. Later, a punt return by Banuskevich put the Spartans in excellent field position for a drive capped by a 2-yard run by Evan Perron, with Briggs’ PAT, to make it 14-0 with 3:38 remaining in the half.

Milford’s Adam Hanlon recovered a fumble late in the half to set up Perron’s 5-yard touchdown and a 20-0 lead.

Laconia finally answered as, with 2:24 to go in the second quarter, a poised Matt Swormstedt led the Sachems down the field with the running of Senior Chris Frontiero (47 yards on 12 carries, one TD) and Steven Kemos (35 yards on eight carries) as well as passes to Chris Frontiero and Dylan Martel. The drive was completed in the last 24.7 seconds of the half when Swormstedt completed a 26-yard touchdown pass to Dylan Martel, with James Duggan’s PAT.

The third quarter was all the Sachems. Laconia opened with with two running plays before Jon Pelkey (94 on 12 carries) broke loose for a 47-yard touchdown run.

Just as the third quarter opened, the third quarter ended on a pass from Swormsted to Frontiero for an 81-yard catch-and-run, with a PAT from Dugan to give the Sachems the lead 21-20.

In the beginning of the fourth quarter the Spartans struck back when Banuskevich scored on a 10-yard touchdown run, but the two-point conversion was no good to make it 26-21 with 9:50 remaining.

On Milford’s next series, the Sachems defense made some big plays when Mitchell Bailey and Frontiero dropped Miles for a loss, just before Frontiero came up with an interception. The Sachems then put a solid drive together with the running of Pelkey and completions by Frontiero and Chassion. The drive ended on a 39-yard touchdown run by Chassion to give the Sachems a 27-26 lead with 1:37 remaining.

The Spartans’ Banuskevich and Miles then marched down the fields to ultimately score on Banuskevich’s 2-yard touchdown run and two-point conversion to give the Spartans the win.