One week left to go for Milford, Souhegan football

MILFORD – There was little room for error for the Milford High School football team Friday night against Windham.

Unfortunately for the Spartans, one came at the worst possible time.

Milford took the opening kickoff, and on 14 plays, moved down to the Windham 4-yard line, only to lose a fumble at the Jaguars’ 3. Windham needed just two plays to go 97 yards to the end zone and things snowballed from there for the Spartans, as they fell 41-0 in a Division II South Conference game.

Windham (7-0) had the ball for just 23 seconds in the first quarter, ran only 11 plays in the first half and had just four first downs, but led 21-0 at the break and had outgained Milford (4-3) 244-187, even though the Spartans ran 43 plays and had 13 first downs.

“We were getting off the ball and running tough and running hard,” Milford coach Keith Jones said of the first half. “We were executing everything we had attempted to do and everything we had worked on.

“They can’t score if they don’t have the football, so the plan was 15-play drives that eat up large chunks of time.”

Milford did that in the first quarter, but a fumble by Jahir Romney at the end of the opening drive kept the Spartans out of the end zone. After a 20-yard pass play from Brendan McInnis to Matt Shea, Shane Lafond ran 77 yards for a touchdown that made it 6-0 with 4:59 left in the quarter.

“We know they have talent on that team,” Windham coach Bill Raycraft said. “(Jones) throws everything at you, so our initial plan was bend but don’t break and try to create a turnover. It took us until the very end to get it. That was almost too much of a bend.”

Windham’s defense made a stop on the next Milford drive, Shea scored on an 8-yard run and the Jaguars converted the two-point conversion to go up 14-0 with 8:48 remaining in the first half.

Milford answered with a nine-play drive that used up over four minutes, but the Spartans turned the ball over on downs at the 2-yard line. A hold on the first play pushed Windham back to the 1, but McInnis hit Anthony Gallo with a pass that the senior took 99 yards for a score and a 21-0 lead.

Again the Spartans put a drive together, moving down to the Windham 12 before time ran out in the half.

“In order to have a chance, we knew we had to match them touchdown for touchdown and we were hoping we’d be in it at the end, kind of the last guy with the ball,” Jones said. “Starting off the game going right down and then fumbling, that hurt. Coming back and getting stopped on the goal line … all those things, if you’re going to beat a good football team, you can’t do that.”

Windham got in the end zone on its first six possessions – three touchdowns in each half – and led 41-0 with 5:39 left in the third quarter.

McInnis finished 5 of 6 passing for 166 yards and two touchdowns, while Shea, Lafond, Kellin Bail and Kurtis Jolicoeur each ran for a score.

Bryce Walker led Milford with 45 yards on eight carries while Mark Madigan added 43 yards on 14 rushes. The Spartans end the regular season on Oct. 31 at Manchester West.