Turnovers plague SHS in road loss
Souhegan falls 31-12 to defending champs
DOVER – After a grueling Saturday afternoon battle on the Seacoast, the Souhegan High football at least has learned how far it has to go.
Defending state Division II champ St. Thomas made that statement effectively, running through the Sabers, 31-12.
St. Thomas moves to 3-0, and Souhegan 1-2, and the split between the two was evident.
But Sabers coach Mike Lochman is banking on things to tighten up in the coming weeks.
"You can point to the turnovers as a deflation point, but the fact is we got physically handled," said Lochman. "They were just better than us. There’s not much more to it.”
Much of Souhegan’s damage was self-inflicted with the Sabers turning it over six times.
"We might have been a little too hyped up at the beginning of the game. I’m not sure with the number of juniors we’re playing that we just didn’t get too excited," added Lochman. "Once things started rolling bad, it went bad for a while."
St. Thomas did run the football effectively, with 145 yards on 39 carries, but the way the Sabers stood strong over the final 20:41 was reason for optimism.
"I was proud of that late stand we made down here," said Lochman, whose club allowed zero rushing yards in 15 tries to the Saints, bringing them to a grinding halt after Peter Lampesis’ 51-yard YD dash early in the third made it 31-6.
Offensively, though, the turnovers were a crusher for the Sabers.
Starting QB Palmer Belowski oozed toughness in the pocket. The junior took a pounding, actually second quarter, only to reinjuring his knee in the turn in the third and lead the club. Under duress, he hit 4 of 8 passes for 27 yards.
He was replaced in the second and fourth by Andersen Geffrard, who showed a spark late, torching the Saints with a 45-yard TD bomb to Nick Bryan in the final minute.
The Saints did a nice job corralling Souhegan big-play man Dante Savo. Savo, yet another of the potential junior stars on this Saber roster, flashed his brilliance with a 68- yard kick return to open the second half, setting up his own 3-yard TD plunge.
Savo ran 14 times for 72 yards on the day, and rugged backfield mate Tucker Aiello bashed his way for 48 more yards on seven tries. Aiello also backboned the spirited defensive effort in the second half.
"Tucker Aiello had a great game, I thought the defense played well late, too," Lochman said.
"You have to credit them. They kicked our butts inside today. We have a lot more growing to do. If we continue to do what we’re doing in practice, we’re going to continue improving."
Souhegan will host 3-0 Windham on Friday.