Sabers cruise past Manchester West

Souhegan erupts during 49-6 win over Knights

AMHERST – Souhegan High School’s football team has had a rough go of it over the last few weeks. With a potential four-game losing streak looming, coach Mike Lochman and his squad understood the need for a victory over the winless Man­chester West Blue Knights.

Come up big the Sabers did. After having scored only 33 points over their past three games, they managed to score nearly 50 in the first half, cruis­ing to a 49-6 win.

The Sabers earned a convinc­ing victory over Trinity in early September, but they followed that up with three straight loss­es to St. Thomas, Windham, and Milford. Lochman was counting on his team to step up.

"We’ve been in a world of hurt the past couple of weeks, and we wanted to come out and play well," the coach said. "We told our guys that they had to take this opportunity to come out and get something positive going."

The Sabers got that "some­thing positive going" on the first play of the game. West fumbled the opening kickoff, and Souhe­gan scored five plays later on a Palmer Belowski touchdown run. The Blue Knights fol­lowed with a three-and-out, and Souhegan scored again mo­ments later on a 40-yard touch­down pass from Andersen Gef­frard to David Labonte.

The Sabers defense contin­ued to dominate throughout the first quarter, allowing only 17 yards during the frame. The offense, meanwhile, found the end zone twice more in the first quarter. Dante Savo broke mul­tiple tackles on his way to a 59- yard touchdown run, while Tucker Aiello ran for a 50- yard touchdown to give his team a 28-point lead. yard touchdown run, while

It was more of the same in the second quarter. On the first play of the frame, Belowski returned an in­terception 12 yards to extend the Saber’s lead to 35. Souhegan’s Jacob Grassett came up with an interception on West’s next drive, setting up a 30-yard touchdown run by John Mastergeorge. Souhegan scored once more before the end of the half, as Grassett ran the ball 21-yards for the Sabers seventh touch­down of the game.

Overall, the Sabers rushed for 256 yards on the day, with six different offensive weapons find­ing the end zone.

"We’re happy we got those guys their opportu­nity to shine," said Loch­man. "It was our intent to feature different guys and see what they could do, and it paid off."

Savo ultimately led the game with 76 yards rush­ing, while Aiello chipped in another 54. Geffrard finished with a pair of completions for 43 yards and a score.

The Blue Knights fi­nally found the end zone early in the fourth quar­ter. Following a 12-min­ute drive, quarterback Mac Maheux connected with Richard Pow on a 14-yard touchdown. The Sabers pounded the ball on their lone drive of the second half, compiling 34 yards on the ground.

The victory improves the Sabers record to 2-3, which should put the team in the thick of the playoff hunt in Division II. How­ever, you’re unlikely to see Lochman browsing through the standings.

"A win is the best medicine you can get for a tough start," he said. "That’s what we’ve been telling them. I told them to ignore the standings, work week to week, and focus on getting wins. They responded to that."