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."