HB pulls away from Souhegan in finale
Sabers finish season with 3-6 record
AMHERST – At halftime, it seemed the Sabers were ready to play the role of spoilers.
Hollis Brookline took care of business over the final 24 minutes, though, and pulled away for a 55-21 victory over Souhegan in a Division II clash at Calvetti Family Field in Amherst.
Souhegan coach Mike Lochman was proud of the way his team, which was tied at the break Friday, handled adversity throughout the season.
"That’s been the joy of coaching this team all year," Lochman said. "Even though we’ve been up and down, these guys always came back on Monday with a rejuvenated energy and a complete new focus and were ready to go.
"That was the pleasure of coaching these guys this year," he added. "Regardless of what happened on Friday or Saturday, we came back at it every week. Our plan was to win regardless of who it was. I’ve coached teams where that hasn’t been the case in the past. That’s something special we can take away."
The victory eventually lifted the Cavaliers (7-2) into the Division II quarterfinals, where No. 1 Windham awaits. The Cavs’ playoff spot wasn’t guaranteed until the undefeated Jaguars held off ConVal 62-45 on Saturday.
"Playoffs two out of three years and the senior group finally go to beat Souhegan," Hollis Brookline coach Chris Lones said. "Doing it here is a beautiful thing."
Joey Delaney, a junior, completed 11 of 18 passes for 257 yards and four touchdowns on Friday. His older brother, senior Brian Delaney, had three catches for 77 yards and two scores.
"We’ve had this chemistry for our whole entire lives, so to put it together on the field means so much," Joey Delaney said.
"I know where he’s going to throw the ball and he knows where I’m going to be," Brian Delaney added.
Matt Simco had four receptions for 73 yards and a TD, while Jack Byrne led the HB rushing attack with 120 yards and two touchdowns on 11 carries.
The game was knotted at 21 after the first half and Souhegan started the third quarter with the ball. However, a low snap on fourth down turned into a
hurried and short punt, which landed in hands of HB lineman Garrett Moloney. The junior captain rumbled 38 yards for an unlikely return touchdown. It was the first of five unanswered second-half scores.
"Our team is full of heart," Brian Delaney said. "It was getting scary when it was 21-21, but we pulled through and that’s what we’re going to keep doing. We’re never going to give up."
The Cavs made it a two-score game on a 10-yard touchdown pass from Delaney to Derek Davidson with 3:05 left in the third. Following a Brian Delaney interception, Byrne raced 49 yards on the next play to make it 42-21 with 11:11 remaining.
Ryan Clark, who had two sacks and two fumble recoveries, scored on a 3-yard plunge and Byrne capped the scoring with a 7-yard jaunt with 4:05 left.
Dante Savo led the Sabers with 164 rushing yards on 16 carries, but left the game on Souhegan’s second possession of the third quarter following an injury.
"If any team loses a guy like Dante, they’re going to struggle to replace that," Lochman said. "It takes not only a physical toll, but an emotional toll. As much as you try to guard against that, I think there was some element to that."
Andersen Geffrard threw a touchdown toFinley Morgan for Souhegan (3-6), while Tucker Aiello churned out 104 rushing yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries in his final high school game.
"We’re going to miss these seniors terribly. Even though it’s a small senior class, every one of those guys has been productive for us," Lochman said. "Our guys never backed down from a challenge and it was an absolute pleasure to work with them."