Souhegan runs wild over Bow in playoff win

BOW – For the second straight week, the Bow High School football team manhandled Souhegan up front … For one quarter.

The result in Saturday’s Division II state quarterfinal painfully familiar for the No. 4 Falcons, who like a week ago in the regular season finale, were dominated by the fifth-seeded Sabers, 34-13.

Souhegan is now one of just four teams left still playing football in Division II. Saturday at 1 p.m., the Sabers will travel to top seeded and unbeaten Plymouth.

“Love it!” said senior two-way lineman Vincent Bowman. “We got caught off guard a little bit early, but we came together. We brought the juice. We brought the energy. We just played a great all-around game.

Bow held the ball for over six minutes, grabbing the 7-0 advantage early when Thomas MacEachorn at least a half dozen Sabers along for the rise in from the 10.

“They did that last week,” said Souhegan coach Robin Bowkett. “We made some minor adjustments, but our kids, after last week (Souhegan’s 39-21 win) were just like, let’s do it again.”

Souhegan simply kept grinding amid the adversity. The Sabers were rewarded, too.

Steven Pariselli scooped up a Bow fumble at the Falcons’ 32, and Souhegan made them pay immediately when John Lohnes lofted the first of his two touchdown passes to

Aidan Casey.

Forcing a punt on the next series, it was again the big play, this time an 80-yard TD dash from Tyler Hall, making it 12-6 Sabers, early in the

second.

“I was surprised I got through, it was a little tight in there,” said Hall. “I broke out of the hole, and I was like, ‘I gotta go, and I gotta go really fast.’ I’ve never had a run like that. It was just amazing.”

Turnovers ultimately settled this one. Bow would lose a total of four fumbles on the day with Pariselli, Bowman and Riley Lawhorn all coming up with recoveries.

“Anytime you go plus four in turnover margin, there’s go to be a 99 percent chance to win,” said Bowkett. “Our defense did a great job of getting the offense the ball in terrific field position.”

The advantage went to 27-7 by the half as Lohnes hit Trey Johnson on a 17-yard TD, then added a 1-yard TD plunge of his own.

Bow had one final gasp, closing to 27-13 earlier in the third on Steven Guerrette’s 13-yard TD run, but the Souhegan defense stiffened again. Then Lohnes broke the Falcons’ will, first with a clutch 34-yard screen hookup with Hall, then a pair of 15-yard freeze-option runs and finally a two-yard TD burst to put it away.

“Having last week under their belt, the kids just felt better prepared,” said Bowkett, whose club improved to 7-3.

Lohnes finished his day at 10 of 20 for 200 yards passing, adding another 51 yards on seven carries. Hall carried 10 times for 112 yards plus the big catch-and-run. Luke Manning hauled in five passes for 74 yards, and Johnson finished with three for 60.

He might be the best-kept secret in Division II but halfback Hall continues to tear up defenses in the Saber running game.

The senior put up his fourth 100-yard rushing game of the year on Saturday in the weird, first-rain, then-sun, then-rain, then windy conditions in the mud up at Bow.

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