Bedford crushes Nashua South

Just when Nashua High School South’s sideline thought it had flipped the script on Bedford, the Bulldogs took a big bite out of that plan on their way to a 69-27 rout of the Panthers at Stellos Stadium on Friday night.

Trailing 21-0 after the first quarter, South found its way back within one score – on a Myles Johnson 29-yard touchdown run and Jason Fox 29-yard touchdown reception from the arm of Sean Holland – fell behind again by two scores and charged back to within one – on an 65-yard Holland to Zavier Williams TD pass – all in a matter of 8 minutes.

That’s when Bedford took momentum back for good on a Shahrukh Hussain 60-yard interception return for a touchdown with 11.3 seconds remaining in the first half and never looked back.

"It looked like we were a little shellshocked," South coach Scott Knight said. "But we got a couple stops and a couple scores and it looked like we were getting back in it."

Bedford quarterback Connor Robert took over in the third quarter with touchdown runs of 62 and 80 yards, and a TD pass of 20 yards to Colby Smith. Robert finished with 158 rushing yards and the two scores, while connecting on 5 of 11 passes for 139 yards, three touchdowns and one interception.

Overall, Bedford (619 yards) and South (419 yards) combined for 1,038 yards off total offense.

Nicholas Leahy led the Bulldogs on the ground with 14 carries for 103 yards and a touchdown, while also chipping in downfield with one catch for 45 yards and a score.

Holland was 12 of 22 for 204 yards passing and a pair of touchdowns, including the deep ball to Williams, who finished with four catches for 110 yards and that 65-yard touchdown. Williams also scored on a 2-point conversion pass from holder Ryan Penkala following that bomb.

The final Panthers touchdown of the night came with 1:03 remaining as Derek Downing was on the receiving end of a quick pass from Joseph Bernard and took it 80 yards to paydirt.

Robert was in on the first touchdown of the game, connecting with receiver Colby Smith on a 46-yard pass for a 7-0 lead. The Bulldogs (2-0) would go up 21-0 after one quarter of play before the Panthers (1-1) found the end zone.

"We’ve just been coming out every week as a team and working hard," Robert said. "The offensive line is doing a great job. We just work hard at getting better."

Robert put the game away in the third quarter, running for a 62-yard score on the first play from scrimmage – just 13 seconds into the second half – then 19 seconds later turned a fumble by the Panthers on the ensuing kickoff into another score when he found Smith again, this time from 20 yards out. Three minutes later, Robert finished his night with an 80-yard touchdown run that slammed the door shut on any hopes of a South comeback and started the running clock.

"It was a one-score game when they got that pick-six," said Knight about heading into the second half. "They score on the first play and then we fumble the kickoff. You can’t do that with a good team."

Bedford goes for the Gate City sweep at 7 p.m. Saturday, when the Bulldogs return to Stellos Stadium to face Bishop Guertin (1-1).