Saturday, November 13, 2010

Portsmouth Blows Out Milford in D-III Semis

Portsmouth walloped Milford 51-3 Friday night in the Division III semi-finals at Tom Daubney Field in Portsmouth. Clippers QB Quinn McCann threw 3 touchdown passes in the win. It was running time for virtually the entire 2nd half. Portsmouth advances to the D-III title game where they will play the winner of Saturday afternoon's game between Souhegan and Hollis-Brookline.

Not a whole lot more you can say about this game. But I say it here in the game recap.

Complete Domination by Portsmouth
t was big play after big play offensively for the Clippers. They beat Milford 40-0 in the first meeting between the 2 teams, and 51-3 this time. Milford had a solid regular season to finish as the #3 seed in D-III, but this wasn't their best game by any stretch, and it was also a tough match-up for them. Portsmouth has a lot of speed, and they spread the field and throw the ball down field.

"We didn't match-up with them well athletically" lamented Milford coach Keith Jones. "We played them man coverage, because I thought our only chance was to get a good pass rush on the QB. But I doubt the result would have been any different if we went zone."

In the first minute of play Portsmouth QB Quinn McCann threw it deep to senior wideout Aidan O'Leary for a 66 yard touchdown pass. After some nice defense by the Clippers John O'Keefe a Milford punt was partially blocked by sophomore Dylan Crosby. Portsmouth took over on the Milford 47 yard line. Then Milford RB/B John Forte intercepted a McCann pass (one of the VERY few plays that did go the Spartan's way). But that was soon followed up by a very sloppy play by Milford. They attempted to punt the ball from the back of their own end zone, and the snap sailed over head of punter Bud Theriault and out of bounds for a safety. Portsmouth now led 10-0 with 7:19 to play in the 1st quarter.

Off the safety, Milford punted it to Portsmouth. Then Clippers running back Bill Lane ran it 58 yards for the score and it was 17-0.

Forte then had a 64 yard kickoff return, running it all the way to the Portsmouth 20 yard line (earlier Max Goudreau had a 30 yard kick return for Milford). After some nice tackling by sophomore lineman Rick Holt and senior linebacker Christian DiCesare, Forte took the hand-off and was leveled by Holt on a huge hit right in the middle of the field. Play was then stopped for about a half hour, as Forte was being attended to on the field by the medical staff. He was then taken off on a stretcher and brought to the hospital (the game started at 7:00, but the 1st quarter didn't end until 8:06).

"He suffered a concussion" explained Coach Jones. And then right after that we lost our other back Max Goudreau for the rest of the game too."

Senior Mark Hamilton ten drilled a 24 yard field goal for the only Spartan points of the game and it was 17-3 Portsmouth.

Milford then went for an onside kick, but it was recovered by Portsmouth at midfield. After a few penalties on both sides and a few big plays offensively by the Clippers, the drive ended with a 10 yard TD pass from McCann to DiCesare.

Soon thereafter, McCann again found O'Leary for a touchdown, this time from 11 yards out. The play was set up by a 49 yard run by Lane, who rushed for 127 yards on just 4 carries. He also caught 2 passes for 17 yards. O'Leary's TD catch made it 31-3 Portsmouth, and there was still 10:22 left in the 1st half. McCann then had a 2 yard TD run, and it was 37-3 Portsmouth.

Milford then faked a punt on 4th down and passed it down field. But the pass from Theriault fell incomplete and Portsmouth took over on the Milford 30. After a nice tackle by Spartans sophomore lineman Brett Stagnone, McCann fumbled the ball, and it was recovered by Milford senior lineman Alex Michaud. Milford struggled offensively though with both of their key backs injured. Portsmouth lineman Ryan Tripp made a nice hit (as did did DB Sam Marousek earlier) and it was 37-3 Portsmouth at the half.

Portsmouth got a quick score to start the 2nd half, and from that point on it was running time and the starters were out. McCann made a 27 yard TD pass (his 3rd of the game and 4th TD of the game overall) to Marousek and it was 44-3 Clippers with 9:10 left in the 3rd quarter.

Portsmouth added one final score late in the game with their starters out. Backup QB Billy Hartmann found sophomore jack Mackey for a 14 yard touchdown to make it 51-3 Portsmouth with 2:03 left in the 3rd quarter.

Portsmouth vs. Souhegan for 3rd Straight Year?
Portsmouth advances to the Division III title game where the will play the winner of Saturday's game between Souhegan and Hollis-Brookline. Hollis has had a nice season, but most everyone will be shocked if the Sabers don't prevail. If it happens, it would be Souhegan vs. Portsmouth in the D-III title game for the 3rd straight season. Portsmouth has lost the last 2 years, is this the year they finally overtake their nemesis from Amherst?

"Portsmouth played them tough the first time" said Milford's Coach Jones. "They both match-up well athlete-for-athlete. I think it's going to be a great tilt."

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