Kearsarge head coach Zach Matthews brought his bag of tricks and a revamped defense into a big match up with the Bow Falcons. It's still early in the season but this game definitely had playoff implications.
The 1st quarter was played by both teams close to the vest. Neither team could get anything going on their first few possessions. The first big play of the game came on a 4th down and the ball on Bow's 32. Bow's long snapper sent the snap sailing over the outstretched hands of punter Jacy Parker. Parker almost made a miracle play by picking the ball up and barely missing a Bow receiver running free down the sideline.
Kearsarge started in great field position at the 32. After one 1sr down freshman kicker Justin Fernandez kicked a field goal from 37 yards out. Kearsarge strikes first 3-0. On the next play coach Matthews went to his bag of tricks and is successful with an onside kick recovered at the 49. Bow's defense who played well most of the game, held the Cougars to a three and out.
Bow got the ball back, and on the first play Casey Fessenden ran 45 yards carrying the ball deep into Kearsarge territory. This turned out to be Bow's longest play of the day. The Falcons moved the ball into field goal position and kicker Christian Robinson hits from 30 yards out tying the game at 3-3.
With teams now in the flow of the game Keasarge started their next drive by opening their playbook. Quarterback Peter Allen hit back-to-back pass completions. The first was a very nice reach over the back shoulder catch by Oliver Gallo (pictured above) covering 35 yards. Gallo continues to be one of the top backs in D-V, going for over 100 yards rushing on the day. The second pass was complete to speedster Parker Hansen, getting the ball down to the 7. Gallo finished off the drive with a 6 yard run for a touchdown. Kearsarge went to the intermission up 10-3.
The 2nd half was dominated by Kearsarge and their defense. Coach Matthews knew that Bow was a very tough team who liked to dominate the line of scrimmage. They use several backs and they keep the defense on their heels by pounding the ball at them.
Matthews made some adjustments this week trying to match up against the strength of Bow. He moved big 6'0'300 lbs. senior lineman Aaron Smith to nose tackle. He moved all state nose tackle Andrew St. Louis to defensive tackle. Along with 215 lbs. Cam Joseph at the other tackle Matthews now had the beef he needed to slow down Bow's running attack. Once Bow fell behind they were forced to throw the ball. Parker Hansen (the fastest player in the state) was moved from corner to weak side linebacker and was set free to use his speed rushing the blind side of the quarterback. Bow quarterback Connor Hughes was sacked and pressured several times holding Bow to less than 50 yards total offense in the second half. Kearsarge comes away with a hard fought 13-3 victory.
Division V is starting to take shape, as a very competitive, wide open division. St. Thomas is on top at 3-0 and 5 teams are 2-1. There is some really good football yet to be played.