They played the first 9 minutes of the game on Friday night, then played the rest of it on Saturday night (postponed due to lightning). And when it was all said and done Souhegan was simply the better all-around football team, and they defeated Manchester Central 35-28.
Even though Souhegan is a Division III team and Central is D-I, it would be a stretch to call the Sabers' win an upset. Still, it is a big win for them because last year when these 2 teams met Central won 42-0. That is a pretty big turnaround from one season to the next. As a result, the Souhegan coaches and players were ecstatic after the game.
"This was a big statement win for us" said Souhegan lineman and UNH recruit Jake Kennedy. "We've been dealing with adversity all year. But we always come out ready to play no matter what."
Souhegan was led by Kennedy, Tyler Ford and Brandon Len, who are also the best players on the school's basketball team. They have the best football team in the division and they'll be one of the D-II favorites this winter in basketball.
Kennedy is the best lineman in the state. Ford is a natural WR but on this team he's needed to play QB so he does. Ford also plays DB, does the punting and returns kicks. Len is a standout WR and DB. He's an all-state caliber player on both sides of the ball, which is pretty impressive considering this is the first season he's played football since 8th grade.
"This game was about Tyler Ford making plays" said Souhegan head coach Mike Beliveau. "He does it all for us. Tyler did everything except drive the bus tonight. That punt he had was about 75 yards."
For the majority of the game these were 2 evenly matched teams who kept trading touchdowns. But in the 4th quarter when it mattered most and the game was on the line Souhegan made more plays.
Th Sabers scored what would turn out to be the game winning touchdown on a 1 yard TD run by Ford. That play was set up by a 38 yard run by Ford. It was the second rushing TD of the game for Ford, and gave Souhegan a 35-28 lead with 7:15 left in the 4th quarter.
Central had 3 more possessions after that, but failed to score on all 3. Central QB Riley Cote ended up with with 159 passing yards on 17/34 completions. And Little Green RB David Weekly had 171 rushing yards and 3 TD's on just 10 carries.
Central's top WR Troy Pelletier had 4 catches for 69 yards, including an amazing diving catch that went for 43 yards in the 2nd quarter. That set up a 9 yard TD run by junior RB/DB Hector Velez.
However from that point on Ford did a great job of covering Pelletier and not letting him get open.