By: Ross Laorenza
(Somersworth, N.H.)--- Monadnock Regional High School has won the Division V football championship; the first in their program’s history. Led by Coach Linwood Patnode the Huskies earned a hard-fought, 9-0 victory over the #1 seeded Somersworth Hilltoppers. Saturday afternoon.
Monadnock was able to capitalize on an early turnover by Somersworth. Junior defensive back, (#42) Mason LaClair intercepted a pass on the near side line, for a huge swing in momentum. He and the rest of the Husky D, set the tone early.
On the ensuing offensive series, junior running back Drew “the Bull” Bolewski (#44) scored the game’s first and only touchdown.
The extra point was blocked by senior defensive end Darren Glore #5, so the score remained 6-0 with just over 8 minutes to go in the first quarter. Monadnock added a field goal by (#20 senior Trevor Goquen to make it a 9-0 lead at the half.
Armed with empty milk jugs, filled with beans and mini cowbells, the Husky faithful brought the noise from the sideline, and their linebackers brought the heat on the field. Seniors Zach Jarvis (#3), Nick Patterson (#55) and DJ Lotitio (#48) had key sacks that kept the Hilltoppers off the scoreboard.
I spoke with Nick’s father, Assistant Coach Steve Patterson, after the game. “It’s been a long road,” he said in reference to the journey of the Monadnock Regional program and their team. 17 seniors were on the field Saturday for the Huskies, and seven of them started playing in the Monadnock Youth program.
The Husky offense was led by quarterback Will Kitterman (#12). He had this to say on the field after the game, “I’ve never been prouder in my life. I’ve never been happier in my life.”
Spoken like a true leader. When I asked Will who he would give his game ball to, he told me that the ball was going back and being placed in the school’s trophy case. I can think of no better way to honor a team achievement.
The Husky cheerleaders had a lot to be happy about. Last weekend their team won the Division III cheer leading competition. Seniors Kendall Barnett, Olivia Barlow and Emma Therrien were all sporting Monadnock home football jerseys as the cheered from the side line.
Monadnock also came fully equipped with a fifteen piece pep band. Senior Drum Major Kitty Tolman conducted while members of the MRHS band played tunes like “The Hey Song,” and a current hit by Lady Gaga that kept the sideline motivated all throughout the game.
The boys from Somersworth did not go quietly and put up a tremendous effort. Senior, Captain Tyler Kretschmar (#50) made amazing plays on both sides of the ball, including a tackle for loss that forced a punt early in the second half.
Senior quarterback (#3) Drew Francouer, made some good plays with the legs and arm to try and keep the Hilltoppers in the game. With less than five minutes to go in the game and with his team still down 9-0, Francouer took four shots at the end zone to try to pull within a field goal.
Senior tight end Curtis Michaud (#14) had two straight passes land just out of his reach as he dove in the end zone. Kevin Clougherty (#23), fellow senior and tight end also had one ball land just out of reach.
On fourth down and needing points to stay in the game, Francouer threw a pass down the near sideline to Darren Glore. While looking back for the pass, Glore slipped in the muddy endzone and the pass fell incomplete.
Darren had a great game on special teams, however. In addition to his first half extra point block, he also helped block a punt in the second half that gave the Hilltoppers great field position.
Senior running-back, Josh Ream (#27) was fed the ball consistently in the first half to try and wear down the Husky defense.
I stood between both teams on the field after the game to reflect on the match up. To my left, devastation and sadness covered the faces on the boys in blue as the tears began to flow. To my right, jubilation and pride, for a goal finally accomplished.
Both teams and were congratulated for their efforts in front of family, friends and on-lookers at center field. I can think of no better way to end a successful sports season. Win or lose: You will always remember the pride of your hometown heroes.
From Memorial Field in Somersworth, New Hampshire: Ross Laorenza, New Hampshire Notebook. November 10th, 2012.
Stars of the Game:
1. #44 Drew “the Bull” Bolewski RB-Monadnock
2. #12 Will Kitterman QB-Monadnock
3. #42 Mason LaClair DB-Monadnock
4. #55, #3, #48, Nick Patterson, Zach Jarvis, D J Lotitio LBs-Monadnock
5. #20 Trevor Goquen K-Monadnock
Usually there are only three stars rewarded, but I felt all of these players are deserving of recognition. Congrats to both teams on an excellent game. -RML orecognition. Congrats to both teams on an excellent game. -RML