Kearsarge football blows out Stevens, gets home playoff game
The Kearsarge football team needed a win to ensure a home game in the first round of the Division V playoffs. What the Cougars got was a blowout.
Senior Oliver Gallo scored three first-half touchdowns and finished with 138 total yards as Kearsarge (7-1) rolled to a 37-16 win over Stevens in Claremont. The Cougars will now host a semifinal game next week against No. 3 Monadnock, a team they beat 21-7 in North Sutton just last week. Stevens (5-3) will be the fourth seed and face Somersworth (7-1) in the other semifinal. The Hilltoppers earned the top seed by virtue of their 23-14 win over Kearsarge on Sept. 7.
Gallo, who had 86 yards rushing (all in the first half) and 52 yards receiving, opened the scoring with 7:31 left in the first quarter on a 4-yard touchdown run. After the Kearsarge defense forced the Cardinals into a pair of three-and-outs, Jordan Barthol made it 14-0 with a 5-yard scoring run.
Gallo was back at it early in the second quarter, this time finding the end zone from 36 yards out with 9:53 left in the second. Senior quarterback Peter Allen got into the act next, scoring on a 16-yard run with 2:19 to play in the half.
The Cougar defense then forced yet another quick punt, giving the offense the ball back with 1:11 left on the clock. That was plenty of time for Allen, who directed a five-play drive that ended with a 47-yard touchdown pass to Gallo and a 34-0 halftime lead.
Stevens finally got on the board with 16 seconds left in the third quarter on a 22-yard touchdown run from Billy Brooks. The ensuing kickoff was misplayed by Kearsarge and resulted in a safety. Stevens then took the free kick and drove for its second touchdown, a 1-yard run from Chris Shattuck that made it 34-16 with 6:42 left.
Kearsarge’s Justin Fernandez added a 22-yard field goal with 1:00 left to complete the scoring.
The Cougars picked off three passes - one each by Alex Wesoja, Troy Davis and Hugh Ramirez.
Alvirne 21, Pembroke 13
After tying the Broncos 7-7 in the third quarter, the Spartans (3-5) committed major penalties and key mistakes and Alvirne (3-5) capitalized.
On the second play of the third quarter, Pembroke’s Vinny Dustin threw a 65-yard touchdown pass to Adam Gelinas to knot the game 7-7. In the fourth quarter, Pembroke forced Alvirne into a fourth-and-7 but committed a personal foul for 15 yards, giving the Broncos a chance in the red zone that led to a touchdown and a 14-7 lead.
After the setback, Gus Connolly responded by returning the kickoff 75 yards for a touchdown, but the play was called back, again due to a personal foul.
“We’ve had a competitive season, but these personal fouls have severely hurt the team all season long,” Coach Brian Gridley said.
Pembroke’s trouble continued in the fourth quarter when it lost two fumbles (Alvirne converted on the second mishandle for a 30-yard TD).
Pembroke managed to make it a one-score game with a 30-yard TD pass from Chris Cushing to Nicholas Francois.
The Spartans take on Con-Val in their regular-season finale Friday night at home.