Winnisquam Regional High School football sees season end with loss to Mascoma
TILTON – Seeing a season come to an end is tough enough. Missed opportunities make it harder. And the Winnisquam Regional football team had its chances.
The Bears never had the lead in yesterday’s game against Mascoma, but the door was open for them to take control. Twice, Winnisquam brought the ball into the red zone in the third quarter. Twice, they came up empty. Against a team now headed to the Division VI playoffs, it was a turn of events that the Bears just couldn’t afford.
Mascoma took control early and finished strong to win the pivotal game, 24-6, punching its tournament ticket and sending the Bears, who had to win to stay in the hunt, home for the season.
“They left it all out there on the field,” said Coach Pat Riberdy, whose team finished up at 5-4. “They played with heart and soul, and as a coach, you can’t ask for more than that. They gave it every play, no one took a play off today.”
It was the second straight loss for the Bears, and like last weekend against Bishop Brady, they fell behind early, trailing 16-0 just over seven minutes into the game. But the Winnisquam defense stiffened, keeping the Royals (7-2) off the board the next two quarters, and in the third, the Bears were poised to jump back into the game.
With a 16-6 deficit, the Bears drove 49 yards on the first possession of the second half, setting themselves up with a 1st-and-goal at the Mascoma 10. A block in the back penalty pushed them back 15 yards, however, and Justin Marsh picked off Parker Normand’s 2nd-down pass to end the series.
The Royals stalled on the ensuing possession, and had to punt from their own endzone and give the Bears the ball at the Mascoma 22. The Royals defense had the solution again, however, dropping Winnisquam back nine yards in three plays and forcing the Bears to turn the ball over on downs just before the end of the third.
A quarter remained, but the Bears had seen their chance go by. Mascoma salted the game away on the ensuing possession, driving 69 yards and capping it off on Kyle Kosiorek’s 10-yard touchdown run with 7:28 to go.
“We had the good field position and we were hoping if we could get a score in that, that could have been a huge turning point,” Riberdy said. “We just came up short.”
Mascoma scored on its first two drives of the game, using an up-tempo rushing attack to go 64 yards and 37 yards, respectively. Kosiorek scored the first touchdown on a 19-yard run, and Mike Seiffert went 1 yard for the second score.
The Bears found their rhythm offensively on the next series, going 65 yards and finishing it off with Normand’s 22-yard touchdown pass to Andrew Serrano on 4th-and-3.