Football: Concord hangs tough against defending champion Bedford in 16-0 loss

  • Concord defensive back Rylan Canabano (3) starts to bring down Bedford wide receiver Timothy Greene during the first quarter at Memorial Field on Friday night, September 13, 2019. Canabano forced a fumble on the play and the Tide recovered it, but the Bedford defense remained stout throughout the game as the Bulldogs won, 16-0. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Concord quarterback Ronan McGonigle tries to break outside on a run during the first half against Bedford at Memorial Field on Friday night, September 13, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Bedford wide receiver starts to celebrate as he crosses the goal line as Concord Dalton Barrett holds on during the first half at Memorial Field on Friday night, September 13, 2019. However, the touchdown was called back as Beford was called for a flag. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

  • Concord quarterback Ronan McGonigle gets gang tackled by Bedford defenders during the first half at Memorial Field on Friday night, September 13, 2019. GEOFF FORESTER—Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 9/13/2019 10:57:08 PM

Heading into Friday night’s Division I North football contest under the lights at Memorial Field, most fans would’ve expected a blowout, but that isn’t what the Concord High football team had in mind.

The Tide played tough against the defending Division I champions from Bedford, holding the Bulldogs scoreless in two quarters, but couldn’t find the end zone in a 16-0 loss.

A Bedford fumble and a long touchdown pass called back kept the game scoreless through the first quarter, but a safety by the Bulldogs (2-0) on the field play of the second quarter, followed by a 10-yard touchdown pass from Joe Mikol to Aaron Skaling with 10:14 remaining in the first half gave the Bulldogs a 9-0 lead.

That score held at halftime, but a 9-0 deficit was far better than the 34-0 halftime hole the Tide found itself in last week in a 48-6 loss on the road at Londonderry.

“I’m really pleased with how we bounced back from last week,” Concord head coach Eric Brown said. “It was a great overall effort on the defense’s part. I think we were overwhelmed last week for some reason. We had some of our injured players back this week which helped, and we had a great week at practice ... I’m proud of the coaching staff. They had the kids prepared this week and the kids responded.”

The feat is especially impressive against a Bedford squad that rolled to a 41-7 victory over Windham last week.

“I found the kids started believing in themselves tonight,” Brown said.

Concord held the Bulldogs scoreless again in the third quarter, but a 2-yard touchdown run by Solomon Sanchez with 9:37 left in the fourth quarter sealed Bedford’s victory.

“We moved the ball pretty well at times (offensively),” Brown said. “We had some penalties, bad snaps, we just couldn’t put it together. We did a lot of things well that we didn’t do last week. If we can just keep improving on that we’ll be in good shape.”

Ronan McGonigle had a strong two-way game for Concord as the team’s quarterback and linebacker, while Augustin Twite played a strong game on the defensive side of the ball.

“(McGonigle) is a warrior,” Brown said. “He didn’t leave the field. He’s an iron man.”

Concord will play under the lights again next week when they travel to Salem (1-0) on Sept. 20, while the Bulldogs (currently in first place in the Division I North standings) will play at Goffstown (1-0).

Bow 48, Kingswood 0

The Falcons (2-0) maintained their strong start to the season, upending the Kingswood Knights (0-2) in Wolfeboro in a 48-0 rout.

Andrew Robbins opened the game with a 2-yard touchdown run, Cooper Larrabee caught a 20-yard touchdown pass from Sebastian Beaulieu and Robbins connected on both PATs to give the Falcons an early 14-0 lead.

Robbins’s 3-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter and a pair of scores from Steven Guerrette – a 35-yard pass from Beaulieu and a 5-yard run with less than two minutes to go in the half – gave Bow 35-0 halftime lead.

With the game sent into running time, the Falcon defense got in on the action as well, with Andrew Bliss returning an interception 53 yards for a touchdown.

“Solid victory all around,” Bow head coach Paul Cohen said. “The defense was strong getting the shutout and scoring a touchdown on the interception was nice.”

Ethan Krueger’s 20-yard run in the fourth quarter rounded out Bow’s scoring.

Robbins connected on six of seven PATs.

“I told the kids this week that I was going to do everything possible to win this game in honor of those who died in 9/11 and the kids responded,” Cohen said.

The Falcons host John Stark (1-0) next week on Sept. 21.

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