Football: Merrimack Valley picks up first win of the season on homecoming weekend over Bow


Monitor staff

Published: 10-01-2023 12:13 AM

The Pride were hoping to have more wins entering Saturday’s homecoming game, but this win was a sweet one that the Merrimack Valley players won’t soon forget.

Junior defensive end Michael Heine had 15 tackles, including a stop on Bow’s two-point conversion late in the game that would’ve lifted the Falcons (2-3) to the victory, and senior quarterback Brayden Hussey connected with junior Reece Clermont for a 48-yard touchdown pass as MV (1-4) picked up its first win of the season – and its first victory in program history over Bow – 7-6.

Clermont’s TD gave MV a 7-0 lead at the end of the first quarter and that was all the scoring there would be until Bow junior quarterback Brady Lover threw to senior tight end Ryan McCabe for a 15-yard score with 1:15 remaining in the game.

The Falcons, well known for establishing a strong ground game, were held in check by the Pride, thanks to Heine and junior middle linebacker Colby Sheffer, who tackled the rare runner who was able to get past Heine.

“Heine, I don’t know if he ate his Wheaties today, but he was tough to get by,” MV head coach Matt Shaw said. “If Michael wasn’t making the tackle, (Colby) was right there. We did a really nice job in the middle. When (Bow) tried to stretch the plays, (MV) pursued to the ball. Credit to our defensive line, from end to end, they played really well.”

Hussey and Sheffer had strong two-way games and helped keep key MV drives alive and Bow off the field. Sheffer, playing fullback, converted on a third and long in the fourth quarter, while the Pride converted on three of four fourth downs.

“It’s important for us to keep the run game going forward and try to keep a healthy balance between run and pass,” Shaw said. “Offensively where we are trying to get more points on the board. … We’re looking forward to building off of this and hopefully keeping the momentum going into the second half of the season.”

Momentum is no longer on Bow’s side, with Saturday’s loss in Penacook snapping a two-game win streak.

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“A tough loss to close the month,” Falcons head coach Paul Cohen said. “(A) see saw battle for the duration, but disappointing at the close. Still, I am proud of the way the team persevered throughout.”

MV will next play at Manchester West on Friday at 7 p.m., while Bow will host Kennett next Saturday at 2 p.m.