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Milford football knocks off Nashua North

posted Oct 6, 2012, 4:23 AM by Milford Spartans   [ updated Oct 6, 2012, 4:24 AM ]
It’s hard to win football games when you can’t hang on to the football.

The Nashua High School North football team struggled to take care of the ball, and Milford made the Titans pay. North turned the ball over six times and the Spartans scored 17 points off those miscues on the way to a 24-21 win in a crossover game at Stellos Stadium.

Milford (5-1 overall) also got 171 yards rushing and two touchdowns on 34 carries from Connor Borne, as the Spartans ran for 212 yards, including 141 in the second half. Mitchell Banuskevich added a touchdown run and intercepted two passes for Milford and Morgan Andrews kicked a 30-yard field goal with 8:47 left in the game to provide the difference.

“A friend of mine gave a great speech years ago, that the greatest thing about the game is the shape of the ball,” Milford coach Keith Jones said. “It’s unpredictable, it’s awkward. You never know what is going to happen. That was (Friday). We got some lucky breaks that turned into some good things. You never know what’s going to happen next.”

No one could have, at least not after North quarterback Brandon Martin hit Kyle Regan with a screen pass that Regan took 78 yards for a touchdown and a 21-7 lead for the Titans with 6:11 left in the third quarter.

But back came the Spartans, as they put together an 11-play, 80-yard drive the ended with an 11-yard touchdown run by Borne.

“Connor Borne is a battering ram,” Jones said. “You’re going to give it your guy and we rode him and rode him. Connor just put it on his shoulders. He was just amazing.”

Milford tried an onside kick, but the ball didn’t travel the required 10 yards, and North took over at the Milford 42.

Then the turnover flood began for North. Two plays after the kickoff, Martin was hit hard and lost the football. Milford’s Brett Stagnone scooped it up and returned it to the Titans’ 6-yard line. Banuskevich scored on the next play and Andrews’ extra point tied the game at 21-21 as the third came to an end.

A big kickoff return by Demitri Jackson (81 yards rushing) gave North (2-4) the ball at Milford’s 47, but

three plays later, Gus Barroso fumbled and the Spartans took over on their 36. After a run for no gain, quarterback Harrison Urda hit Borne on a short completion, and the running back turned it into a 49-yard pickup to the North 15.

The Spartans’ offense stalled there, setting up Andrews’ field goal that made it a three-point lead for Milford.

The turnovers continued to come after that, as North lost another fumble on its next drive, and Martin threw two interceptions on the Titans’ final two chances. The North quarterback threw for 190 yards and two touchdowns and ran for a 43-yard score, but the miscues proved to be too much.

“It doesn’t matter who you are playing, if you have turnovers and you have penalties, you’re not going to beat anybody,” North coach Jason Robie said. “That’s a good football team. We turned the ball over six times tonight. Five times in the second half, that’s ridiculous. What are you going to do? I have no words.”

Both teams return to division play on Oct. 12, as North will host Concord and Milford will travel to Souhegan.