Newfound sends seniors off in style
Bears roll past Mascoma in final game at Palazzi Field
NEWFOUND’S FOOTBALL SENIORS pose for a photo prior to their final home game Saturday. Back row (l to r), Rodney Brooks, Zack Lynch, Shannon Tucker, Fisher Bourbeau and manager Kacey Merrill. Front row (l to r), Norman Talimini, Frank Roach and Cam Semeta. Joshua Spaulding. (click for larger version)
October 17, 2011NEW HAMPTON — A little rain couldn't dampen the spirits of the Newfound football team on Saturday.
The Bears celebrated the final home game of the season at Palazzi Field on the campus of the New Hampton School with a 34-6 beatdown of the Mascoma Royals.
"Every win is a nice win," said coach Greg Dalzell. "Losing Homecoming hurt, so it was nice for the seniors to win this game."
Dalzell noted his team would've liked to have put together a shutout, but one of the goals at halftime was to shut out the Royals in the second half and the Bears accomplished that.
"They surprised us in a lot of areas," Dalzell noted. "They're a good team and are going to get better.
"This is what makes Division IV great, it's always competitive," he continued.
Newfound wasted almost no time in getting on the scoreboard, scoring just 3:31 into the first quarter. Shannon Tucker and Dylan Hall carried the ball on the ground and Norman Talamini hit Eric Vose with a key pickup during the drive, which covered 69 yards. Tucker took the ball in from one-yard out for the touchdown. The Bears missed the extra point, but led 6-0.
The next two drives were short, to say the least.
Mascoma's first drive ended on its second play, when Newfound's Fisher Bourbeau recovered a fumble. However, Newfound's second drive ended on its first play, as Mascoma intercepted a Talamini pass to get the ball back.
The Royals got a couple of big runs to get the ball down inside the 30 yard line, but a huge sack from Doug Payne and a big penalty backed the Royals up. Zack Lynch made a nice stop on third and long and Tucker broke up a pass attempt on fourth and long to get the Bears the ball back.
However, Newfound couldn't move the ball and punted as the first quarter came to an end. Mascoma was also forced to punt on its next drive and Newfound found the end zone on its next drive.
Tucker broke loose for a 36-yard gain on first down and after a carry from Cam Semeta and a penalty, Tucker carried to the one yard line for a first down. He then plowed into the end zone for the score and Talamini carried in for the two-point conversion for a 14-0 Newfound lead with 6:14 to play in the half.
Mascoma put together its best drive of the day after the touchdown, moving the ball up the field 67 yards, all on the ground and the Royals took the ball in from four yards out with 1:31 to go in the half. They missed the two-point conversion and trailed 14-6.
Newfound wasn't done yet, as Semeta caught a Talamini pass on first down and ran on second down to put the Bears in great position. Tucker then caught a pass and bolted to the end zone with 10 seconds on the clock. The Bears converted the two-point conversion and took the 22-6 lead to halftime. Newfound did lose sophomore Tyler Maviki to an injury as the second half came to a close.
The Royals fumbled the opening kickoff in the second half and Jared Dearborn was the man on the spot, as he recovered for the Bears. The hosts then ate up three minutes of clock with runs from Tucker and Semeta and Hall then tossed a touchdown pass to Tucker on an option play for a 28-6 lead with 8:58 to go in the third.
Mascoma couldn't generate more than a first down on their next drive and Newfound capitalized, as Keegan Dyer, Tucker and Semeta all carried on the ground and Tucker broke tackles from 29 yards out to break into the end zone for a 34-6 lead with 4:38 to go in the third.
Devin Fields recovered a Mascoma fumble to open the next drive and Newfound marched down the field as the third quarter expired. However, a field goal attempt came up short. The two teams exchanged drives after that, with Fields coming up with another fumble recovery and the time ran out on the 34-6 win.
"We got everybody involved and that makes for a wonderful day," Dalzell said.
The Bears will now turn their attention to Franklin, where they play at 1 p.m. on Saturday, Oct. 22, and Epping-Newmarket, where they play on Saturday, Oct. 29.
"Those are two tough games," Dalzell said. "They are two must-wins and the team knows it.
"We keep improving every week and that's going to be the key," he continued.