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Not their night

  • ConVal football players hoist their helmets during a moment of silence preceding Friday night’s home game, where Nick Seymour, a ConVal graduate, player and coach, was honored. Seymour was killed in a car crash on Sept. 27. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The ConVal football team hosted Hollis-Brookline on Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • ConVal’s Makeen Wilson hauls in a touchdown pass from Keenan Wilson on Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant

  • The ConVal football team hosted Hollis-Brookline on Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal football team hosted Hollis-Brookline on Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal football team hosted Hollis-Brookline on Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal football team hosted Hollis-Brookline on Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • The ConVal football team hosted Hollis-Brookline on Friday night. Staff photo by Ben Conant—

  • Staff photo by Ben Conant—



Monadnock Ledger-Transcript
Monday, October 09, 2017

On a wet field with quarterback Dan Spezzaferri watching from the sidelines, the ConVal football team lost its first game of the season, a 21-13 defeat at the hands of Hollis-Brookline.

The slick field contributed in part to ConVal’s demise, as the usually sound Cougar defense missed tackle after tackle, allowing the Cavaliers to break loose for a slew of big plays, including two huge Matt Simco touchdowns.

“They ran hard, they cut well, there’s no excuses on a wet field or anything like that,” said ConVal head coach Paul Landau. “They played on the same field and they tackled us just fine. We had to adjust our technique and we didn’t do that enough.”

Simco opened the scoring with a 76-yard scamper on a Sander Wimmer pass.

“Kid's unbelievable,” Landau said. “He's big, physical, fast, ran really hard, and he was a big part of the reason they were able to continue to move the ball against us.”

But after that initial score, ConVal’s defense clamped down, despite all those broken tackles. Andrew Skillings made a pick in the end zone, and Justin Burns made another, off a tipped ball.

“Tonight we had in coverage three sophomores and a junior against one of the better passing teams in the state,” Landau said. “That's asking those kids a lot, and I thought a lot of them stepped up and did a really nice job.”

Following the pick by Burns, ConVal’s backup quarterback Keenan Wilson, pressed into service after Spezzaferri was a late scratch due to an illness, threw a perfect strike to Makeen Wilson for a 22-yard touchdown that evened the score.

“I thought Keenan did a nice job and did everything we asked him to do,” Landau said. The QB would finish 16-30 for 144 yards, a touchdown and two interceptions. Makeen Wilson led ConVal with nine receptions for 57 yards and a tocuhdown, but was visibly hampered with a sore ankle for most of the second half.

Scott Stanley (70 rush yards, touchdown) would force a Simco fumble later in the half and then punch in a touchdown on the ground. After Simco hurdled the long snapper and blocked the extra point, ConVal had a 13-7 lead they’d take into the half.

They wouldn’t score again. Hollis-Brookline, on the other hand, would score twice, quickly. Brandon Iodice took a 24-yarder to the house on the ground, and then Simco scored on a 66-yard strike from Wimmer. The Cavs went up 21-13.

ConVal tightened the screws and kept H-B scoreless for the remainder of the game.

“I thought the defense was really good in the second half,” Landau said. “We gave up those two early drives, but then we really buckled down. We kept them out of the end zone a couple times which gave us the chance to get back in it.”

Andrew Stockwell led the Cougars with 14 tackles; Dan Curran had 12 and Jake Phillips nine.

ConVal (4-1) will look for their next win at Pelham (2-3) Saturday at 6 p.m.