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Football

Cougars still looking for 1st win

ConVal will travel to Milford on Friday at 7 p.m. to take on Division-II rival Spartans

The ConVal football team will try and avoid a three-game losing streak to begin the 2013 season when it travels to Milford for a Friday 7 p.m. kickoff.

The Cougars are coming off a 38-14 loss at Kingswood last week, while the Spartans fell to unbeaten Trinity 30-20 at home for their first loss of the year.

ConVal currently stands at 0-2 and in a three-way tie in the Division II West Conference with Hollis/Brookline and Kearsarge behind Monadnock and Sanborn. Milford is in a three-way tie for second at 1-1 in the South Conference with John Stark and Windham.

The Cougars have allowed 72 points through the first two games and will try to slow down a Milford offense that is averaging 34 points per game. And with ConVal only scoring 14 points in its two losses, the defense will have to step up.

Milford has a run first offense, led by senior quarterback Harrison Urda, who has accounted for three touchdowns in each of the Spartans’ first two games, and senior running back Mitchell Banuskevich.

“We’re going to have to penetrate up front and try to get in the back field,” said McCartney.

But Urda has also proved capable of airing it out and keeping opposing defenses honest.

“They’re not afraid to throw the ball, but they definitely want to run the ball,” said McCartney.

And that is something McCartney wants to see the Cougars do as well. Junior quarterback John Crowley saw his completions, attempts and yards increase in his second varsity start last week and McCartney wants another strong passing game, minus the turnovers that have really hurt a few drives this season.

“They like to have eight, nine guys in the box, so we have to spread them out,” said McCartney.

The running game has been slow out of the gate, but McCartney knows it needs to improve if the Cougars still plan on making a run at the playoffs.

“We’ve got to run the ball,” said McCartney. “We need to establish something for the long haul.”

The key once again is to limit the turnovers. The Cougars committed three against Kingswood and now have six on the season and it is something McCartney wants to see corrected.

“It has been a big problem for us the first two weeks,” said the second-year coach.

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