ConVal faces undermanned Souhegan Friday

ConVal’s football team is in the midst of a dismal 0-6 season. The Cougars only have 14 points to show for those six games; in fact, since the team last tallied a point (against Kingswood on Sept. 13 – yes, it’s been a month since the last ConVal score), Cougar opponents have scored 149 straight. However, a glimmer of hope shines for ConVal yet as they enter the final stretch of the season. The final three teams on the Cougar schedule are a combined 3-15, which ought to give ConVal a shot at salvaging something from this season, which starts with getting into the end zone.

First up is 1-5 Souhegan on Friday night. Once-dominant Souhegan is fielding a far different team this year than the ones that found their way to the championship game almost every year in the 2000s. With a very short roster and a new head coach in Mike Lochman, the Sabers have struggled to put much together this year.

“They remind me of our team up front,” ConVal head coach Ryan McCartney said. “I think both of us have struggles on the offensive line. They have trouble sustaining blocks.”

When the Sabers do throw some blocks, they can be effective. Running back Drew Prescott is a beast; the senior captain rushed for almost 250 yards and four scores in the team’s lone win, a 35-0 victory over John Stark. Prescott has 11 rushing touchdowns on the season and is a force to be reckoned with, although it’s worth noting that he is coming off his worst game of the season, a 31-yard, zero-TD performance against Trinity.

As Prescott goes, so go the Sabers, and ConVal knows it. If the Cougars can key on Prescott the same way Souhegan’s last opponents did, they could force the Sabers to put the ball in quarterback Isaac Nevrla’s hands. Nevrla is a capable QB, but not nearly as potent as Prescott, and the Cougars would do well to force Souhegan to beat them through the air.

No matter how they do it, the Cougars need to put forth a good effort down the stretch to salvage their so-far winless season. Souhegan seems as good a place as any to start, but as a struggling team themselves, the Sabers are likely looking at this game the same way. After all, coach Ryan McCartney said, “We’re in the same boat.”

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