New Hampshire Football Report

Bedford 15, Londonderry 14

A dominant second half carried 10th-seeded Bedford High School to a 15-14 triumph over top-seeded Londonderry on Saturday in the Division I championship game played at Exeter High School.

Colby Snow made a 27-yard field goal — the de facto game-winning kick — with 10.3 seconds to play to erase Londonderry’s two-point lead.

The kick capped a 16-play drive that began on the Bedford 11-yard line with 2:08 to play.

“I just tried to stay calm the whole time, honestly,” Snow said. “Coach (Bedford coach Zach Matthews) brought me over and said, ‘We’re kicking it. I love you either way.’ I couldn’t have asked for a better team to win this with.”

Bedford quarterback Danny Black (18 of 33 for 201 yards) completed six passes in the final drive, including a 9-yard pass to Dom Tagliaferro on third down that advanced the ball to the Londonderry 10-yard line and set up Snow’s kick.

Earlier in the game Snow had his point-after kick blocked.

“The fact that we won this game on a game-winning field goal is rather ridiculous because anybody who has seen us play this year knows our kicking game and our extra points have been very up and down – a roller coaster ride,” Matthews said. “One week we’re hitting them, then the next week we can’t hit an extra point. So love Colby to death, but he’s not a kicker. He’s a wide receiver, running back, corner … he’s just the best athlete that we have, so he’s been our kicker by default.”

Londonderry coach Jimmy Lauzon said he originally expected the Bulldogs to leave their offense on the field rather than go for the field goal. The kick came on a fourth-and-10 play from the Londonderry 10.

“I didn’t think he was going to kick it,” Lauzon said. ‘You’re in range, but we already blocked an extra point. He had just barely missed on some throws, so I thought they were going to go for it. We were talking about both scenarios. Given him credit. He drilled it. That was a big moment and he’s a good player so he was ready for that.”

Snow’s kick capped an improbable second-half comeback. Londonderry (10-2) carried a 14-0 lead into the second half. The Lancers, who won last year’s Division I championship, opened the scoring on an 8-yard run by quarterback Drew Heenan (5 of 10 for 72 yards) with 7:18 left in the second quarter, and then got a 7-yard TD run from Nathan Pedrick with 1:47 remaining in the first half.

Londonderry was held to two first downs in the second half, however, and also turned the ball over twice in the half. The Lancers had 38 yards of offense after halftime and had four turnovers in the game.

“I’m broken-hearted for my seniors,”Lauzon said. “They put in a ton of work the last four years – not that everyone doesn’t – but this was an exceptional group of kids that bought in and haven’t lost many games. I would have liked to see them go back to back. I felt like they deserved it for sure.

“I thought our defense did some great things today. They shouldn’t be hanging their heads at all. Except for that last drive I thought they did a great job.”

Bedford (10-3) got on the scoreboard when Black connected with Tagliaferro for an 8-yard TD pass that cut Londonderry’s lead to 14-6 with 7:00 left in the third quarter. Running back Logan Sfeir (14 carries for 49 yards) made it 14-12 when he scored from 4 yards away with 5:25 to play. Black completed a pass to Dylan Soden on the conversion attempt, but Soden was tackled short of the goal line.

After Bedford’s second TD, Londonderry moved the ball to its own 43-yard line, but punted after a third-and-10 pass fell incomplete. Trevor Weinmann’s kick bounced away from Snow and rolled dead at the Bedford 11.

Bedford’s final drive was aided by a personal foul penalty that turned a fourth-and-5 situation into a first down. Londonderry also had a holding penalty nulify a first down when Weinmann took off around right end from punt formation in the third quarter.

Bedford became the first NHIAA team to win four playoff games in the same season. The Bulldogs outscored their four playoff opponents 82-14.

“This is capping off an unbelievable playoff run,” Matthews said. “That drive was ridiculous. I was mad at Colby because he didn’t field that punt, but needless to say he made up for it at the other end of the field.”

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