LACONIA — With post-season hopes hanging in the balance, the Sachems (3-6) put up 20 points in the second half of the team's final regular season game on Friday only to fall short on the comeback 34-27 to Milford (6-3).
Laconia headed into the locker room at halftime down 20-7. When they returned to the field, the Sachems scored four straight touchdowns to take a one point lead with 1:27 seconds remaining in the game. Milford cut down the improbable comeback, driving 48 yards down the field on four plays. Milford running back Mitchell Bansuskevich carried the ball on all four plays, capping the drive off with a one yard run into the end zone. Laconia had one last possession, but could not manage to cross midfield. The Sachems' season ended on an incomplete pass on fourth down.
"We had the storybook ending for our seniors in the works, but could not finish it," coach Craig Kozens said about the comeback attempt. "I am very proud of these kids. This group has been one of my favorite teams I have ever coached. If I were an employer, I would hire each and everyone of the guys," Kozens added about this team. "For the game, we couldn't contain the outside. Milford beat us to the edge all night. Milford came to play and they and played well"
Milford controlled the first half, scoring three touchdowns to jump out to a 20-0 lead. Bansuskevich carried the bulk of the load, carrying the ball 27 times for 210 yards and three touchdowns.
Laconia ended the shutout with two minutes remaining in the second quarter when Matt Swormstedt hooked up with Dylan Martel on a 26 yard score.
The Sachems only needed 15 seconds in the second half to cut the lead to six. Senior captain John Pelky found a hole on the right side and scampered down Laconia's sideline for a 51 yard score. After three consecutive three and outs, Laconia found the back of the end zone again with a little trickery. Swormstedt handed the ball to Kyle Chiasson who hit a wide open senior Chris Frontiero for an 80 yard touchdown. Laconia, leading 21-20, could not hold back Bansuskevich and the Spartans. Milford answered right back with an eight play drive that found the end zone.
In the fourth quarter the Sachems started the a drive on their own 20 yard line with 4:20 seconds remaining. The drive looked as though it was going to be stalled on a fourth and three when Frontiero gained eight yards up the middle. After an offsides penalty, Swormstedt found Chiasson for a gain of 30. hurrying to the line, Laconia got off a quick play that saw Chiasson break away for a 40 yard touchdown. Milford was not phased and put the nail in the coffin on the one yard touchdown of their own.
The first football season in Bank of New Hampshire Stadium came to an end with the Sachems ending the year with 3-9 record.