BEDFORD, N.H. – There’s still a month of regular season high school football left in New Hampshire, but the fate of Division I’s North Conference may already be over.
The Bedford Bulldogs utterly dominated the visiting Little Green of Manchester Central on Friday night with a 45-0 win, a complete antithesis of last year’s dramatic final week dogfight.
Bedford needed just over four minutes to put their first points on the board, as senior Thomas Morgan’s 10-yard run completed a nine-play, 65-yard drive.
Although Central would force a fumble on Bedford’s next drive, their offense sputtered, grabbing just one first down over the entire first half.
Meanwhile, the Bulldogs continued to build momentum, with Solomon Sanchez adding a six-yard rushing touchdown in the second quarter and Madison Lucontoni slotting home a 20-yard field goal just seconds before the half.
Bedford’s Lucien Mumpini added a 30-yard touchdown run just moments into the second half. The Bulldogs would get another running score from Morgan, as well as additional ground touchdowns from sophomore Aaron Skaling and senior Ryan Toscano.
Call it skill or call it luck, but Toscano’s touchdown arose from one of the few mistakes Bedford made, finding himself in a perfect position to recover a fumble by Harrison LeGoullon near Central’s 30-yard line.
Whether it was Toscano’s score, or Alex Hawkom’s interception just one play after Central recovered a botched Bedford punt return, or any number of the other moments of the game, one thing was clear: Central was thoroughly outmatched by Bedford.
“A lot of things did not go Central’s way tonight, and I think 99 percent of those things were before Bedford made it so,” said Central head coach Ryan Ray.
Central ended the night with just 73 yards of offense, with Toscano alone contributing 88 for Bedford, not including the yards after the fumble recovery.
Morgan connected with five separate targets, going 7-for-12 through the air with 76 yards of passing.
With the win, Bedford remains undefeated, with just two touchdowns allowed to date and a combined score of 101-0 against Manchester’s Division I teams.
Although it now looks unlikely that any team will catch Bedford in the North, as the Bulldogs hold a two-game lead over Central with four weeks left in the regular season. Still, Bedford head coach Derek Stank aims to avoid cockiness next week against Nashua South.
“Honestly, this game is so funny how it works sometimes, you just can’t take anything for granted,” said Stank. “When good teams get complacent, bad things happen.”
As of Friday night, Central remains in the final Division I playoff spot, they’ll seek to keep that position and break their current two-game losing streak next week at home against Goffstown.