Portsmouth-Oyster River runs over Memorial, 48-6

Sign Up For Our FREE Daily eNews!

MANCHESTER, NH — Too strong, too fast and just too good.

Unbeaten Portsmouth-Oyster River scored 27 unanswered points in the second quarter and rolled to a 48-6 rout of Memorial, Friday night at Chabot-McCormack Field.

Senior quarterback Aiden Thomas threw for 176 yards and three touchdowns to lead the ClipperCats’ attack. Junior Brooks Connors rushed for 89 yards on just 10 carries, scoring once on the ground and once through the air.

Nearly all of Memorial’s 236 yards of total offense came on two drives — one at the end of the first half (stopped at the Portsmouth-Oyster River 1-yard line) and the other in the fourth quarter.

“At the end of the day, games come down to executing,” said Memorial Head Coach Rob Sturgis. “Defensively, we’d get to third down and we couldn’t get off the field. Offensively, we’d get to third-and-short and couldn’t advance the drive. It comes down to those details and against a team like Portsmouth, if you don’t execute, they’re gonna beat ya and they’re gonna beat ya pretty good.”

If there was a ray of sunshine for Memorial (1-3), it was the play of freshman running back Jathyen Torres, who made the most of his opportunity, coming off the bench in the fourth quarter. The rookie finished with 72 yards rushing on five carries, including a 29-yard touchdown run with 9:44 to play in the game, giving the Crusaders their lone score.

Memorial’s defense made some good plays, just not nearly enough and not at key moments. Linebacker Jose Soto sacked Thomas on 4th and 5 at the Crusaders’ 35, to stop Portsmouth-Oyster-River’s opening drive of the game. But after that, the ClipperCats (4-0) scored on seven straight possessions.

Cole McLaughlin scored on a six-yard run in the opening minute of the second quarter, giving Portsmouth-Oyster River a 6-0 lead. The touchdown capped a seven-play, 64-yard drive and set the tone for the rest of the quarter. While Memorial was unable to make a first down on its next three possessions, Thomas began to light it up through the air.

A 30-yard yard strike to split end Nick Smith moved the ClipperCats into the Red Zone, and two plays later, Thomas connected with Conners for a 12-yard TD to push the lead to 13-0.

After another “three-and-out” by Memorial, Portsmouth-Otter River marched 62 yards in eight plays, nearly entirely through the air. Thomas capped the drive with an 11-yard scoring strike to Angus Moss to make it 20-0.

Later in the quarter, Thomas found Jackson Jones on a deep post route for a 36-yard touchdown and the lead ballooned to 27-0.

Memorial’s best drive of the game came just before halftime. Starting from his own 15 with just 1:27 on the clock, quarterback Connor McFarland (7-for-11, 107 yards) guided his offense smartly downfield, connecting with Ethan Vilgrain on three pass plays, including a 25-yards, down to the ClipperCats’ 34. McFarland then found senior Captain Colin Beaulieu inside the 5, Beaulieu fought and stretched for the goal line but was marked down at the 1 with under three seconds on the clock.

With time for just one play before the half, Sturgis had McFarland try to sneak over left tackle but the senior was stuffed just shy of the end zone as time expired.

Portsmouth-Oyster River poured it on in the second half, finding the end zone three more times, including a 22-yard TD run by Connors, a 5-yard TD run by Porter Lalime and a 30-yard touchdown pass from backup quarterback Andy Brown to Stone Karnacewicz to build a 48-0 cushion.



About this Author

Bill Gilman

Bill Gilman is a veteran journalist with 33 years of experience covering community news and sports in New England. He and his wife have two grown sons and two perfect granddaughters.