MANCHESTER, N.H. – Manchester West opened with a win last week against Sanborn, but couldn’t win their 850th all-time varsity game, falling 35-13 to Milford in Friday night’s home opener.
Milford scored on their five first drives, collecting touchdown runs from Sean Hanrahan (21 yards, 11 yards), Gavin Urda (27 yards, 39 yards) and Emmaneul Ughu (three yard), with the Spartans getting a pair of two-point conversions from Urda and an extra point from Liam Daly.
Meanwhile, West ended its first drive on downs and lost a fumble just outside the Milford red zone on their second drive before finishing the first half with three straight punts.
Although it appeared that the Blue Knights secured a safety against Gavin’s younger brother and second-string quarterback Chuck Urda midway through the second half, the younger Urda’s forward momentum spotted the ball just inches outside the Spartan end zone, allowing Milford to preserve the shutout until Xavier Burpee ran the ball into the house from six yards and 44 yards out later in the half.
West Head Coach Tom Bozoian praised Milford’s offense, but also saved praise for Burpee as well, who is now the main option in the Blue Knights’ wildcat formations following the graduation of Jaymeson Mayheux last summer.
“Burpee played well, we’re trying to get him to hit the holes and he’s hitting the holes correctly. It’s a tough act to follow Mayheux, but he’s only a junior and he’s a good back, so we expect a lot of things out of him.”
Bozoian indicated that the Blue Knights may evolve past the wildcat attack that has become a staple of their offensive sets in previous years, but injuries prevented any attempts at formational flexibility as West had no passing attempts during the contest.
Burpee finished the night with 142 of West’s 201 yards on the ground, 96 of which came on a pair of breakout runs in the second half.
The elder Urda led the way for Milford with five rushes for 118 yards, connecting on two of his three passes for 24 yards through the air. As a team, Milford ran for 228 total yards on the evening, as 11 different players ended the night with a rushing attempt.
In other football action from Manchester’s schools, Central defeated Timberlane 14-7 on the road, Memorial lost 44-7 at Pinkerton and Trinity lost 21-7 at Lebanon.
All four Manchester programs are now 1-1 on the year. Coming up in Week 3, Trinity hosts Epping-Newmarket next Friday at 7 p.m., West welcomes Pembroke Academy next Friday at 6 p.m., Memorial faces Windham at home at 7 p.m. and Central will take on Pinkerton at Gill Stadium at 7:15 p.m.