By Dan Hogan
---- — Kingston, N.H. — For the first time in program history, the Sanborn Indians have punched their ticket to the postseason.
It was a sweet senior day for Sanborn and its fans yesterday as the Indians defeated Kingswood Regional 28-14 to clinch a spot in the newly realigned New Hampshire Division 2 playoffs.
This marks the first time in the program’s history that it has achieved trip the playoffs. Sanborn began playing varsity football in 2008.
“These guys have worked hard all season and it’s starting to pay off,” said Sanborn head coach John Welch.
Led by budding star Mike Rich, Sanborn’s rushing attack carried them throughout the game. Rich tallied season highs in carries (19), yards (170) and total touchdowns (3). It was just the second time this season that Rich has led Sanborn in carries.
“It feels good,” said Rich. “I can’t do anything without my guys in front of me. They do all the work for me — they block for me. They work hard every day.”
Rich scored all three of Sanborn’s first half touchdowns. He scored from 1 yard out late in the first quarter and then again on a 40-yard scamper in the second quarter.
Quarterback John Morris got Rich involved in the passing game as well, as Rich hauled in two passes for 9 yards — including a 6-yard touchdown in the final minute of the first half.
Aside from a touchdown drive late in the first quarter and a garbage time touchdown in the waning seconds of the fourth quarter, Kingswood’s offense could get nothing going against an aggressive Sanborn defense. Sanborn racked up three takeaways on the afternoon, including interceptions by junior Zach Matthews and senior Jackson Morton.
Sanborn has one game remaining on their regular season schedule — next weekend at Windham in the Jaguar’s first night game in school history. Welch said his team isn’t looking forward to the playoffs just yet.
“Windham is our next task and we’re just focused on them right now,” said Welch.
Kingswood 28, Sanborn 14
Kingswood (1-7): 7 0 0 7 — 14
Sanborn (5-3): 7 14 0 7 — 28
S — Mike Rich 1 run (Jackson Morton kick), 4:58
S — Rich 22 run (Morton kick), 9:11
S — Rich 6 pass from John Morris (Morton kick), :34
S — Ty Austin 22 pass from Morris (Morton Kick), 8:01
RUSHING: (42-244) Mike Rich 19-170, Zach Matthews 12-59, Zachary Tessier 4-14, Sean Kane 4-2, Kyle Olsen 2-0, Michael D’Amelio 1-(-1)
PASSING: John Morris 6-9-1, 76
RECEIVING:Ty Austin 3-47-1, Rich 2-9-1, Matthews 1-20