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McAllister carries Cards to win

Valley News Staff Writer
Published: 10/11/2019 10:52:15 PM
Modified: 10/11/2019 10:52:01 PM

CLAREMONT — A big night for Stevens High running back Keegan McAllister helped the Cardinals to a 14-12 victory over visiting Laconia on Friday in an NHIAA Division III football game at Barnes Park.

Listed at only 5-feet-8 and 185 pounds, McAllister nonetheless carried 22 times for 197 yards and both Stevens touchdowns to boost his team to 5-1 this season. A clash with division leader Lebanon (6-0) looms next week at the same location.

The Cardinals could have won by a larger margin but lost two fumbles and couldn’t capitalize on a 71-yard McAllister run that took the ball to the Sachems’ 2-yard line with two minutes remaining.

The hosts turned the ball over on downs with 50 seconds to play, but Laconia had no timeouts and a Ryan Dee pass was intercepted by Owen Taylor with 21 seconds left on the clock.

The Cardinals opened the scoring with a six-play, 52-yard march capped by a 4-yard McAllister run. Clayton Wadsworth kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead five minutes into the game.

Stevens doubled its advantage on its second possession.

This time the hosts covered 80 yards in seven plays, scoring on a 3-yard McAllister carry. Wadsworth’s conversion kick made it 14-0 three plays into the second quarter.

Laconia’s comeback began when it answered with a five-play, 63-yard drive. Tyler Richter ran nine yards for a touchdown, and the ensuing kick attempt was low and into the line eight minutes before halftime.

Stevens attempted to punt the next time it had the ball, but the snap sailed over Braxton LeBlanc’s head and the Sachems took over on the Cardinals’ 24-yard line.

Seven plays later, Dee threw 13 yards to Patrick Duggan to make the score 14-12. The visitors’ attempt to run for a 2-point play was denied.

The half ended with a flurry of action. Stevens’ Taylor threw 24 yards to Matthew Jones but he fumbled, turning the ball over at midfield. Jones redeemed himself five plays later when he intercepted a Dee pass. The Cardinals attempted a 37-yard field goal that was short and wide as time expired before intermission.

Taylor completed five of 13 passes for 98 yards and rushed seven times for 11 yards. McAllister caught three passes for 60 yards. Stevens had 222 yards rushing while allowing 89.

Laconia’s Dee completed four of 11 passes for 82 yards and a touchdown and had two passes intercepted. He carried 15 times for a team-high 35 yards. Laconia is 3-3 and leads the teams’ series, 21-16-1. The Cardinals’ victory was just their second in their last 19 meetings with the Sachems, dating back to 1957.

Tris Wykes can be reached at

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