Lancer Football Blasts BG in Season-Opener, 55-21

Londonderry quarterback Mike McAlister hands the ball to Jeff Wiedenfeld for one of the quick back’s 29 runs vs. BG last Saturday. Photo by Chris Paul

The members of the Londonderry High School varsity football squad were able to grin and check off a slew of positives in their opening game of the 2017 campaign, which wound up being a 55-21 crushing of the host Bishop Guertin Cardinals of Nashua at Stellos Stadium Saturday night, Sept. 2.

The Lancers amassed nearly 450 yards worth of offense – the majority of that through a potent running game led by speedy sophomore running back Jeff Wiedenfeld – and did more than enough to stifle Guertin’s senior quarterback Sam Raitt in winning the game handily.

Londonderry blasted their way out to a 28-7 lead but saw the host Cardinals scrape their way back to within two touchdowns at 35-21 by halftime. But coach Jimmy Lauzon’s LHS crew then outscored its opponent 20-0 in the second half in putting the pleasing final touches on a blowout.

The winning side notched 379 rushing yards – 248 of which belonged to Wiedenfeld – and passed for another 67 for a total of 446 offensive yards.

The LHS defense came into the battle knowing that BG signal-caller Raitt was all kinds of dangerous both running and passing the football. But the Lancers kept the skilled senior from going wild in keeping the Cards to a total of 348 yards with 226 running and 122 passing.

Raitt ran the ball 23 times for 92 yards and had to carry more of the rushing load than usual due to the fact that senior back Tyler Faulkner was lost to an injury during the first half.

As for young rushing phenom Wiedenfeld – younger brother of former LHS football and lacrosse stalwarts Mike and Dave Wiedenfeld – he already had 100 rushing yards by the end of the first quarter and the speedy back finished the opening half with 159 yards on 17 carries.

Before the evening was over, the standout sophomore would notch those 248 yards on 29 carries and reach the end zone three times.

After watching elder brothers Mike and Dave excel on athletic fields at LHS and elsewhere for years – a self-effacing Jeff Wiedenfeld got the opportunity to stride off of a varsity field wearing Lancer garb after having been a hero himself.

“Just trying to fulfill the family name,” he said after the contest. “And I’m going to try to push for that kind of game every game, but it’s not for me it’s for the team. This was a great team effort tonight.”

LHS coach Jimmy Lauzon was all grins when asked about the performance of the Wiedenfeld.

“When I started coaching here I had David on the team, and he was definitely a good player for us. But he always said to me, ‘You haven’t seen anything yet. Wait until you see the younger Wiedenfeld.’ And I guess he was right. And Jeff knows and will tell you that the offensive line played great in front of him tonight,” said the coach.

Londonderry sprinted out to a 14-0 lead by succeeding impressively on its first two offensive series’ of the night.

Senior quarterback Mike McAlister ran the football into the end zone from 11 yards out for both of those scores, with Wiedefeld gaining loads of yards in getting his Lancers close to pay-dirt.

Guertin trimmed its lead in half to 14-7 as the end of the first quarter neared, but the Lancers answered with a six-yard scoring sprint by Wiedenfeld – set up by a stellar kick-off runback by Connor Dubois – to make it a 21-7 contest early in period number two.

A little over two minutes later the locals were celebrating again when quarterback McAlister and senior receiver Cole Keegan combined on a highlight-reel touchdown pass covering 34 yards.

McAlister lofted the throw toward the BG end zone and Keegan made a glittering, over-the-shoulder, fingertip grab as he sprinted into the zone.

But the Cardinals showed that they were totally unwilling to roll over, scoring twice in succession during a span of seven minutes to slice their deficit down from 28-7 to 28-21 with 2:47 remaining in the half.

However, the Lancers got the last word and the last points of that half when, with 40.1 seconds showing on the clock, McAlister connected with big tight end Pat Zepf on a 25-yard scoring pass which – when capped off by Zepf’s fifth extra-point of the night – made the score 35-21 in Londonderry’s favor.

The visitors capped off their success with second-half rushing touchdowns by Wiedenfeld (one of one yard and another of nine yards) and Mason Marquis (a nine-yarder).

“This was a great start for us. I’m really happy with how we played in all three phases of the game,” said Lauzon.

The Lancers will aim to go 2-0 this coming Friday night the 8th when they face another road battle, this time in Plaistow against the host Timberlane Regional Owls.

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