Monadnock football falls behind early, can't come back against Campbell in Division III semifinal

Nov. 5—SWANZEY — The Campbell football team, specifically Scott Hershberger, scored on the opening drive of Friday night's Division III semifinal against Monadnock.

Then Hershberger scored again on the next drive.

And again.

And again.

And again.

The Campbell sophomore was quite literally unstoppable in the first half, running for 267 yards and five touchdowns in the first two quarters, as the Cougars cruised to a 37-14 win over the Huskies in Swanzey to advance to the D-III title game next weekend.

The No. 3-seeded Cougars will face the winner of No. 1 Trinity and No. 4 Inter-Lakes-Moultonborough, who play their semifinal matchup Saturday afternoon.

Hershberger— who was held to 28 yards in the regular season matchup between these two teams — finished with 276 yards and the five touchdowns.

Monadnock beat Campbell, 52-8, in that regular season matchup.

"[Hershberger] was the difference," said Monadnock head coach Rob Lotito. "They beat us in the trenches and that was the difference."

After falling behind 18-0 early in the second quarter, Monadnock got on the board quickly after senior Ethan Brown exploded for a 43-yard touchdown run on 4th and 4 to make it 18-7, still with 8:12 to play in the half.

It felt like Monadnock was right back in the game.

Hershberger made sure that feeling didn't last very long, scoring his third touchdown of the half on the very next drive.

Campbell scored one more touchdown before the end of the half to take a 34-7 lead at the break.

Monadnock put together a good-looking drive to start the second half — ending with a 17-yard touchdown pass from Kaden Smith to Ben Dean — but the drive took over eight minutes off the clock.

"We're not an offense that's going to score 30 points in a quarter, unless we're beating you up front," Lotito said.

Lotito wanted to get the passing game more involved in the second half, but an injury to Smith and lack of depth at quarterback due to injuries were limiting factors, he said.

All in all, Monadnock held its own in the second half, but it was just too little too late.

"They stood up and played a great second half," Lotito said. "Second half we hung with them, but it was much too late."

Campbell scored a field goal early in the fourth quarter — its only points of the second half — and after Monadnock turned the ball over on down twice in the fourth quarter, the Cougars were in victory formation.

"Today we executed," said Campbell head coach Glen Costello. "Anytime we play, it's a bloodbath and this one was no different. We were lucky to execute a little better than they did."

Jack Lorenz — who was maybe bugged by a nagging injury — was held to just eight yards. He had over 300 yards against Campbell the first time.

Brown led the Monadnock offense with 146 yards and the touchdown.

"I tried to play to the best I can, but in the end I don't really care how I did. We lost. It doesn't really matter," Brown said. "Everyone played well, we just couldn't get it done."

Monadnock ends the year at 8-2 and says goodbye to 12 seniors. A very solid senior class, at that, with guys that will certainly be missed next season.

"We're as good as they play," Lotito said. "The hardest part is saying goodbye to your seniors. It's hard to say goodbye to the kids."

Despite not reaching the goal of a championship, the Huskies put together a successful 2022 season, which saw Brown rush for over 1,000 yards. He's just the 10th player in program history to reach that mark.

"We had a great season, it was fun," Brown said. "We worked hard. Ran well. Worked as a team. This is my family, so even though we didn't end up where we wanted, we still had a great season."

Chris Detwiler can be reached at 352-1234, extension 1411, or Follow him on Twitter @Chris_Detwiler.