NHIAA Football: Third downs key as Bedford downs resolute Salem
BEDFORD — Bedford quarterback Dan Colella didn’t hit all his passes, just the ones he needed to, on the way to a 30-0 win over Salem on Friday.
The Blue Devils defense pressured Colella all game, making things hard on first and second downs. But Colella hit his targets on third down to keep drives alive.
Colella was 10 of 18 for 140 yards but he threw for four touchdowns.
Two of Coella’s favorite targets were Nick Vailas, who caught touchdowns of 10 and 9 yards in the first half, and cousin Mike Vailas, who had touchdown catches of 24 and 34 yards.
Miscues hurt Salem right from the start. After receiving the kickoff, quarterback John Cerretani fumbled the first snap from scrimmage. Bedford recovered.
The Bulldogs didn’t score but another Salem fumble on a punt was recovered by Bedford and turned into a touchdown drive capped by a 10-yard pass to Nick Vailas.
In the second quarter, Bedford’s Aaron Palys blocked a punt by Jason Poore. Salem recovered in their own end zone for a Bedford safety.
Coella then hit Michael Vailas for a 24-yard touchdown to make it 16-0, and followed that with a nine-yard strike to Nick Vailas as the half ended 23-0.
Salem was able to put together a nine-minute drive in the third but it stalled at the 1-yard-line on fourth down.
Bedford coach Kurt Hines called the Blue Devils a “very good 0-4 team.” They have a great defensive line, they threw all kinds of stunts at us.” said Hines.
But Dan Colella had the answers on third down.
Salem quarterback John Cerretani went 8-of-12 for 66 yards with two second-half interceptions. Jason Martinez led the Blue Devils with 65 yards on 17 carries.
Bedford (4-0) notched its third straight shutout and faces Goffstown next Saturday. Salem is 0-4 and hosts Manchester West on Friday.