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The Nashua Community College Division II Championship Scouting Report

By Dave Haley, 11/17/21, 6:15AM EST


Dominic Pallaria and the Owls square off with the Milford Spartans (photo by Valerie Zdrada)

 Every year at this time, we turn our championship game previews over to the people who know these teams best, the coaches who have gone against them this season.

 We asked two head coaches to break down Saturday's Division I championship game using blind quotes. The Division I scouting report will be up tomorrow morning.

 Today’s preview is brought to you by our friends and partners at Nashua Community College!

 We will be out covering both games this weekend:

 Pete Tarrier & Jennifer Chick-Ruth will be in Exeter for the Division I championship game when undefeated Winnacunnet takes on the Londonderry Lancers.

I will be at Pinkerton Academy, calling the Division II championship game between undefeated Timberlane and Milford with Shannon Hargreaves & Souhegan head coach Robin Bowkett.

 We will have all the highlights plus the post-game interview/celebration with the champs.

 The winners will have the option to hold a championship game watch party at Buffalo Wild Wings.

 These are events we have held with Londonderry, Bedford, Hollis-Brookline, Winnisquam, and many other champions.

 Players, coaches, parents, friends & family get to watch our full game video on the big screen at Buffalo Wild Wings. So we look forward to hosting four more watch parties in the next few weeks.


 Division II final standings and playoff bracket

 (1) Timberlane vs. (3) Milford

  Box score of the first meeting

  Kevin Fitzgerald’s Timberlane Owls come in as the only undefeated team in Division II and will square off with a Milford Spartans team with enough talent and character to knock off both top seeds on their way to the title.

 We asked a pair of veteran head coaches who faced both the Owls and Spartans during the season to break down the two teams and Saturday’s match-up—beginning with the Timberlane Owls.

 “It starts and ends with their guys up front,” said one of the head coaches. “They are very physical, and they set the tone on the first snap.”

 “Cooper Kelley is a beast. He’s very tough, physical, and he gave us a lot of problems when we played them.”

 A fellow coach agreed with the strength of the Owls. “They are substantially better in the trenches than most teams they play and they’ll have an advantage again on Saturday.”

“They have Division I depth, meaning they can rest their top players by not playing them on both sides of the ball, and that is a luxury Milford does not have.”

 “Evan Roeger is a difference-maker. We had some plays that looked to go for big gains, but time after time, he would make a play.”

 “Cooper Kelley and Camden Zambrowicz are tough, very strong, and hard to contain defenders, and Kevin (Fitzgerald) does a really good job at keeping his best players fresh for the fourth quarter. He doesn’t just go with his best eleven (players); he saves his guys for the fourth quarter.”

 What about the Timberlane offense?

 “They have won without him, but I think (QB) Dominic Coppeta was a big loss for them. Losing him to an injury changes the offense, he was capable of getting them the first down on short-yardage plays with his size and athletic ability.”

 “If they are down Ethan Stewart as well, that’s another big loss. He didn’t accumulate a ton of stats, but opposing coaches will tell you he was one of their best players on both sides of the ball.”

 Another head coach talked about the Timberlane running game.

 “They have two very good backs (Dominic Pallaria & Dan Post), and they are not asked to play on both sides of the ball. On the other side, you have Caden Zalenski, Logan Barnhill, and Charlie Urda, who not only play on both sides of the ball but are three of their best defensive players.”

 We asked our coaches to break down the Milford Spartans.

 “They make you very uncomfortable as a defense. They run that double-dive play, Urda will run the option well, sometimes they put a running back in the wildcat, and they’ll even put Urda in the shotgun where he has the choice to run the ball himself.”

 “You have another Urda brother running the offense, and at this point, he probably knows the offense better than (Keith) Jonesy,” joked one head coach.

 “Logan Barnhill is their best player on both sides of the ball, Zalenski is right there too, and the big kid Ben Kilgore gives them a mean, big physical football player in the middle. Those coaches do an excellent job, Milford is one of the best staffs in our division, and those kids all know their role and responsibility.”

 Another coach gave his opinion on the Spartans.

 “I think the Plymouth win was a real turning point for them because it gave them that signature win they were missing. They led both Lebanon and Timberlane in the fourth quarter but couldn’t close them out. I think beating Plymouth proved they could close, and they carried that over to the Lebanon game.”

 “Caden Zalenski is a machine. To me, he is their best player. He gave us a ton of problems when we played them, and he was terrific against (Lebanon QB) Jackson Stone last week. He held him in check.”

 “Milford has a very good defense. They tackle very well, and they have more speed than you think. Trice Cote does a nice job in the secondary, and the guy who impresses me is Chuck Urda. He makes a lot of touchdown-saving open field tackles for them.”

 “They are not a good passing team, but they run that double dive and pound the ball four yards at a time until they break one on you.”

 “Keith does an outstanding job with them. I don’t think you’ll see them change up much for the championship game. They are playing well; they just beat two good teams. They’ll play Milford football and try to win the game in the fourth quarter.”

 How do you see the game playing out on Saturday?

 “I don’t think Milford has to play a perfect game to win, but I do think they need to be leading after three quarters. They need to stick to their game plan, and if they are down a few scores, it will affect them.”

 “Milford is playing with house money while Timberlane is protecting a perfect season; I think that plays a factor. Milford looked far more comfortable than Lebanon last Saturday, and if they bring that same poise and energy on Saturday, they can win.”

 Another coach gave his view on how it will play out.

 “I think depth is going to be a big factor. Timberlane is smart enough just to wear Milford down over four quarters. Most Division II coaches play fifteen to eighteen kids as our rotation. Timberlane has the look of a Division I team, and they’ll play a lot more kids than that.”


 So who wins the title?

 “Timberlane, 28-14.”

 “Timberlane 28-20.”

 My pick: My heart tells me Milford, but the depth piece is hard to argue.

 Timberlane earns the undefeated dance by one score.



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