LITCHFIELD — Every time Keegan Mills touched the ball during Campbell’s 30-0 win over Somersworth on Saturday, it seemed like he ample space to work.
At times he did, ripping off big gains of 43 and 48 yards in the first half with the latter resulting in a touchdown. At others he settled for five or six yards at a time, nothing spectacular, but still enough to keep the chains moving.
He finished with 19 carries for 121 yards and three touchdowns, averaging roughly 6.4 yards per rush, though he was quick to deflect credit.
“(The offensive line) was just opening up holes,” Mills said. “I told them that as soon as they opened up the holes I was going to find them for them. They worked hard during the preseason. A lot of them are new, but they worked their butts off, so they did a great job for us today.”
Indeed, Campbell’s offensive line is a young group, but you weren’t able to tell by the way they held their blocks during rushing and passing situations.
They helped spring Mills for that 43-yard gain in the first quarter, setting up an opportunity for him to punch in his first score of the game from three yards out. A successful two-point conversion put Campbell up 8-0 early on.
“It’s a young group,” Campbell head coach Glen Costello said. “Ambrose O’Neil is the only returning player. Our center and two guards are all juniors and we started a sophomore. They made a couple mistakes here and there, but overall I thought they did a good job.”
Mills’ 48-yard score came with 6:57 left in the first half, and four-and-a-half minutes later he was in the end zone again on a one-yard carry that put the Cougars up 24-0 going into halftime. Hunter Caron put the finishing touches on things when he ran the ball in from four yards late in the third period.
Besides the offensive line, Campbell had its passing game to thank as well. Conor Sweeney was accurate in completing 15-of-23 passes for 172 yards.
Though he threw an interception in the third, his chemistry with Carter Vedrani, who finished with nine catches for 124 yards, kept the Somersworth defense honest and didn’t allow them to stack the box against Mills.
“Conor Sweeney and Carter Vedrani worked very hard this off-season to kind of develop that rhythm that you saw today,” Costello said. “The running game can be a byproduct of that and I think that’s why we were able to do that.”
For Somersworth’s part, the Hilltoppers had some moments on the defensive side of the ball, but it was the offense that couldn’t get much going for them.
“We were misfiring on offense and we’ve got a few things that we’ve gotta fix,” ‘Toppers coach Jeremy Lambert said. “But I think we’re headed in the right direction. We saw some positive things as the game went on and we’ll build off of that.”
Campbell will play next Saturday at Epping-Newmarket while Somersworth will be home against Monadnock on Friday.