LACONIA — Turnovers plagued Fall Mountain Regional High in the championship game of the Division IV football tournament Saturday night, as Winnisquam Regional of Tilton stuffed the Wildcats 20-0 at Laconia High School.

Playing their championship game a week before the Division I, II and III finals, the Wildcats mustered only 160 yards of offense against the top-seeded and undefeated Bears while turning the ball over five times. Appropriately, Winnisquam’s defense scored the only points it would need when Gunnar Horman returned a fumble 67 yards for the game’s first touchdown.

Winnisquam’s defense has been suffocating opponents all season, as it has given up just 26 points in its last six games. Still, the Wildcats occasionally moved the ball on the ground, with running back Izaak Westover carrying 22 times for 82 yards. But whenever Fall Mountain even got a whiff of the end zone, the Bears’ defense made the key plays.

Winnsiquam’s offense gave the team breathing room via the air, as quarterback Phil Nichols hit Garret Mango for a 55-yard score that made it 14-0 in the second quarter, and the same duo hooked up for a 36-yard play to ice it in the fourth quarter.

The Bears, who won last year’s championship, have a two-year winning streak of 18 games. However, next season they will move up to Division III.

— Sentinel Staff