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REGION — The two North Middlesex Youth Football teams earned a split in opening week action with a dominating win and a heartbreaking defeat.

The eighth-grade Youth Football Patriots posted a convincing 26-0 win over Milford on Saturday.

The Patriots’ first play from scrimmage was a 63-yard touchdown strike from John Boutwell to Matt Donahue. Kelvin Rivera got into the action with a 5-yard screen pass from Kyle Cushion for a touchdown to extend the lead to 14-0. Great blocking by Boutwell, Jesse Cronin, Dan Kent, Chris Kent, Curtis Morneault and Matt Donahue allowed the passing game to be successful.

Tyler Zech closed out the scoring in the first half with a 29-yard jaunt up the left side, beating several defender to the end zone.

In the second half, Boutwell scored a touchdown of his own with a powerful 15-yard blast up the middle.

The Patriots’ defense was stout all day, giving up only 19 total yards and allowing no first downs. Chris Kent and Begley had sacks while Wetherell, Brad Stumpf, and Cronin had numerous tackles to keep the Milford offense off the board.

In seventh-grade action, the Patriots tangled with division rival Milford on Saturday and came out on the short end of a 31-27 decision. Even though the Patriots amassed 261 yards on the ground, Milford’s offense was that much better. Both defenses struggled throughout the game and the Patriots saw its final drive fall short of the go-ahead touchdown.

Patriots running back Ryan MacDonald opened the game with a 70-yard touchdown run up the middle, thanks to blocks by Trevor Roy, Corey DaSilva, Brendan Barry, Alex Collins, Ryan Waitkus, Dale Wilkins and Chase Daniels.

Anton Dotson made a nifty cut-back 40-yard touchdown run on the next possession, and Josef Kiluk also contributed with a touchdown before halftime. The touchdown drive was highlighted by a great 48-yard pass completion from Corbin Ruch to Dotson.

In the second half, MacDonald found pay dirt yet again for his second score of the day.

On defense, Kyle Priest had a fumble recovery while Richie Sharp, Dotson and Kiluk made several key tackles.