I'll use any excuse to reference RUN DMC, thanks Cavs
It's back! The best listicle in NH, the McIsaac Top 10! And I'd like to announce that this year, Jen Chick-Ruth is a Top 10 voter!
(46 minutes later)
Oops, Austin Grass had a giant screaming fit about that decision, so Jen's out. I guess she had a slice of pizza in a media press box once, and THAT CAN'T BE ALLOWED.
The Top 10 is brought to you by TJ’S in Portsmouth! My absolute favorite spot in Portsmouth to catch a game. Tell Bethany that McIsaac sent you.
10. ERIC FAIRWEATHER AND ST A’S PUT A BEATDOWN ON ASSUMPTION
St. Anselm football has had a tough go the last few years, but this season they finished with a 4-4 record in the NE-10, capped off with a 61-23 win over Assumption (which denied Assumption a share of the NE-10 title) that included 453 yards passing and 152 yards rushing and earned him the D2/D3 New England Golden Helmet Award . A great way to end a great career for Fairweather, who is 2nd all time in rushing yards and 3rd all time in passing yards in St A’s history.
9. LONDONDERRY WASN’T MESSING AROUND
Usually when I dub a team the favorite in a division, it means they’re doomed in the first round of the playoffs (sorry Pelham). But I’ve called D1 “The Londonderry Invitational” from the jump and the Lancers got to the final game of the year with a 35-14 W over a very good Salem team Saturday. The Lancers haven’t been to the big dance sine 2001, and when they get there, it’ll be against a team that knows championship football very, very well…
8. … EXETER IS NOT HERE FOR A CORONATION
The Blue Hawks moved into the title game for the 5th time in 10 years with a 34-13 win over Merrimack. This isn’t your typical “3 yards and a cloud of field turf pellets” Exeter team - yes, they want to run the ball first, but Ryan Grijalva can beat you over the top, and the X in Exeter stands for X Plays (plays of 20 yards or more). Lodonderry will be the favorite Sunday, but don’t sleep on the Hawks.
7. LEBANON MANAGED TO KEEP COLBY QUIET
You know what has been darn near impossible this season? Holding Hillsboro-Deering Hopkinton RB Colby Quiet in check, but that’s exactly what the Lebanon game plan was on Saturday, and the Raiders managed to do just that in a 41-0 win, The Raiders have earned a long drive to Durham to try and finish off the season with a D3 title.
6. BACK TO BACK FOR ‘SQUAM
A shutout championship victory for Winnisquam as the Bears go wire to wire to take the D4 crown, winning 20-0 over a very game Fall Mountain team is something to celebrate. The Bears did it with defense, holding Fall Mt under 170 total yards and getting a defensive score to take all the D4 marbles.
5. THE MOST IMPORTANT PART OF AN UGLY WIN IS THE WIN
That was Big 10 style ugliness in the Pats-Eagles game last night, and I’m sure Felger and Mazz will gleefully spend 4 hours telling you that YOU CAN’T WIN WITH THIS TEAM IN JANUARY (I don’t know how you people listen to those two), but listen – winning on the road is tough, winning with an offensive line seemingly held together with duct tape and imagination is tough, and winning with a still banged up Edleman, a rookie playing his 1st game, and a 700 year old Ben Watson is even tougher… but a win is a win.
4. YOU MIGHT’VE MISSED THIS BUT DARTMOUTH LOSING TO CORNELL IS A GIANT UPSET
Dartmouth crushed Princeton a week ago and NH’s other D1 football team was poised to win the Ivy League title outright- all they had to do was beat Cornell, who, if you don’t follow this stuff, is like Jets of the Ivy League. Easy enough, right?
Dartmouth can still win a share of the Ivy League with a win this weekend, and can win it outright with a win and a Yale loss, but that was a surprise.
3. TRINITY IS ALL THE WAY BACK
From not playing a Varsity season a few years back to the D3 Title game, the Trinity Pioneers are all the way back as a program after avenging last year’s playoff loss to Stevens 48-15. John Thibault, who may get some Heisman votes after gaining more than 2000 yards on the ground this season, led the way with 3 TD’s on just 12 carries. Trinity lost to Lebanon early in the year, but is making their first title game appearance since 2012, and anything can happen once you get to Durham.
2. CHRISTMAS IN HOLLIS (BROOKLINE)
HB went to unbeaten Bow and came away with a trip to Durham after a 34-14 win on Saturday, headed to their first-ever football state championship game with all the momentum in the world. The focus is usually (rightly) on the Wimmer brothers, but it was Marc-Andre Thermitus who raced for 3 TD’s in the convincing win. The D2 Title game features the Two Teams Nobody Wanted To Play because…..
1. …PLYMOUTH SPENDS NOVEMBER IN DURHAM EVERY YEAR
And in the 14-7 win over Alvirne, they did it in the most Plymouth way possible, throwing a grand total of ONE PASS (it was complete), smothering the Bronco offense and getting just enough first down pickups later on to get to Wildcat Stadium for the 4th straight year. If Plymouth wins on Sunday (or maybe Friday, that’s a whole other story), then Plymouth will be the Land of Lenahan, and Durham will be the Land of Sanborn
ALSO RECEIVING VOTES: Keep your eye on the NCAA Soccer Selection show today, UNH lost a heartbreaker in Albany, SNHU Men’s & Women’s hoop teams gonna be fun as heck, It’s too damn cold out
Justin McIsaac writes the Top 10 every week (usually). He is the 2018 NSMA NH Sportscaster of The Year. He has 1,000 jobs, including radio color commentary for UNH Football, Producer of "NH Today with Jack Heath", HS play by play for MOSN, The McIsaac On Sports Network, college play by play for Dartmouth, St Anselm’s, UNE, Harvard, and whoever else will cut the check. Follow him on Twitter: @justin_mcisaac