skip navigation

The Nashua Community College Championship Scouting Report

By Dave Haley, 11/09/22, 6:15AM EST


The Hilltoppers face the Newport Tigers for the Division IV title

 As we have done annually for the past fifteen seasons, we hand over our championship game previews to the people who know these teams better than anyone, the coaches who faced them during the season.

 Using blind quotes we asked four head coaches to break down the two championship games being played on Saturday afternoon.

 We'll have full coverage of both games.

 Pete Tarrier and Shannon Hargreaves will be at Souhegan high school to cover the Division III championship game between the undefeated Trinity Pioneers and the Campbell Cougars.

 Brandon Bojarsky, Spencer Coronis, and Colin O’Neil will be at Laconia high school when the defending champion Somersworth Hilltoppers square off with the second-seeded Newport Tigers.

 We’ll have all the highlights plus the post-game interview/celebration with the winners.

 Each winner will also have a championship watch party in the near future, hosted by our partners at Buffalo Wild Wings.

 Today’s championship scouting report is brought to you by our partners at Nashua Community College who have an open house on November 16th from 5 to 7 pm!

 Division III

 Trinity vs Campbell

 Trinity Team Page

 Campbell Team Page

 Box score of the first meeting

 The Campbell Cougars earned a shot at undefeated Trinity with an impressive 37-14 win on the road against a tough Monadnock team. At the same time, the Pioneers beat Inter-Lakes Moultonborough to advance to their second straight championship game.

 We asked two head coaches to break down the teams and the match-up, starting with Rob Cathcart's Pioneers.

 "Their speed and the athletic ability of their skill position players is what sets them apart," said a head coach we spoke to. "Whereas many teams in our division beat you with a six-minute/twelve-play drive, Trinity can go 85-yards in two plays."

 "When we played them, we drove the ball into the red zone but made a few poor decisions and couldn't convert. (Trinity) then got the ball, hit Devohn Ellis on a slant, and scored in about a minute. That kind of ability sets them apart."

 When talking to both coaches, the all-state wide receiver came up often.

 "Devohn Ellis is a real problem," said one head coach. "Campbell had an excellent chance to beat them, but they didn't contain him in coverage, and (Trinity quarterback) Jack Service found him for huge plays. Glen (Costello) will work hard to ensure that doesn't happen again."

 "They love to get Ellis on that slant. When we played them, we switched to man defense because (Jack) Service would find the zone and make the throw. He's a terrific quarterback."

 A fellow coach agreed.

 "He is hands down the best quarterback in our division. They have so many weapons, from Paul Thibault to Bobby Kinsella to Tony DiGiantommasso. They have better athletes and a deeper group of them."

 "When we played them, Thibault killed us, absolutely killed us on the defensive side of the ball. He took away our option plays. He covered the quarterback and the runner, and we had no answer."

 What about Glen Costello's Cougars.

 "They are very physical. Monadnock is a tough team, and they took it to them last weekend. They went into that game convinced they would win, and they got it done."

 A fellow coach agreed.

 "They are more physical than they get credit for, but they also have a lot of speed. Scott Hershberger and his brother Nick can beat you to the outside, and Jackson Kanaley is also a very good player."

 "Campbell has the edge on the interior. I like the physicality of their offensive and defensive lines. Trinity is not as big on the line as they have been in the past, but they do a nice job getting the ball out quickly to their playmakers."

 "When we played Trinity we were able to get back in the game by just going right at them. What Campbell has to do on Saturday is push Trinity off their spot and run Hershberger thirty times if you need to."

 "You must make Trinity go down the field with check downs and shorter runs. Easier said than done, but they kill you with those big plays, and Campbell needs to negate those."

 So who wins on Saturday?

 "I'll go with Trinity, but it's going to be a fun and entertaining game. It will be very close, and I will give Campbell a good chance to beat them."

 "I think Campbell gets them with their physicality. I think it's going to be a fantastic game."

 My pick: Campbell in a very close one.



 Division IV

 Somersworth vs Newport

 Somersworth Team Page

 Newport Team Page

 Box score from the first meeting

  By a wide margin, the Somersworth Hilltoppers and the Newport Tigers have been the best two teams in Division IV all season long.

 Somersworth won seven games by an average margin of 41 points, while Newport won six games by an average margin of 36 points.

 On Saturday afternoon, the last two champions in the division square off, and we asked two opposing head coaches to break down both teams and the match-ups, starting with Jeremy Lambert's undefeated defending champions.

 "Their personnel is so impressive, and you have to admire their style because they just line up in front of you and kick your butt," said one head coach we spoke to.

 " They are smart enough to go right ahead and pound the football. I give Coach Lambert a lot of credit for that."

 "They have the best offensive line in the division. Those guys are big and physical, and if that isn't enough for your defense to contend with, they have a pair of physical backs who will lower their shoulders and hammer you as well."

 Coaches spoke about the all-state backfield of Calvin Lambert and Tayshawn Sheppard.

 "They have a great dynamic because Lambert is the more physical runner between the tackles, and Sheppard is the guy you need to contain on the outside. Lambert is outstanding. His speed on both sides of the ball is underrated."

 "Sheppard is known for his speed, but he also will lower his pads and hit you when you go to make the tackle. You have to gang tackle them because one guy rarely brings them down. That puts a lot of pressure on a defense."

 A fellow coach agreed.

 "Lambert is a problem on both sides of the ball, but the player who really hurt us was Sheppard. You add in (Dante) Guillory and Kaden Bickford, and there are a lot of good players to account for."

 "They set up in their double tight end/ T-formation and run straight at you. It feels like ten guys are coming at you downhill when you are a defense on the other side of the ball."

 "Defensively, they win the line of scrimmage, and their linebackers come downhill at you because they have so much confidence in (Jeff) DeKorne and the back end of their defense. He's an excellent safety and always seems to be in the right spot."

 We asked our coaches to break down the Newport Tigers.

 "They are the best coached and most disciplined team we faced all season," said a head coach we spoke to. "That's not to take anything away from other coaches, but they do such a great job with those kids. They understand their assignment and how to cover those zones."

 "John (Proper) does a terrific job with that team."

 "Their best player is (QB/DE) Kyle Ashley. They do an excellent job in dropping him back on play action, making you chase (Kayden) LaClair down the field, and if he doesn't get the single coverage he wants, he pulls the ball down and runs it."

 "Our strength as a team is our cornerbacks, so when we had the pass covered, Ashley killed us on those improvised runs."

 "Their ability to take shots down the field with the deep ball is a new weapon for them. Ashley has a very strong arm, but he struggles with accuracy. I'd expect (Jeremy) Lambert to make sure they provide over the top on LaClair."

 "Their defensive line was the best we saw all season and a very underrated group. Ashley comes flying off the edge as their defensive end, and they don't give you running lanes in the middle of that defense."

 Another coach talked about Division IV rushing leader Tyler Gobin.

 "They run the ball effectively, and he does a nice job of shaking off tackles. He rarely goes down on first contact, and with Ashley's size as a runner, it's a very effective combination."

 "The issue for Newport is that they don't have the weapons on offense that Somersworth does and the last time they played Somersworth beat them in the trenches as well."

 " I can see Newport winning a 21-14 type game but I cannot see them winning a game in the thirties. They don't have the offense to beat Somersworth in a shootout."


 So who wins on Saturday?

 "Somersworth by a couple of scores."

 "Somersworth, although it will be much closer than the first time. You could see Newport leading at halftime, but Somersworth should win it."

 My pick: In a much closer game than the 35-7 final the first time around, Somersworth.


Most Popular

Tag(s): Home  Football  NHIAA Division III  Campbell  Trinity  NHIAA Division IV  Newport  Somersworth