John Thomas and Plymouth take on Trinity Saturday afternoon
Remember you can buy DVD’s for any of our Games of the Week; Pete Tarrier doing play by play, the great Jon Kesty capturing both the scene and all your (or your child’s) glory on the gridiron. What more can you ask for?
Exeter (3-0) at Bishop Guertin (2-1)
The coverage of Exeter high school is sponsored by Chad Fletcher at Blue Water Mortgage
When you’re the defending champs you tend to be nearly everyone’s biggest game of the year and so it goes for the Exeter Blue Hawks. One week after beating arch-rival Winnacunnet 35-34 in overtime in front of 4,000 plus people Bill Ball’s team goes back on the road to play former arch-rival Bishop Guertin. From 2005 to 2008 these two school’s met four straight times for the Division II title and now in a new look Division I acquaintances will be renewed. Both teams played to the wire against Keene and Winnacunnet and come in sufficiently battle tested.
Did Winnacunnet expose a weakness last weekend in the Blue Hawks when they were able to move the ball up & down the field all afternoon throwing the football? They did indeed, although how many teams have a quarterback that throw as well as IngHao Veasna?
What they also proved once again though is that they may be the toughest team to run against in the state. Winnacunnet couldn’t get any push on the offensive line and had to spread the ball out to stay with an Exeter offense that pounded the ball up the middle with great success.
BG is at its best running the football although they have a proven three year starter at quarterback in Tom Hurley. Winnacunnet found little success running the football (and looked like they anticipated that was the way it was going to play out) but were able to find playmakers like Alec Boucher in space. Does Bishop Guertin have that same capacity if Exeter stops their running attack?
Londonderry (2-1) at Pinkerton Academy (2-1)
It’s not always easy being Pinkerton; the expectations are always extremely high and most people feel like anything short of an appearance in the championship game is a sub-par season. It’s that same mentality in regards to Brian O’Reilly’s program that has just about everyone with an unbiased opinion holding off judgment one way or another on a team that has beaten Manchester Central and Salem by combined scores of 64-22 the past two weeks.
The Astros seemed to have settled on Jack Hanaway at quarterback and we are all quite aware of that running back lining up behind him. Pinkerton throws the ball only 4 or 5 times a game and the explanation behind that small number of attempts is as simple to explain as the math that backs up Manny Latimore’s production; 8.8 yards per carry and 5 rushing touchdowns in three games.
The Lancers won a shoot-out of epic proportions two weeks ago against Goffstown and then proved that they can stay in a slugfest with their defense in a loss last week to Bedford. That’s reason for optimism because this is a football team with a lot of talent at the skill positions and an offensive line that has come together nicely in the opening month. Londonderry’s best chance for an upset is a couple of big touchdown runs by Dennis Bishop and Eric Fairweather and a strong performance by an improving defense.
Plymouth Regional (3-0) at Trinity (3-0)
The coverage of Trinity high school is sponsored by The Auburn Pitts
Exeter & Winnacunnet gave us Division I’s version of the game of the year and now one week later Division II follows suit with their own version. When these two teams last saw each other Collin Sullivan was lofting a 27 yard touchdown pass to Ryan Farina in the final 49 seconds of the Division IV championship. Farina bowled his way into the end zone as the Plymouth sideline exploded and Trinity players lay collapsed on the grass of a field Plymouth Hall of Fame Coach Chuck Lenahan has become synonymous with over a 44 year career.
The rematch will feature some very familiar faces as Sullivan and Carmen Giampetruzzi will line up again under center. John Thomas, Kyle Resiert, Jared Kuehl, Sean Zaikowski and the emerging Justin Robinson all were on the field last year for the Bobcats and will be in Manchester Saturday afternoon at 4:30 for kickoff.
Trinity has an emerging defense of their own led by Ian Landry, Austin Chambers and linebacker Zach Poole that has come up with big stops when they’ve had to. A running game anchored around Chambers and Brad Rhoades is averaging over five yards per carry while Giampetruzzi has already thrown for six touchdowns and over 600 yards on the season.
The question mark around the defending champs coming into the season was a re-vamped offensive line but those concerns have been put to rest as Lenahan’s team has outscored their opponents 131-36 in their first three games. In talking to players and coaches from both teams it is a game they’re fought against looking ahead to.
It’s here now and we’ll have complete coverage as Pete Tarrier and Jon Kesty will bring you all the play by play, highlights and interviews from the premier game in New Hampshire this weekend. You can also listen here to Trinity head coach Steve Burns on the air Saturday morning with Pete & I on the New Hampshire high school football show, airing from 8 to 9. Listen in live right from your computer or phone through the link on our show page.
Sanborn (2-1) at Monadnock (3-0)
If you’re a fan of points and watching the scoreboard operator gasp for breath this is your game. The Huskies are getting a lot of attention for their 3-0 start in Division II and in Sanborn they face a team led by Mike Rich and Zach Mathews that comes in averaging 30 points a game. Sanborn raised some eyebrows on opening weekend when they battled a very tough Milford team all the way into the fourth quarter. Since then they’ve won back to back games over Hollis-Brookline and Pembroke and have the look of a playoff team. How their defensive line holds up against a very tough Monadnock line will determine their ability to stay with the Huskies on a tough field to win on.
Monadnock’s Dylan Lane, Drew Bolewski and QB Isaiah Prince have all been terrific running the football, a Sanborn team that also gives up an average of 25 points per contest has to be better if they are going to take over first place in the sub-division with a road win.
Bow (2-1) at Gilford (2-1)
Two teams heading in the right direction meet up in a non-sub-division game (my head hurts every time I’m forced to write that). The Falcons have bounced back very nicely from a 7-0 loss to Pelham in the opener (a loss that looks better & better every week) behind a running attack led by Chris Robbins (163 yds. on the season), Matt Ehrenberg (137) and Alex Reitze (120). Defensively few teams in the division have been better as the Falcons have given up only 21 points on the season.
The re-alignment has been fair to most, a benefit to some and straight detriment to others and when you’re a good team like Bow who finds themselves in a sub-division alongside Pelham (3-0), Campbell (2-1) and Somersworth (1-2 with an overtime road loss and a loss to undefeated Pelham)..well a pretty good team is going to be on the outside looking in when the playoffs commence in November.
The Golden Eagles (the alma mater in these parts..) is your proverbial house on fire after two straight wins in which they put up 77 points in two games behind all-state quarterback Jack Athanas. Newport was able to control the clock and grind a win away on opening weekend running the football and that’s exactly the direction Bow will try and follow Saturday afternoon. The offense for Gilford coach Chris Marden’s team has come alive after a slow start in the opener, has the defense?
Winnisquam (2-1) at Bishop Brady (2-1)
Two very good offenses go head to head in a game with a 42-35 feel to it. Matt Tetu of Brady has been one of the leading rushers in the state early on while QB Brendan Johnson and fellow backs Dalton Morris & Moses Murenzi have each averaged over 6 yards a carry. The Giants are coming off of a heart breaking 29-28 loss to Campbell last weekend but can bounce back with a win over a good Winnisquam team.
The Bears have a big time running attack of their own in brothers Christian & Andrew Serrano. Expect both teams to move the football and turnovers and special teams to help determine which team gets to 3-1.