Roger Brown's First and 10: Rough start for Clippers' coach
IT WAS a memorable coaching debut, but mostly for the wrong reasons.
For starters, Portsmouth coach Brian Pafford entered Friday night's game against Trinity of Manchester — his first game as Portsmouth head coach — dealing with the loss of his father. Jim Pafford, a Vietnam veteran, passed away on Wednesday following a battle with cancer.
Then Pafford watched his first two quarterbacks go down with injuries in a 58-37 season-opening loss at Tom Daubney Field.
Trinity quarterback Carmen Giampetruzzi completed 11 of 15 passes for 358 yards and four touchdowns in the victory.
"I am impressed, " said Pafford, a longtime assistant coach at Portsmouth before landing the head coaching job this summer. "It's the first time I've seen him live. He's the real deal.
"Even when we had blanket coverage he was laying it in there. He looked as good as any quarterback that I've seen in the last five years. "
Portsmouth quarterbacks Donovan Phanor (ankle) and Nate McFarland (neck) — both starters in Portsmouth's defensive secondary — each left the game in the first half. Pafford said at this point he's uncertain if either will be able to play next week against Laconia.
Portsmouth was also without injured two-way tackles Pat Glynn and Noah Curry .
Trinity running back Austin Chambers caught five passes for 240 yards and two touchdowns for the Pioneers.
"He had a phenomenal game, " Trinity coach Steve Burns said. "I'll tell you this: Portsmouth is a great team. They're a playoff team and they still might win the state title.
"This is only one game and we have a lot to work on, but it's good to be 1-0. "
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Senior Dan Colella completed 13 of 25 passes for 134 yards and a touchdown (no interceptions) in his first game as Bedford's starting quarterback to help the Bulldogs knock off Pinkerton 14-12 Friday night.
His biggest completion was a 25-yard touchdown pass to Nick Vailas with 6:37 to play. The TD erased a 12-7 deficit.
"Dan did an amazing job in that he's a first-year starter as a senior and he's been behind James Caparell for three years, " Bedford coach Kurt Hines said. "So there was the pressure of that, and the pressure (of the program's) first Division I game — against Pinkerton. "
The Astros, who were without running back Manny Latimore (cramps) for much of the fourth quarter, turned the ball over on their final three possessions. Two of those turnovers were fumbles caused by defensive lineman Eric Glassman .
"No one in our school gave us a shot, " Glassman said. "Honestly we just used that as more motivation. "
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Friday night's 47-20 triumph over Goffstown ended the Merrimack program's 14-game losing streak. Merrimack, which went 0-11 last season, hadn't won a game since it beat Manchester West in 2011.
Merrimack quarterback Devin Gillis completed 15 of 23 passes for 243 yards in the victory. He also ran the ball five times for 55 yards and a touchdown.
It was Dante Laurendi 's first game as Merrimack's head coach.
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A thumb injury forced Nashua South quarterback Trevor Knight to leave Friday's 34-24 victory over Spaulding of Rochester early in the third quarter. Knight was scheduled to have the injury evaluated on Saturday.
Knight, who has committed to play for the University of New Hampshire, passed for 132 yards and two touchdowns and ran for 82 yards before he was pulled from the game. He also intercepted two passes.
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Bishop Brady's Matt Tetu carried the ball 28 times for 263 yards and four touchdowns in a 53-35 triumph over Raymond. ... An 18-play, 98-yard scoring drive in the fourth quarter helped Timberlane defeat Alvirne 20-14. Sophomore running back Tyler Furey capped the drive with a 1-yard scoring run. Furey gained 159 yards on 31 carries. ... Donald Pellerin rushed for 194 yards on 41 carries to help Stevens of Claremont defeat Somersworth 31-25 in overtime. Pellerin scored the game-tying and game-winning touchdowns, and returned a kickoff 85 yards for a TD. ... This week's schedule will get an early start when Alvirne faces Nashua South on Thursday night. Also, the starting time for Friday's game between Bedford and West has been moved up to 4 p.m. That game will be at West.
Roger Brown covers high school football for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter: @603sportsmedia.