Roger Brown's First and 10: Bedford senior quarterback Colella steps in, steps up
When the season began, Bedford had uncertainty at the quarterback position.
James Caparell, who had been Bedford's starting quarterback since midway through his freshman year, graduated as the state's all-time passing leader (5,389 yards) after leading the Bulldogs to last year's Division II championship game.
Bedford has clearly found a capable replacement, however. Senior Dan Colella, a standout on Bedford's lacrosse team, has guided the Bulldogs to a 3-0 start in their first Division I season. Bedford entered the weekend tied with Concord for the No. 2 spot in the Union Leader/WGIR/WMUR Power Poll.
"He looks pretty good to me," Londonderry coach Jon Rich said after Bedford beat the No. 9 Lancers 19-0 on Friday night. "He looks like he's very capable of running an offense. He runs hard, and the dual-threat quarterbacks are always the toughest to defend."
Colella completed 15 of 21 pass attempts for 139 yards and a touchdown (a 27-yard pass to Nick Vailas) against Londonderry. He also ran the ball 10 times for 74 yards and a touchdown. His 14-yard TD run capped the scoring with 2:51 to play.
"Great poise, and we talked about that a lot this week," Bedford coach Kurt Hines said. "We want to make sure that when he does run the ball he runs with a purpose. He stepped up big time in the offseason making sure he hit the weight room and got some passing in. He's come along very nicely."
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AFTER missing a week with a dislocated thumb, Nashua South quarterback Trevor Knight was back on the field Friday night and played a large role in South's 38-13 triumph over Timberlane of Plaistow.
Knight, who will play at the University of New Hampshire next season, ran for 176 yards and two touchdowns and completed 14 of 20 passes for 110 yards and two touchdowns as No. 4 South raised its Division I record to 3-0.
Portsmouth's Donovan Phanor is another quarterback who returned to action Friday night after suffering an injury in Week 1. Phanor did not play in last weekend's victory over Laconia because of an ankle sprain suffered on the first offensive series of Portsmouth's opener against Trinity of Manchester.
Phanor completed 5 of 8 passes for 178 yards and three TDs in Portsmouth's 48-14 victory over previously unbeaten Merrimack Valley. He also added 47 yards and a touchdown on the ground.
Offensive lineman Noah Curry and Pat Glynn also saw their first action of the season for the Clippers, who led Merrimack Valley 48-0 at halftime and raised their Division II record to 2-1.
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MARK PHILLIPS collected his first victory as Alvirne of Hudson's head coach when his Broncos finished strong in a 42-32 triumph over Dover on Friday.
Alvirne overcame deficits of 21-0 and 32-14. Tyler Cabral returned a fumble 53 yards for a touchdown and scooped up a blocked punt and scored from 27 yards away. Each TD came in the fourth quarter.
Phillips, who used to be an assistant coach at Bishop Guertin of Nashua, replaced Bob Nimblett as Alvirne's head coach after the 2012 season.
Merrimack got off to a 2-0 start in Division I this season, but didn't come close to building on that momentum on Friday night against Concord. The Crimson Tide scored 42 first-half points en route to a 55-0 victory.
Merrimack also learned that running back/linebacker Joe Giampietro will miss the rest of the season with a knee injury suffered in last weekend's victory over Manchester Memorial.
Through two games Merrimack led the state in scoring (100 points). Concord improved to 3-0 and has scored 142 points in its three victories.
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.