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September 27. 2013 12:11AM

Matchup of Unbeatens

Roger Brown's First and 10: In Division II, a November feel


Running back Brad Rhoades, seen turning up field after catching a Carmen Giampetruzzi pass during practice at Derryfield Park on Thursday, is one of Trinity weapons Plymouth will have to contend with on Saturday. (THOMAS ROY/UNION LEADER)


Roger Brown’s Grid Picks

Division I
Timberlane 26, Dover 14
Keene 20, Spaulding 14
Winnacunnet 34, Alvirne 12
Bedford 27, Salem 7
Concord 35, Memorial 13
Central 27, Goffstown 20
Nashua South 28, Nashua North 7
Exeter 21, Bishop Guertin 7
Merrimack 36, Manchester West 19
Pinkerton 26, Londonderry 12

Division II
Merrimack Valley 28, Kingswood 14
Portsmouth 36, Souhegan 13
Hanover 21, Laconia 14
Lebanon 14, Kennett 13
Milford 20, Hollis/Brookline 6
Kearsarge 20, Con-Val 14
Monadnock 27, Sanborn 14
St. Thomas 28, Pembroke 13
Trinity 14, Plymouth 13
Windham 21, John Stark 13

Division III
Stevens 28, Fall Mountain 7
Bishop Brady 26, Winnisquam 20
Mascoma Valley 27, Farm./Nute 6
Newport 20, Franklin 6
Bow 25, Gilford 20
Newfound 33, IL/Moultonbrgh. 26
Somersworth 21, Campbell 14

Record last week: 21-6
Record this season: 55-27

Trinity of Manchester coach Steve Burns and Plymouth coach Chuck Lenahan will tell you that Saturday's matchup between the Pioneers and Bobcats could have a lopsided result. The superior team? That depends on which coach is doing the talking.

Lenahan on the Pioneers: "They're a real good football team. I don't even think they've punted this year. Hopefully it's a good game. Hopefully they don't blow us out like they have everybody else."

Burns on the Bobcats: "They're solid on both sides of the ball. We have our work cut out for us. We're going to be lucky to play with them."

Truth be told, Trinity and Plymouth may be the two best teams in Division II. Each team will enter Saturday's contest at Gill Stadium (4:45 p.m. kickoff) with a 3-0 record and, in all likelihood, the same game plan: Run the ball and then hope to hit it big with a play-action pass.

Trinity quarterback Carmen Giampetruzzi has thrown nine TD passes this season.

"They can throw out of the double wing," Lenahan said. "They run it and run it and play action … wide open. I'm worried about getting the ball and keeping it. After Saturday, we won't have to wonder about how good we are."

Trinity and Plymouth met in the last two Division IV championship games. Trinity won 30-14 in 2011, and Plymouth prevailed 7-0 last season.

Plymouth has scored 132 points in its three games. Trinity has scored 130. The Pioneers are seventh in this week's Union Leader/WGIR/WMUR Power Poll. The Bobcats are ninth.

"Stopping the run is a concern," Burns said. "If you don't stop the run, they're not going to throw. They're a well-coached team with a ton of good athletes. Their skill kids are fantastic.

"Points are at a premium when we get together for the most part."

- - - - - - - --

THERE ARE two other games on this weekend's menu that feature teams in the Power Poll. No. 1 Exeter (3-0) will play at No. 8 Bishop Guertin of Nashua (2-1), and No. 10 (tie) Londonderry (2-1) will play at No. 5 Pinkerton Academy of Derry (2-1). Both games will be held Saturday night.

Exeter and Bishop Guertin were the class of Division II before the Blue Hawks moved to Division I following the 2009 season. The Blue Hawks and Cardinals faced each other in four straight Division II championship games beginning in 2005.

Rivals Londonderry and Pinkerton will meet as part of Mack Plaque weekend, the fall athletic competition between the two schools. Pinkerton, which has won two straight since opening with a loss to Bedford, has won the last 11 regular-season meetings with Londonderry. The Lancers won their first two games but are coming off a 19-0 loss to No. 3 Bedford.

- - - - - -

SOME stingy defense has helped carry St. Thomas Aquinas of Dover to a 3-0 start in Division II East. The Saints have surrendered 26 points in their three games, victories over Kearsarge of North Sutton (36-14), Kennett of Conway (39-12) and John Stark of Weare (45-0).

St. Thomas has come up with seven turnovers (four interceptions) and has scored two defensive touchdowns. Junior linebacker Mike Murray leads the team in tackles with 18.

"I knew the defense would be the better side of the ball," St. Thomas coach Eric Cumba said. "We figured the defense would have to keep us in games. They're doing a good job of creating turnovers. They've done more than keep us in games."

St. Thomas quarterback Trevor Martin has thrown seven TD passes, and running back Jake Geppert has 314 yards rushing and 102 yards receiving.

"We're just working on getting better every week," Cumba said. "As a team, we just have to grow more."

- - - - - -

PELHAM (3-0) and Campbell of Litchfield (2-0) — the only unbeaten teams in Division III — are both in Division III South, which appears to be the toughest conference in that division. Division III South also includes Bow (2-1) and Somersworth (1-2).

Roger Brown covers high school football for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. He can be reached at rbrown@unionleader.com. Follow him on Twitter: @603sportsmedia.

New Hampshire High School Football Grid Chart

DIVISION I
TeamOAPFPAThis WeekLast Yr.
EAST CONFERENCE
Exeter3-09643At Bishop Guertin, Saturday, 7DNP
Winnacunnet2-17774Alvirne, Friday, 7DNP
Spaulding2-17748At Keene, Friday, 70-6
Timberlane1-24779At Dover, Saturday, 1:3035-13
Dover0-358132Timberlane, Saturday, 1:3013-35
NORTH CONFERENCE
Bedford3-09412Salem, Friday, 7DNP
Concord3-014219Memorial, Saturday, 135-13
Man. Central1-26885Goffstown, Friday, 7DNP
Man. Memorial1-280102At Concord, Saturday, 113-35
Man. West0-314144Merrimack, Saturday, 131-13
SOUTH CONFERENCE
Londonderry2-18567At Pinkerton, Saturday, 6:450-41
Merrimack2-1100122At West, Saturday, 113-31
Pinkerton2-17636Londonderry, Saturday, 6:4541-0
Goffstown1-28883At Central, Friday, 7DNP
Salem0-32299At Bedford, Friday, 7DNP
WEST CONFERENCE
Nashua South3-010737At Nashua North, Friday. 730-17
Bishop Guertin2-17855Exeter, Saturday, 7DNP
Keene1-24927Spaulding, Friday, 76-0
Alvirne1-25687At Winnacunnet, Friday, 7DNP
Nashua North0-31780Nashua South, Friday, 717-30
DIVISION II
TeamOAPFPAThis WeekLast Yr.
EAST CONFERENCE
St. Thomas3-012026At Pembroke, Saturday, 1:30DNP
Merrimack Valley2-110174Kingswood, Friday, 6:30DNP
Portsmouth2-112072At Souhegan, Friday, 713-18
Pembroke1-26885St. Thomas, Saturday, 1:30DNP
Kingswood1-28783At Mer. Valley, Friday, 6:30DNP
NORTH CONFERENCE
Plymouth3-013136At Trinity, Saturday, 4:3036-14
Lebanon1-24762Kennett, Friday, 70-7
Kennett1-22895At Lebanon, Friday, 77-0
Hanover1-23252At Laconia, Friday, 721-0
Laconia1-24491Hanover, Friday, 70-21
SOUTH CONFERENCE
Trinity3-013063Plymouth, Saturday, 4:3014-36
Milford2-111653Hollis-Brookline, Friday, 741-15
Windham2-16574At John Stark, Saturday, 749-6
John Stark1-240106Windham, Saturday, 76-49
Souhegan0-35495Portsmouth, Friday, 718-13
WEST CONFERENCE
Monadnock3-010047Sanborn, Friday, 6:3032-7
Sanborn2-19274At Monadnock, Friday, 6:307-32
Kearsarge1-21775At ConVal, Friday, 7DNP
ConVal0-314120Kearsarge, Friday, 7DNP
H/Brookline0-35477At Milford, Friday, 715-41
DIVISION III
TeamOAPFPAThis WeekLast Yr.
EAST CONFERENCE
Epping-Newmkt.2-16640 Idle
Bishop Brady1-210798Winnisquam, Saturday, 631-0
Farmington-Nute0-2058Mascoma, Saturday, 1:30318-33
Raymond0-367101Idle
NORTH CONFERENCE
Winnisquam2-19568At Bishop Brady, Saturday, 60-31
Gilford2-18367Bow, Saturday, 1:30DNP
Newfound2-18681Int.-Lakes-Moult., Saturday, 1:303DNP
Int.-Lakes-Moult.1-271107At Newfound, Saturday, 1:30DNP
Franklin0-341126At Newport, Saturday, 1:3020-0
SOUTH CONFERENCE
Pelham3-09120Idle 
Campbell2-050348Somersworth, Saturday, 1:303DNP
Bow2-17721At Gilford, Saturday, 1:30DNP
Somersworth1-27385At Campbell, Saturday, 1:30DNP
WEST CONFERENCE
Fall Mountain2-16847At Stevens, Friday, 7DNP
Newport2-15162Franklin, Saturday, 1:300-20
Mascoma Valley1-17260At Farmington-Nute, Sat., 1:3033-18
Stevens1-26574Fall Mtn., Friday, 7DNP


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