All Sections
Welcome guest, you have 3 views left.  Register| Sign In


Roger Brown's First and 10: The 'second season' begins Saturday


The NHIAA football season began with 57 teams competing for three state championships — one in each division. Twenty-four of those 57 teams qualified for the playoffs, which begin with Saturday's conference championship games.

.
The season will end in three weeks, and here are the teams that have the best chance to be celebrating when it does:

DIVISION I

Favorite: Concord.

Concord (9-0) is the only unbeaten team in the division, and will be at home throughout the playoffs. Clearly the team to beat.

Other serious contenders: Nashua South (8-1), Keene (7-2) and Pinkerton Academy of Derry (7-2).
..
Each of these teams has one of the best players in the state: quarterback Trevor Knight (South), quarterback Alex Parenteau (Keene) and running back Manny Latimore (Pinkerton). It will be no surprise if any of the three win the title.

Darkhorse: Manchester Central (7-2).
..
No team has more momentum than Central, which has won seven in a row, including a must-win game against Bedford last Friday. There's also a 2,000-yard rusher in the Little Green backfield (Jesiah Wade). It'll be a tough path to the championship game, however, and starts with a game at Concord.
..
DIVISION II

Favorite: Plymouth.

The Bobcats (8-1) have the pedigree, a head coach who knows how to win big games — Chuck Lenahan has guided Plymouth to 19 state titles — and home-field advantage throughout the postseason.

Other serious contenders: Monadnock (9-0) and Portsmouth (8-1).
..
The Huskies enter the playoffs as the only unbeaten team in Division II, but didn't play any of the heavyweights during the regular season. Portsmouth has won eight in a row and has already beaten Plymouth in Plymouth. Monadnock (Division V) and Portsmouth (Division III) each won a state championship last season.

Darkhorse: Trinity-Windham winner.
..
The Pioneers (7-2) and Jaguars (8-1) will meet in Saturday's Division II South championship game. Each team has enough talent to make a deep playoff run, but not sure either will be able to handle Plymouth if they meet the Bobcats in the semifinals.
..
DIVISION III

Favorite: Pelham.

The Pythons (8-0) went unbeaten during the regular season even though they competed in Division III South, which is the SEC of that division. Looks like it's Pelham's year.

Other serious contenders: Bow (7-1) and Stevens (6-2).
..
Bow hasn't lost since opening the season with a seven-point setback against Pelham. The Falcons will get a second shot at the Pythons on Saturday. Stevens has a big-play threat in running back Donald Pellerin.

Darkhorse: Gilford.
..
The Golden Eagles (6-2) quietly put together a six-win season under first-year coach Chris Marden, but went 1-2 against other teams in the playoff field.




..
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.
..


FOLLOW US
Follow us on Twitter Follow us on Facebook Follow our RSS feed
Union Leader app for Apple iPad or Android *
Click to download from Apple Apps StoreClick to download from Android Marketplace
* e-Edition subscription required

More High School Sports


NH Angle