Roger Brown's First and 10: Trinity digs in
Trinity quarterback Carmen Giampetruzzi, rolls out to during Trinity High football practice on Friday in Manchester. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)
NHIAA SEMIFINAL SATURDAYAll games at 1 p.m.
No. 4 Exeter (7-3) at No. 1 Concord (10-0)
No. 3 Pinkerton Academy (8-2) at No. 2 Keene (8-2)
No. 4 Sanborn Regional (6-4) at No. 1 Plymouth Regional (9-1)
No. 3 Trinity (8-2) at No. 2 Portsmouth (9-1)
No. 4 Inter-Lakes/Moultonborough (5-4) at No. 1 Bow (8-1)
No. 3 Epping-Newmarket (5-4) at No. 2 Stevens (7-2)
That's what the Portsmouth High School football team did following its season-opening 58-37 loss to Trinity of Manchester. The Clippers lined up in a 5-2 defense and played their defensive backs close to the line of scrimmage that night, and Trinity quarterback Carmen Giampetruzzi burned them by completing 11 of 15 passes for 358 yards and four touchdowns.
"A lot of it was our fault," Portsmouth coach Brian Pafford said when asked about that setback against Trinity. "We tried to play the run too much. We underestimated their speed. We won't do that again."
The Trinity-Portsmouth winner will face either top-seeded Plymouth Regional (9-1) or fourth-seeded Sanborn Regional of Kingston (6-4) in next weekend's Division II championship game.
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MIDDLE LINEBACKER Jake Valinski is one of 17 Newmarket residents on an Epping-Newmarket team that will face Stevens of Claremont in Saturday's Division III semifinals. Valinski, a 6-foot-1, 220-pound senior, will enter that game as the program's all-time leading tackler (421).
The winner between third-seeded Epping-Newmarket (5-4) and second-seeded Stevens (7-2) will face either top-seeded Bow (8-1) or fourth-seeded Inter-Lakes/Moultonborough of Meredith (5-4) in the Division III title game.
SATURDAY'S Division I semifinal between third-seeded Pinkerton Academy of Derry (8-2) and second-seeded Keene (8-2) will be the first playoff game between those programs since Pinkerton posted a 52-0 victory in the 1986 Division I championship game played at Manchester's Gill Stadium.
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BECAUSE he's gained a school-record 1,338 yards on the ground this season, Bow junior Matt Ehrenberg makes most of the headlines. Defense may be the prime reason Bow has reached the Division III semifinals, however.
BRIAN GRIDLEY resigned as Pembroke Academy's football coach Thursday night, ending his second stint as the program's head coach.
Gridley was Pembroke's head coach from 1997 to 2001, and from 2010 to 2013.