action:article | category:SPORTS21 | adString:SPORTS21 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » High School Sports

November 22. 2013 12:29AM

Roger Brown's First and 10: Portsmouth in another title contest


Trinity defenders Will Shepperd(33) Austin Chambers(26) bring down Portsmouth's Mikel Toar during the first half of their NHIAA Div. II semifinal game hosted at Portsmouth High School Saturday. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)


Div. I championship at a glance

DIVISION I
Pinkerton (9-2) at Concord (11-0), 1 p.m.


Third-seeded Pinkerton Academy of Derry is in the Class L/Division I championship game for the ninth time in the last 10 years, and the 15th time overall. Pinkerton is 10-4 in those games, but lost the last two title contests to Exeter. … Top-seeded Concord is seeking its first state championship since 2000, when it beat Manchester Central 38-0 in the championship game. … Running back Manny Latimore is Pinkerton's marquee player on offense. Latimore has rushed for 1,496 yards and 16 touchdowns on 165 carries this season. He's complimented by fullback Matt Madden, who is also one of the top defensive players in the state. … It's pick your poison when you line up against the Concord offense. The Crimson Tide can strike through the air or on the ground. Quarterback Rob Law has completed 92 of 138 passes for 1,404 yards and 15 touchdowns this season. Seimou Smith is the team's leading receiver with 32 receptions for 620 yards and seven TDs. Walters Ndi has carried the ball 121 times for a team-high 1,095 yards, and running back/slot receiver Marc Gaudet has scored 19 TDs (16 rushing, three receiving). … Concord won the regular-season meeting 21-14 in overtime, but Pinkerton led 14-6 with less than a minute to play in that contest. The Crimson Tide scored on a Law-to-Jacob Szulc 12-yard pass with 51 seconds to play, and added the two-point conversion to force overtime. Ndi scored the game-winning TD in OT, and finished with 160 yards on 26 carries. Latimore led Pinkerton with 173 yards on 22 carries. … Concord's starting defense has allowed 14 TDs in 11 games. ... Pinkerton sacked Law four times in the second half of the regular-season meeting.

Roger Brown's pick: Concord 14, Pinkerton 10

By now, you undoubtedly know that Chuck Lenahan will be walking the sideline as Plymouth Regional's football coach for the final time Saturday when the Bobcats face Portsmouth in the Division II championship game.

Lenahan has a 355-70-1 record in 43 seasons at Plymouth and his teams have won 19 state championships, so his final game is certainly a worthy storyline. The game also has an interesting subplot, however, since Portsmouth will likely be playing its final game as a Division II program.

Although not official, Portsmouth is expected to move up to Division I next season, with Manchester West dropping from Division I to Division II. According to Portsmouth coach Brian Pafford, Portsmouth appealed in an attempt to remain in Division II, but that appeal was denied.

"I haven't heard anything since then," Pafford said. "If I had to guess I'd say we're going up."

Portsmouth is playing in its sixth consecutive championship game. After three consecutive losses to Souhegan of Amherst in the Division III title game, Portsmouth beat Bedford for the Division III championship in 2011 and defeated Goffstown to win last year's Division III title.

Second-seeded Portsmouth (10-1) will be the road team Saturday even though it beat top-seeded Plymouth (10-1) during the regular season. Not a lot of teams have beaten Plymouth twice in one season. Even fewer have won twice in the same season at Plymouth.

"There's no rocket science in this one," Pafford said. "You can't go toe-to-toe with them. You have to spread them out and make things happen. If it's OK weather I think we can move the ball and put points up.

"Defensively you have to play tough up front. When we watched film on them before our first game we never saw them punt. If we can get one stop a quarter, that's pretty good.

"It's going to be an honor to coach against (Lenahan) in his last game."

- - - - - -

SATURDAY'S Division I championship game between Concord (11-0) and Pinkerton Academy of Derry (9-2) will match teams that each set the school record for points scored in a season this year (467), but from an offensive standpoint, the Astros and Crimson Tide couldn't be more different in how they do things.

Pinkerton runs a wing-T offense that has helped coach Brian O'Reilly post a 270-103 record in his 36 seasons as the program's head coach. Concord is among the NHIAA teams that run the spread, which has become popular at the high school and college levels in the last decade.

"That's a crowd-pleasing offense," O'Reilly said when asked about Concord. "That's not what we do. We run the ball."

- - - - - -

STEVENS of Claremont (8-2) will be looking for a big game from senior running back Donald Pellerin in Saturday's Division III championship game against Bow (9-1). Pellerin, who also plays varsity baseball and varsity basketball, will enter that contest with 1,377 yards rushing and 22 touchdowns.

"He's exceeded even what I thought he was going to do this season," Stevens coach Paul Silva said. "He's very quick, he's got good speed and he's the hardest-working kid I've ever been around."

Pellerin has scored at least one touchdown in every game this season except Bow's 28-14 victory over Stevens during the regular season.

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.


  • Should public schools in NH provide students with firearms safety instruction?
  • Yes
  • 65%
  • No
  • 35%
  • Total Votes: 1958
 NH Sports Angle more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

New OT rule in AHL generating buzz

Slam thunk! Sarah Silverman nearly hit by basketball at Knicks game... but luckily John McEnroe is there to shield her

Spurs' Matt Bonner will wear new Adidas Crazy 8 shoes for Christmas game

Jason Saltmarsh: Runners should never have to pay for their race photos

Ex-official pleads guilty to embezzling thousands from Pembroke football nonprofit

Former New Hampshire goalie DeSmith tells his side of arrest, dismissal from team

NH hockey team moving to Maine could be worth at least $1 million in economic activity say city officials

New owners of Claremont plan to put speedway back on track

Speedway in Claremont bought for nearly $519,000

Lebanon marathoner qualifies for US Olympic Trials

Matt Bonner talks about the end of the run, making the simple play, and playing until he's 40

Ex-UNH goalie agrees to diversion,receive counseling, avoids jail

Wildcats will face Chattanooga in prime time

New England Revolution forward Charlie Davies teaches supporters how to believe

Helmetless Football? Its the new practice at UNH

CASEY DeSMITH

DeSmith officially dismissed from New Hampshire team, but can return to class as of Dec. 20

San Antonio Spurs forward Matt Bonner (15), of Concord, N.H., shoots the ball against Boston Celtics center Tyler Zeller (44) during the second half at TD Garden.

Rapper Lil B gives shoutout to…Matt Bonner?

Manchester Central's Tyler Stratton watches his shot get by Spaulding High School (Rochester) goalie Derek Scott during a shootout at the 2012 Bauer Christmas Hockey Classic hosted at JFK Coliseum in Manchester.

VFW downsizing threatens Spaulding hockey due to loss of venue for Bingo fundraisers

Eagles notes: Kelly committed to current job

5 face riot charges in beating incident at football game

Ayotte rips top sports league commissioners for snubbing hearing on domestic violence

Manchester Monarchs sign Josh Gratton to AHL contract

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!