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NHIAA Football: South beats North in battle of Nashua

New Hampshire Union Leader

September 22. 2017 11:07PM

NASHUA — Nashua South football coach Scott Knight said his team went into halftime angry Friday night at Stellos Stadium.

South was far from mad after the game, however.

The Purple Panthers corrected their first-half mistakes and scored four touchdowns in the second half to earn a 34-15 victory over rival Nashua North.

After trailing the majority of the second quarter, North (2-2) shifted the momentum following a defensive stand and a quick-strike touchdown, which resulted in an 8-8 halftime score.

The Purple Panthers (2-2) marched 79 yards on 18 plays but turned the ball over on downs at the North 1-yard line with 2:10 left in the half.

North responded one play later with a 99-yard touchdown pass down the right sideline from Mike Loveless to Austin Ouellette. Kevin Maldonado ran in the two-point conversion to knot the score at 8-8.

“They (the players) were mad because they felt like they were in control most of the half and we had nothing to show for it,” Knight said.

South did not let the Titans build on their big first-half TD over the final two quarters.

The Purple Panthers fumbled the kickoff to open the second half but responded with an interception by senior Devin Linscott. South then marched 91 yards on nine plays, capping the drive with a 3-yard touchdown run by Jaylan Pacheco (11 carries, 78 yards), taking a 15-8 lead.

“We looked at our body of work in the first half, a lot of missed opportunities,” Knight said. “The kids were pretty angry at halftime and then we go fumble. Then we get a pick, get the ball back, go down and drive.”

South quarterback Sean Holland scored from one yard out on the Purple Panthers’ following drive to build a 21-8 advantage with 4:59 left in the third quarter.

Holland, who went 11 of 21 passing for 189 yards and ran for 148 yards on 11 carries, sparked the Purple Panthers in the second half. When he wasn’t connecting with his receivers for catch-and-run plays, he was picking up solid yardage on keeper runs.

“I thought Holland took the game over in the second half,” North coach Dante Laurendi said.

South put the game out of reach in the fourth quarter with a 37-yard TD run by Pacheco and a 37-yard pick-six by Alex Amigo.

North’s lone second-half touchdown came on a 3-yard quarterback keeper by Loveless with 2:39 left in the third quarter.

South opened the game’s scoring with 1:15 left in the opening quarter when Holland connected with Amigo for a 43-yard TD.

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