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Tarrier's Power Poll ballot after Week 3

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Post  tarrier on Wed Sep 25, 2013 9:15 pm

Would love to hear some thoughts on the poll and how I voted on my ballot.

UNION LEADER/WGIR/WMUR FOOTBALL POWER POLL

The top 10 high school football teams in New Hampshire, as voted by the staffs of the New Hampshire Union Leader, WGIR AM and FM, and WMUR-TV after Week 3 of the 2013 NHIAA season, with first-place votes/points in parentheses:

THIS WEEK                                                            
1. Exeter, 3-0 (3/55)                                                                                                
2. Concord, 3-0 (1/54)                                                                                
3. Bedford, 3-0 (2/53)                                                                                  
4. Nashua South, 3-0 (41)                                                            
5. Pinkerton, 2-1 (34)                                                                      
6. Winnacunnet, 2-1 (30)                                                              
7. Trinity, 3-0 (24)                                                    
8. Bishop Guertin, 2-1 (15)                                                
9. Plymouth, 3-0 (12)                                                                                  
10 (tie). Londonderry, 2-1 (4)                          
10 (tie). Portsmouth, 3-0 (4)
10 (tie). Spaulding, 2-1 (4)

My ballot...

1.  Exeter...What a game against Winnacunnet on Saturday!  The 35-34 OT win by the Blue Hawks was certainly a close call, but until someone beats the 2-time defending champs I'm keeping them @ #1.  Real interesting match-ups each of the next 2 weeks for Exeter at Stellos Stadium in Nashua vs BG and then against Nashua South.


2.  Concord...I've got the Crimson Tide ranked 2nd again, but I actually think Concord might be a little better than Exeter because they can beat you in a number of different ways...offensively with an outstanding running and passing game, plus a dynamite defense that shut out a Merrimack team on Friday that came into the game as the highest scoring team in NH.

3.  Bedford...the Bulldogs defense has been the story so far this season as they've given up a total of only 12 points through their first three games.  They've also got a good offense led by the Vailas cousins, Mike and Nick and an impressive 1st time starter @ QB in Dan Colella.

4.  Trinity...BIG test this Saturday afternoon at Gill Stadium as the Plymouth Bobcats come to Manchester.  If the Pioneers can win that game I will feel vindicated in placing them this high on my ballot.  

5.  Nashua South...Trevor Knight is back from the thumb injury and he looked just fine on Friday afternoon against Timberlane throwing and running his way to almost 300 yards combined and 4 TDs.

6.  Winnacunnet...the Ing Hao Veasna and Alec Boucher led passing game reminded me of last year's Bedford team which spread you out and beat you with multiple receivers who could make plays.  They may not have the dominating linemen and the home run hitter at running back they had last year, but they sure showed me something against Exeter.

7.  Pinkerton...I feel kind of bad for moving them down 2 spots despite a 27-2 spanking of Salem.  I'll admit I haven't actually seen the Astros in person yet, but it just seems to me that they are still trying to "find" themselves early in the season.

8.  Plymouth...did I mention I'm VERY much looking forward to the Trinity game on Saturday?  These 2 teams have developed quite a rivalry in the short time they've been in the same division with Plymouth winning the last 2 meetings after Trinity took the 1st 3.

9.  BG...the Cardinals picked up a huge conference win over Keene on Saturday night and ended up knocking the Blackbirds out of my Top 10.  I really like how this team/program is jelling in their 3rd season under coach Travis Cote.

10. Portsmouth...after losing a 58-37 shootout against Trinity in week 1(and losing their starting and 2nd string QBs in the 1st half of that game), the Clippers have rebounded nicely with blowout wins in their next 2, albeit against weaker competition.  More importantly, they got starting signal caller Donovan Phanor and a couple key linemen back last week and they should be primed for a playoff push in D2.

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Post  NH12345 on Thu Sep 26, 2013 11:34 am

Tarrier,
    I think you are pretty right on with your selections.  I would have changed a couple of things. . .

1. Exeter- This is a no brainer, they have won the last two state championships and are undefeated.  Someone needs to beat them before someone else can claim this seat.

2. Concord- I watched the highlights you posted from their game against Salem and saw a little bit of the Merrimack game.  This team is for real.  They are strong (mentally and physically), fast and love to make contact.  I can't wait for October 18th when they have to battle Bedford.

3. Bedford- These guys love to fling the ball around. . . I am disappointed you couldn't get their quarterback for an interview, but you have to love a guy that brings his lunch box to work everyday.  They are fast, skilled and their big guys like to bang.  The Vailas cousins are superb athletes.  

4. Nashua South- 3 and 0 without Trevor Knight being able to take all of their snaps is quite impressive.  I don't know much else about them other than Knight, so maybe I am the only one impressed with how they rolled Alvirne without him, but anytime your starting quarterback is out and you still pick up the W it shows the signs of a good team.

5. Winnacunnet- Tarrier you are right they were something else on Saturday.  Tough way to lose a game, but they were in it the entire time and it was a fantastic game to watch.  Their biggest disadvantage is they had to play Exeter so early in the season.  We will continue to hear about Veasna and Boucher, they are a deadly combination.

6.Trinity- Carmen is the real deal and so are his teammates.  The only reason I don't see them higher yet is because they have not had any real big wins yet.  Yes, defeating Portsmouth is a good win, but they are not the Portsmouth of old this year.  After this weekend, if Trinity takes down Plymouth I can see them jumping up.

7.BG-  I know I predicted Keene over them, but JAF reminded me never sleep on the Cardinals.  Their sole loss is to Winnacunnet in Week 1 22-23.  They defeated a very good Keene team without one of their better players in Boykin.  I agree with Tarrier they are starting to really run with Cote and his ideas for the program.  

8.Pinkerton- The loss to Bedford was due to poor extra point performance.  Since then Coach O'Reilly's bunch has not had a close game and I expect that to continue this weekend.  They are not the Pinkerton of Old, but they are still a dangerous team and Manny is an explosive running back, receiver, punt returner, kick returner and defender (when he plays defense).

9. Pelham-  3 and 0 in Division 3.  The only undefeated team in D3 with 3 games played and all of their contests other than Bow have been easy victories.  I know they are down a couple of Divisions, but you have give credit to a team that is handling their business.  2 of the wins are against Newport and Bow which are both sitting at 2-1.  They are outscoring opponents 91-20 in their three games.

10- Londonderry- They have skilled players that can compete with any team on any night.  They still have a lot of holes in their defense, but they are going to battle every game.  After this week though I think Pinkerton will knock them off the top 10.

I know I don't have the knowledge of all the teams that you do, but this what I think.

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Post  JAF on Thu Sep 26, 2013 12:34 pm


Plymouth coming to Windham and soundly beating a pretty good Windham team is more impressive IMO than Pelham going to Bow and winning 7-0 (BTW: Campbell is 2-0 having had a bye on week1).

Does Milford still go with that ground and pound type offense - the Trinity result indicates a lot more scoring that one would expect in a ground/pound game, but it was Trinity's first game on grass if that makes a difference... Trinity is certainly impressive and BTW would do fine in D-1 - replacing West - at least for this year. What they have in the pipeline post G is unknown to me.

BG is not a complete surprise - that group as Freshman was pretty darn good and they lost a few talented players along the way - imagine them with Andrew Carper, Will Collins, Nick Vailas, and Andrew Crane. There are still a few too many predictable plays from my viewpoint in the stands. They did just get Johnny Miller back, so that will help the interior LB area. Not sure you'll see CJ back this year - the injury at the QCJam was a tough one. Big test vs Exeter this week and the hydra offense which they run so effectively...

I'm not so sure now that Keene should have been ranked so high ever. They really do rely on Parenteau a lot and as good as he is, the wear and tear will take it's toll. Wish I could have seen them with their #1 QB running the offense. Maybe later in the season. They appear to be quite tough defensively in the middle which is why I think they gave Exeter fits. Coach Luopa must have hours of Exeter game film.

I think the Londonderry v. Pinkerton game will say a lot about both teams and their chances to win it all this year.

South better not pull a Winnacunnet and look past North to their matchup next week with Exeter. If North is still sticking with the T, it'll help South a lot to see it the week before too.

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Post  sjsprague on Thu Sep 26, 2013 2:58 pm

Concord is by far the best team in Division 1 and will win it all this year.  Speed and solid defense will prevail.  Also, the kicking game is solid.  No contest for the rest of D-1.

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Post  bumper on Thu Sep 26, 2013 3:38 pm

SJS,
I have see Concord since the 7 v 7 season and they are a very athletic team. I picked them to be in the final four. However do not anoint them yet. Let see how they handle some of the bigger and stronger teams out there. Not to mention the fact that they have not been in this position and are not sure how they will handle the pressure down the road. Good luck to Brownie and the boys, it is good to see some different teams at the top.

I would not mind seeing a Bedford Concord final, to bad that can't happen.

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Post  Goodguy on Fri Sep 27, 2013 5:53 pm

No doubt Concord is a good team but I wouldn't award them the D-1 title yet. There are alot of good teams in D-1 and the season is far from over

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Post  GNG on Sat Sep 28, 2013 7:43 am

We will see if Pete still likes how BG is jelling after tonight's tilt with Exeter. My call Exeter ALOT  BG a little..

You want to see a team that is JELLIN. Take a look at ALVIRNE. Sure they lost to Winnie { they almost won} at Winnie, but read the Telegraph today. That's my boy Phillips. He has his team convinced they can play with anyone. Anyone realize how hard it is to take a team that was a doormat, a complete dog, a total loser in division 3 and turn them into a competitive team in division one? confused 

Remember he lost his stud qb before the season even started. Now they are starting to JELL after his THIRD GAME, not THIRD SEASON.Embarassed Embarassed 

Nobody will want to play this team towards the end of the season.  Pete -  Alvirne beats BG next week.  MARK{PHILLIPS} IT DOWN.: Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil 


Watched the Central game last night. Not impressed at all by Central.

Speaking of unimpressed, anyone notice what's going on at Souhegan? Not pretty,No

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Post  BGgrad on Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:21 pm

I'm going to address a few of the fallacies in your last post.

1) "Exeter ALOT BG a little.." - Personally I think it'll be a competitive game, but even if it isnt, BG wouldn't be the first quality team to be handed a handy lost by a #1 in the state.

2) I'm one of the biggest pro-Phillips guys out there. I played for him, took several of his classes, and I liked the guy when I went to BG. I'm pulling for him to have success at Alvirne, and so far I think he's done a good job improving Alvirne. That being said - Alvirne will not make the playoffs, they will not BG, and they won't have the top tier teams buckling at the knees if they have to play them. They're a young team, they are going to make mistakes, and they'll be outplayed in many of their games. Next year or the year after could they surprise people? Sure, I'd take those odds. We'll see how that plays out though. But for now they are a 1-3 team, their one win against a Dover team that is, to quote you, the "doormat" of D1 this year, and they played a tough game against 3-1 Winnie. That same 3-1 Winnie that beat BG by 1 point because BG missed 2 XPs, fumbled on the goal line. Then they beat North (0-4) 20-17. The only "good" game Winnie played was taking Exeter (their rival...don't think that influenced the game?) to OT and then losing. I personally believe Winnie is overrated too.

3) "after his THIRD GAME, not THIRD SEASON." - This is a cheap shot at Travis Cote, and your math skills are a tad off since this is Alvirne's 4th game...but that's beside the point. I played for Cote, he had, like any coach, his pros and cons. You've let your displeasure with how BG handled the Tony Johnson departure taint everything about the school. But this is ridiculous. Cote went 9-3 and won a championship his first year, then took a team with a lot of young starters to a semi-final game against Winnacunnet (the eventual champs) and they played that game to the end. This year, they're 2-1 going into tonight's game against the #1 team in the state. They lost by 1 to Winnacunnet because of some very stupid mistakes, and that may come to haunt them, but they answered by trouncing Dover, and then beating a Keene team that pretty much everyone (myself included) had to win. If they beat North, Alvirne, and South, they drive into another playoff berth, their 3rd straight in 3 years under Cote. You can be as angry as you want about Tony Johnson leaving, but don't take it out on a guy that had nothing to do with it, and has done a not-unimpressive job at the helm of the Cards.

4) I agree with you on Central and Souhegan, though I thought Central was overrated by everyone, every year, because they were the best of the Manchester D1 schools. And Souhegan's demise isn't too surprising to me...head coach of many years leaves, there tends to be struggles that ensue, but I had heard rumors before Beliveau left that there wasn't a ton of talent coming up the pipes.

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Post  PowerFootball30 on Sat Sep 28, 2013 3:48 pm

I know GNG has personal ties with Johnson and Phillips, but I’ve been disgusted at the blind negativity towards Cote.  I’m convinced that had Vince Lombardi taken over after Johnson, he’d find himself on the receiving end of some hate from GNG.  Cote is a good influence on his players, and he’s done well on the field (one for two in championships is nothing to scoff at).  

GNG wrote:You want to see a team that is JELLIN. Take a look at ALVIRNE. Sure they lost to Winnie { they almost won} at Winnie, but read the Telegraph today. That's my boy Phillips. He has his team convinced they can play with anyone. Anyone realize how hard it is to take a team that was a doormat, a complete dog, a total loser in division 3 and turn them into a competitive team in division one? confused
I can’t speak with any authority with regards to any “gelling” that’s happening among the players on the Alvirne team, but they’d be 0-4 if not for the meltdown by Dover (a winless team, by the way).  Apparently, the word “competitive” is being used more loosely than it once was.    

GNG wrote:Remember he lost his stud qb before the season even started. Now they are starting to JELL after his THIRD GAME, not THIRD SEASON.Embarassed Embarassed
As for the reference to Cote needing three years to get his team to gel, I’d say a team that wins a championship qualifies as sufficiently “gelled.”

GNG wrote:
Nobody will want to play this team towards the end of the season.  Pete -  Alvirne beats BG next week.  MARK{PHILLIPS} IT DOWN.: Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil Twisted Evil 
Expect Alvirne to drop to 1-4 next week.  Edwards gained 185 yards on the ground against Alvirne;  don’t expect it to be pretty if Boykin is near 100%.  But it looks to be BG’s game either way.

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Post  BGgrad on Sat Sep 28, 2013 10:08 pm

BG takes Exeter to overtime, tied 14-14.

Update: BG wins 21-14 in OT. Some nice vindication for Travis Cote and his crew.

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Post  tarrier on Sun Sep 29, 2013 10:25 am

Just sent in my post-Week 4 Power Poll ballot and David Bowie's song "Changes" is what came to mind. You'll have to wait a couple days before I can go public with my Top 10, but let's just say the deck has been shuffled a little!

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Post  MaxSportsNH on Sun Sep 29, 2013 12:40 pm

Nothing quite like a Fall NH Football season with GNG poking the fire and adding his insight...

GREAT win for the Lund street boys last night... Maybe Billy Ball's team isnt as good as the street thought, OR maybe BG is speedy, athletic and gifted.

I should leave the COTE rants alone, however i will stand by MY inside take, COTE DID NOT WIN THAT CHAMPIONSHIP, the boys did , the coaching year one was
horrendous, especially at the line.  The coach from Pelham Pop warner guy he allowed to coach line was one of the worst , and I am qualified to say that.
Hey , BG won and the end of the states is a memory my family keeps for a lifetime.

I KNOW Alvrine will be tough all year, WHY ?  simple, phillips and the boys.

finally, any coincidence that  Merrimack has a winning record and souhegan is a bottom feeder ?  whats the correlation ? look at the coaching staff roster....


Last edited by Tuesday and Friday on Sun Sep 29, 2013 7:00 pm; edited 1 time in total (Reason for editing : No name calling or personal attacks please.)

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Post  BGgrad on Sun Sep 29, 2013 2:24 pm

Some things that I saw from last night's game.

BG Defense: They are for real. Realle is a force at MLB, Miller next to him is a 3rd year starter, both solid. They managed to hold an Exeter running team that has manhandled everyone to 2 TDs, one of which was set up by a play-action, almost trick, pass play. The problem BG had was depth. Flathers went down on D a few times, and most of their D Line is playing both ways, but they managed to hold Exeter in check, they did a good job finding the ball carrier, and swarming to take him down.

Exeter Defense: The big guys up front did a nice job stopping the run, but they were helped by the linebackers..as soon as they see run they rush straight forward to stuff it, and that kept BG from getting much started on the ground all night (with the exception of the Realle 61 yard TD run). But when BG passed, the 3 man rush wasn't enough, and the LB dropped straight back, leaving the flats wide open, and Hurley tore them apart.

BG Offense: They struggled to move the ball on the ground early, but Cote made the change from their power formations, went to the spread, shotgun, and gave his senior QB free reign to just gash the Exeter secondary apart. The first TD drive BG had, Hurley went 10/11 for 68 yards and a TD, and those numbers give you a pretty accurate representation of how the whole game went. Short passes, big plays by his receivers (Cushion, Huisman, Loftus, Deveraux, among others - really good job spreading the ball around and checking down). When they were faced with short yardage situations, 3rd and 2 in one case, 4th and 1 in another, they were able to run for what they needed. I think the offense last night showed everyone in D1 how dangerous they can be...BG has run the ball well all year, but now there is the added fact that Hurley can drop back and toss the ball around.

Coaching: BG outplayed Exeter, without a doubt. Exeter really only had one good drive, and BG forced two turnovers when they needed them. But Travis Cote outcoached Bill Ball too - he saw the weakness in Exeter's defense last week against Winnacunnet when Inghao Veasna threw for 340 yards, and he exploited it last night. Ball didn't make any adjustments last night, BG continued all game long to just run short slants and out routes from the slots and they picked up 5 yards a play. The few times they did come up against the slot receivers, Hurley showed off his arm and tossed the ball deep, though he failed to connect.

Overall I'd say this is a great win for BG, and it shows that Exeter, while still a top team (and I do not think this should change people's opinion, they are still a team to beat) is not untouchable. It'll be interesting to see what kind of changes they make after Winnacunnet and BG really took advantage of the passing game. If BG doesn't overlook Alvirne, they should have an easy win, but it wouldn't be the first time a good team has started prepping for the next week and the game is closer than they'd like.

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Post  Goodguy on Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:53 pm

It looks to me that there are 7 or 8 teams in D1 that are all pretty good teams. I believe that Concord and Bedford are for real and I would have them both ranked #1. They both are undefeated and until someone hands then a loss that's where they should stay. Good luck calling it from there. You have Winnie losing by 1 point to Exeter but Exeter loses in OT to BG but BG lost to Winnie. You have Nashua South unbeaten (heck maybe they should be #1 with Bedford and Concord???).Pinkerton's only loss came by two points to Bedford in the first game of the year. I don't know about anyone else but I certainly don't count Keene out of it. They are hard nosed and there defense is pretty darn good, not to mention if you play there it's a haul and they have that darn cannon! I guess our only choice is to see how it all plays out these next few weeks.

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Post  JAF on Sun Sep 29, 2013 3:56 pm

w/r/t: 3 years ago... It was the players who won that but the coach on the other sideline made a number of curious moves that helped BG a lot... Plus his #1 RB got hurt...

While Exeter might be susceptible to the pass but let's face it most nh high school teams have trouble with a good QB and passing offense. Coach Ball will fix what's wrong and Exeter will definitely be in the mix for playoffs...

The game being close and BG winning isn't a complete surprise if you were paying attention to recent scores... Congrats to players and coaches for executing the game plan!

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Post  NH12345 on Mon Sep 30, 2013 3:09 pm

In my watching this year one thing has stood out to me. . . These teams that moved from D2 to D1 this year and throw the ball very well. It is nice to see teams closer to a 50-50 split with run and pass as opposed to the 95-5 we are used to in D1. Very Happy 

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Post  tarrier on Tue Oct 01, 2013 12:29 am

Speaking of the passing game in NH High School football.  There wasn't much of one at Gill Stadium on Saturday when Plymouth ran all over Trinity 35-14.  Why pass if you don't have to?, is what coach Lenahan's philosophy is, and who can blame him?  That said, the game was far less "entertaining" to me compared to all the other games I have been to so far this year.  I don't know why Trinity opted not to spread it out a little instead of just running it into the stout Plymouth defense.  Plymouth is a lot like Exeter in that they approach the game in a very business like, almost military style. Another thing I learned about Plymouth people is they all talk about the importance of Plymouth tradition.  Pretty cool.  I'm looking forward to going up to the Land of Lenahan for the Portsmouth game on Oct 19th.

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Post  JAF on Tue Oct 01, 2013 7:58 am


Strange to think D2 had more teams passing than D1... Sure Exeter, Pinkerton, and Londonderry were certainly more run oriented, but Central, South, and North - I thought they passed more often. Salem, Concord, and Memorial - I'm less aware. Salem used to be more run oriented with Gati, but no sure what they did last year. In D2 Winni, Bedford, and Keene all had QB's with good receivers and liked to pass. West had a very athletic QB who could pass/run... BG, Dover, Merrimack, and Timberlane would seem to mix it up, although BG went more ground than air... Spaulding was definitely 3-4 yards in a cloud of dust.

I guess if you cannot stop the run, then why go away from it. If teams put 8, 9, 10 in the box and you're still gaining 4, 5, 6 yards per carry - why change. Even though colleges (on TV - e.g. the major ones) seem to be moving more and more to that spread, run-n-gun, hurry to the line approach, there are still quite a few that are more traditional and that's where the majority of NH players would be going anyway...

Trinity not passing is interesting... Was it because their line may have been smaller? Was someone important to the passing game hurt? Can we start a rumour :-)? Was Trinity "trying something" or "not showing something"? Who knows - going conservative just seems odd, but it's done all the time. I do agree I'd rather see a game like Portsmouth and Trinity played where the ball is in the air and the athletes come out to shine. High entertainment value.

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