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Football 2014 has begun Empty Football 2014 has begun

Post  JAF on Mon Sep 08, 2014 10:05 am


But yet no one is active discussing the pre-game, the game, or any post-game stuff. If it's football season, then I'd expect our resident football "experts" poking the basketball bears to be a bit more active. Smile

I was at the Londonderry/BG game (I haven't read the Sports Page story on the game yet), but my take on it was BG has fallen and it'll be tough for them to get back up at this rate. I sent a picture of the sideline to my boys - each responding holy s*t that's all the players they have?!?! Far cry from the 80-100 man rosters only a few short years ago. In any case, it seems they lost one back (Houseman - leg/knee) and maybe a second (Rivera - wrist) due to injuries. The first one all I caught out of the corner of my eye as Houseman was on the ground was the trainer sprinting across the field just about as the play ended and surely before someone had to call for him. Didn't look good. The second one I think occurred on a middle run where the wrist just got caught in an awkward position. They were already without the services of their punter (Sanborn) who got hurt against Central/QC Jamboree, so when you don't have numbers - it gets more and more difficult to compete in D1 (just ask Dover).

Londonderry looked good - I'm sure it's a huge difference not playing single wing any more! #5/Ryan made a number of big/key plays on both sides of the ball and I think he was the difference maker in the first half. Offensively in the first half they didn't seem totally in synch - two big plays were the difference - middle pass and great run plus the kickoff return... The defense seemed to be bend, bend, bend, but don't break as BG was able to move the ball quite a bit, but not when/where it counted. In the some things never change department - got to figure out a better way or be quicker getting plays in. Drives would stall because of what seemed like indecision giving the Londonderry defense a chance to regroup a bit rather than just attacking quickly.

The only score that really surprised me was the 35-0 Merrimack win... It's not that I wouldn't expect Merri to win since they have good athletes and a high scoring offense from last year, but Keene laying a goose egg?!? Either Merrimack has really stepped it up defensively as well or that long drive was too much.

The D1 South could be verrryyy interesting if the West is a weak as week 1 showed.

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Post  Thereport on Wed Sep 10, 2014 2:06 pm

JAF:
I think it had more to do with the fact that Merrimack is a program on the rise coinciding with Keene graduated 20+ seniors last year, all but 1 starter on each side of the ball.. then the long bus ride. I don't think this will be a fun year for the Black Birds.
I also think BG played slow and undisciplined which against a team running the spread, even if it's the Ole simplified Manchester West version, will get you into trouble no matter who you are and who you're missing. I'm sure they'll be okay...they had horrendous numbers last year and were 6-3.

The South will be interesting, but not because of Londonderry...There's another team wearing Blue that beat a much better team then the mighty Cardinals of various parts of Massachusetts.

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Football 2014 has begun Empty Power Poll

Post  tarrier on Wed Sep 10, 2014 5:35 pm

Here's the Week 1 Power Poll...and my personal ballot.

UNION LEADER/WGIR/WMUR FOOTBALL POWER POLL

Sept. 8, 2014

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 the 2014 NHIAA season's opening weekend, with first-place votes/points in parentheses:

THIS WEEK / PRESEASON

1. Pinkerton, 1-0 (5/59) / 1. Concord (6/60)

2. Concord, 1-0 (55) / 2. Pinkerton (52)

3. Bedford, 1-0 (47) / 3. Nashua South (44)

4. Exeter, 1-0 (43) / 4. Bedford (41)

5. Salem, 1-0 (27) / 5. Exeter (39)

6. Londonderry, 1-0 (23) / 6. Bishop Guertin (27)

7. Nashua South, 0-1 (19) / 7. Plymouth (19)

8 (tie). Portsmouth, 1-0 (17) / 8. Windham (18)

8 (tie). Windham, 1-0 (17) / 9. Keene (10)

10. Plymouth, 0-0 (11) / 10 (tie). Manchester Central, Portsmouth (Cool

Also receiving votes: Winnacunnet, 1-0 (7); Manchester Central, 0-1 (4); Kennett, 1-0 (1)

Here's how I voted...and why I voted that way.

1. Pinkerton...fresh off a Week 1 blowout vs Alvirne, I am giving the Astros the nod over Concord because of 3 reasons, 1, Pinkerton beat the Tide 14-0 head to head 2 weeks ago in the Queen City Jamboree(I realize the game didn't count, but it's still a good measuring stick).  2, Concord had a really close call at home against an undermanned Goffstown team(no starting QB Casey Gervais(injury) or RB Connor Bourque(out of town for family/personal reasons).  And 3, I just think Pinkerton is better right now.

2. Concord...the defending champs are still very good with a bunch of talented returners and other veteran newcomers getting their 1st shot to play real minutes.  We'll find out more about this edition of the Tide when they take on Winnacunnet in Hampton on Friday and later in the schedule when they wrap up their regular season with 3 toughies against Bedford, Portsmouth and Exeter.  

3. Bedford...speaking of the Bulldogs, I'm looking forward to seeing them in person on Friday night when they travel to Portsmouth to face the Clippers.  Should be fun watching how Mike Vailas is adapting to his new role at QB.

4. Exeter...same old, same old for the Blue Hawks as they ran the ball right down the throats of their opponent, in this case, Manchester Central at Gill Stadium last week while playing stout defense in a 17-0 shutout win.  

5. Salem...I didn't even have this team on my preseason Power Poll ballot, so placing them 5th after the 1st week may seem like a big jump.  But when you consider the dominating 35-14 performance they had against a good Nashua South team(I had the Panthers 4th in my preseason rankings) in the opener it shouldn't be too much of an issue where they are slotted now.

6. Windham...just like their neighbors in Salem, the Jaguars opened with a convincing win, blanking Hollis/Brookline by a 56-0 count.  Good matchup this week for Windham as they take on rival Trinity in Jag country.  The Pioneers have knocked Windham out of the playoffs the last 2 seasons.

7. Nashua South...so my Panthers(Nashua High Class of 1988) took it on the chin in Salem on Friday.  I still think they are Top 10 worthy.  Too bad for them they have to play host to Pinkerton this Friday so they'll likely start out in an 0-2 hole.  Luckily for them, the schedule eases up a bit after that.

8. Londonderry...I had the Lancers 10th on my preseason ballot, but after the the way they handled BG(my preseason #7 team) in a 28-6 decision, I had to move Londonderry up andthe Cards out.  The Londonderry @ Salem regular season finale on Friday October 31st should be a Halloween treat that could determine the 2nd playoff team in the Pinkerton conference aka D1 South.

9. Portsmouth...welcome to D1 Clippers!  Congrats on the win vs Spaulding!  Now let's see how you fare against the iron of the Division with Bedford coming to town this week.  We'll have the NHSportspage.com video camera in the house for this one in our "Game of the Week" coverage.

10. Plymouth...the Bobcats had a bye in Week 1.  Go figure.  Maybe new coach Chris Sanborn needed an extra week of preparation as he takes over for the legendary Chuck Lenahan?  Lebanon is up 1st for the new regime, followed by a tough three game stretch where Plymouth takes on Kennett, St. Thomas and Trinity.

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Post  bigkidsdad on Thu Sep 11, 2014 3:15 am

JAF you are right I poked the b ball guys and haven't said anything since I follow mostly D-2 teams and have been reading alot about trinity, Kennett and windham seems some of the media already have these guys crowned without even playing last years champs.I believe partially because Plymouth has a new coach and lost some very talented players.I also think that Plymouth is going to have a great year.They will be well coached and prepared as they have been in the past.I'm looking forward to some great football this year.

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Post  JAF on Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:36 am


I really don't know much about D2 other than what I read mostly here - I don't go to those games... Teams do seem to rise and fall rather based on the presence of "extra" quality players. It seems a few can really swing things. Due to numbers at many schools injuries are a huge factor.

Plymouth always seems to be reload, but that probably has a lot to do with the feeder program and the consistency of the coaching staff/program. Great rivalry with Laconia and Kennett.

Trinity seems to have found their sweet spot in D2 (and I wouldn't be surprised to see BG move there - the numbers aren't there because the Tojo attraction of football players from surrounding communities is gone)...

St Thomas seems to have taken Dover's players - I think they are year 3 or perhaps 4 into the "new" coach and they've just been able to keep rolling. Dover on the other hand, well they are another candidate to fall out of D1 - the numbers are really low. It's one of those I wonder about since they were a playoff team not too long ago - playing BG's "power teams" really tough too. In fact they shut 'em out once 7-0...

Windham is on the rise and will perhaps eventually move to D1... Two things going for them - feeder program and they are building a solid athletics program. They are getting the numbers out and that's huge for D2

Souhegan seems to have fallen into the ebb'n'flow of other D2 teams after a stretch of really strong teams. Some will say coaching, but me things Beliveau looked down the pipeline and got out while the getting was good.

Milford will continue to grind it out...

Lebanon/Hanover seems to be another one of those 'rivalry' pairs

It'll be interesting to see how former D2 power Portsmouth fares in D1. The last time they were "up" a division - the end result wasn't good.

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Post  bigkidsdad on Thu Sep 11, 2014 7:43 am

I agree jaf Plymouth does seem to reload most years I did watch a scrimmage with Plymouth and Dover its true dover looked like they'd have a problem even in D-2 this year .I think Portsmouth will do well in D-2 if they stay healthy. Trinity is always well coached and ready to play so it should be interesting in D-2 this year.

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