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Division 3 Playoff Prediction

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Post  SofaKing on Thu Sep 29, 2011 11:27 am

I think we've learned a lot about D3 so far. Lots of the powerhouses have already played each other.

Here's what I'm thinking:

1. Portsmouth
2. Hollis-Brookline
3. Goffstown
4. Souhegan

Rationale:

1. Hollis-Brookline will beat everyone except for Portsmouth, who will go undefeated in the regular season. H-B is easily the most balanced team in the division, and can run or pass plus has no holes on defense. Portsmouth has their typical stable of superior athletes, but this year they have stud linemen (Holt, anyone?) to go with it.
2. Souhegan will run the table after losing a meaningless game to Central this week. Chininis getting healthy is key.
3. Milford will not make it. No team speed, hodge-podge offense and defense, and they're still living off the hype of beating Londonderry, which is a team that (mark my words) will not win a game in D1 this season.
4. Bedford will not make it, and simply doesn't have "it" this year. Last year, they started off 5-0, and still failed to get in. This year they started 0-2, and they're more about emotion and hype than actual execution. Garron is way over-rated, as is Capparell. They're good players, but neither is in the elite of that division at their positions. They're about as talented as Souhegan this year...but they won't beat Milford, H-B, Souhegan, or Portsmouth...and that will keep them out.
5. Goffstown is good, and they'll beat Milford and have the tie-breaker over Souhegan. But, they'll lose bad to Portsmouth and H-B. They are a 1-man show on offense and Portsmouth and H-B are too talented on defense to let one kid beat them. Goffstown pulld a miracle against Souhegan that was more emotion than talent...and they barely beat Merrimack, which is not a good football team at all.

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Post  Guest on Thu Sep 29, 2011 12:33 pm

Glad there's finally someone to talk D3 about, pretty much been talking to myself until now.

I agree with you that Portsmouth will likely run the table. I wasn't overwhelmingly impressed when they played Souhegan, but i'll chalk that up to being early in the season working some kinks out, they finally got over the hump and beat a Souhegan team that has beat them 4 or 5 straight times. Great speed on both sides the ball and big upfront might be the season the Clippers finally win the championship that's eluded them.

Souhegan- I just don't see this team making the playoffs the last time they lost 2 in a row was the 06 season (happened twice) and honestly I don't have a clue when they lost 3 straight, and 4 straight since I don't see them beating Central. They generally have that player to lean on when the rest of the offense is struggling and I don't see that this year. In the past they've had both Sean Jellison, Steve Jellison, Mike Luks, this year they don't have that player that can carry the load on offense. Also in the past they've always had an elite Line, I also haven't seen that from them. Certainly I don't see them laying down they'll go out with a fight, and if they can beat Bedford and Milford then my thoughts will certainly change but right now not seeing it.

Bedford- Agreed overrated. Wasn't buying the hype in the preseason not buying it now, and like you said started off 5-0 last year and still missed the playoffs, this year they have more of an uphill battle. They should beat Conval this week to make them 3-1 in division but with wins over Pembroke, Pelham and Conval, I won't believe this teams for real until they beat someone good.

H/B- They have certainly suprised me figured they'd be much improved didn't see this start to the season and certainly didn't expect a 35-0 victory over Souhegan. Haven't seen them this year but when you don't lose many linemen and have 2 very good RB's you're certainly in a good spot. Again haven't seen them this year so I can't give as much insight as I'd like, but clearly they're making noise hopefully I can see them soon.

Goffstown- Another team I have yet to see this year, I know what they have returning from last year so I envision they're going to be a pretty dangerous team in the post season, those close wins against teams that I figured them to be better than keeps me a little hesitant on them.

Milford- I see them making the playoffs. Maybe it'd due to the fact I'm from here, but if I had to pick them or Souhegan right now I'd say Milford. Yes there offense is not explosive but when you can hold the ball for anywhere to 6-8 minutes a drive, you're forcing the other team to be perfect on offense. I think there defense is much better than you're saying. They're very big upfront LB's are solid, they do worry me a bit but they're getting better, and there DB's are very good small but very good athletes. Don't know how much you're around Milford football but they aren't living on the hype of the Londonderry victory. If they can continue to get healthy I see them getting at least the 4 spot.

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Post  SofaKing on Thu Sep 29, 2011 2:29 pm

bigman44 wrote:Glad there's finally someone to talk D3 about, pretty much been talking to myself until now.

I agree with you that Portsmouth will likely run the table. I wasn't overwhelmingly impressed when they played Souhegan, but i'll chalk that up to being early in the season working some kinks out, they finally got over the hump and beat a Souhegan team that has beat them 4 or 5 straight times. Great speed on both sides the ball and big upfront might be the season the Clippers finally win the championship that's eluded them.

Souhegan- I just don't see this team making the playoffs the last time they lost 2 in a row was the 06 season (happened twice) and honestly I don't have a clue when they lost 3 straight, and 4 straight since I don't see them beating Central. They generally have that player to lean on when the rest of the offense is struggling and I don't see that this year. In the past they've had both Sean Jellison, Steve Jellison, Mike Luks, this year they don't have that player that can carry the load on offense. Also in the past they've always had an elite Line, I also haven't seen that from them. Certainly I don't see them laying down they'll go out with a fight, and if they can beat Bedford and Milford then my thoughts will certainly change but right now not seeing it.

Bedford- Agreed overrated. Wasn't buying the hype in the preseason not buying it now, and like you said started off 5-0 last year and still missed the playoffs, this year they have more of an uphill battle. They should beat Conval this week to make them 3-1 in division but with wins over Pembroke, Pelham and Conval, I won't believe this teams for real until they beat someone good.

H/B- They have certainly suprised me figured they'd be much improved didn't see this start to the season and certainly didn't expect a 35-0 victory over Souhegan. Haven't seen them this year but when you don't lose many linemen and have 2 very good RB's you're certainly in a good spot. Again haven't seen them this year so I can't give as much insight as I'd like, but clearly they're making noise hopefully I can see them soon.

Goffstown- Another team I have yet to see this year, I know what they have returning from last year so I envision they're going to be a pretty dangerous team in the post season, those close wins against teams that I figured them to be better than keeps me a little hesitant on them.

Milford- I see them making the playoffs. Maybe it'd due to the fact I'm from here, but if I had to pick them or Souhegan right now I'd say Milford. Yes there offense is not explosive but when you can hold the ball for anywhere to 6-8 minutes a drive, you're forcing the other team to be perfect on offense. I think there defense is much better than you're saying. They're very big upfront LB's are solid, they do worry me a bit but they're getting better, and there DB's are very good small but very good athletes. Don't know how much you're around Milford football but they aren't living on the hype of the Londonderry victory. If they can continue to get healthy I see them getting at least the 4 spot.

That's a pretty fair analysis.

Perhaps I should have been more fair about the Spartans. I think the 4 seed will come down to who wins the Milford / Souhegan match-up, and right now that's anyone's game. If Souhegan is emotionally and mentally down after a horrible start, they might not beat Bedford OR Milford and finish with a 3-6 record. In that case, I think Milford is easily a 4 seed. Since that's such a rivalry game, it will be a great one, and one whos outcome will probably come down to the wire. Neither team knows much about NOT making the playoffs, so it should be interesting. To be equally fair to Souhegan, Chris Chininis (WR / RB, DB, KR, PR) was hurt in the 1st quarter of the Goffstown game and did not play against H-B. He'll probably be back for Milford, and, though he's no Jellison or Luks, he is a game changer and probably the fastest kid in the division.

I have seen Milford play once this year. They're big up front, but they definitely don't have the backfield they've had the last 3 years (Albina, King(s), Forte, Goudreau, etc) in terms of speed. I probably mis-stated what I meant about "hype." What I meant there was that they're still getting votes in the Useless Leader poll, even though they haven't beaten a soul yet. Londonderry won't win a game in D1, and their other victories were over Pembroke, who doesn't have a single senior on their roster, and Con Val who is not a good team this year and gave Milford a MUCH tougher game than it should have been (I predicted at least a 4 TD win by Milford last week). I don't think the players or coaches are still thinking about that. They're much too tradition-oriented for that!

Goffstown actually graduated a ton from last year's team, but it seems like the underclassmen are better players. The QB Benjamin was nowhere to be seen last season, and he's about 6'1 190 as a junior this year. Unfortunately for G-town, they really rely almost entirely on him for offensive output. The RB Shea probably has less than 100 yards total this season. It's either Benjamin keeping it on a run or throwing it to a group of mediocre (but servicable) receivers. I think once defenses start to get game plans in place to stop HIM, they will be vulnerable.

H/B has two excellent runners (maybe #1 and #2 in the division- like Goudreau and Forte last year) and an entire OL back from last year's playoff team. But, defensively they're obviously solid. They held that tank RB from Memorial to under 100 yards rushing and they shut-out Souhegan (something Portsmouth and Goffstown were far from doing). The dangerous thing about them is that they can also pass very effectively (over 350 yards in 3 games...with all the running they already do!). I saw their QB in the semi-finals last year, and he played very well against a great Souhegan secondary. I think Colin Pellerin might be the best player in the division (between him and Lane).

Great stuff! Hopefully there's some good games this week!!

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Post  JAF on Thu Sep 29, 2011 4:03 pm

"From the sidelines"... It seems Milford is a ball control team. From memory they've either won or kept it very close with Souhegan by doing just that - jamming the ball between the tackles and keeping possession. Souhegan this year seems to have a problem holding onto the ball - whether they can fix that in time for the Milford game probably is the difference between winning and losing that game for them. Also, I think weather will play a role - nothing worse than slippery balls for a team that hasn't been able to take care of the pigskin.

For Souhegan, staying healthy "this week" will be important. While it is out of division and all that goes with that - I have to imagine Central is licking their chops at being able to lay some helmet and pads on any Souhegan player this week. They played like crap against Goffstown in the Jamboree (yeah, I know), survived against Portsmouth in game 1, and Souhegan has taken it to them the last couple of years. Pride in how you play and machismo of 16-18 year-olds will make this more than a "meaningless game". Central played pretty well last week against North (injuries to North aside) and it seems they are getting better each week. Sure they played a Concord team that lost their starting QB the week before, but you still have to execute.

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Post  Guest on Sat Oct 01, 2011 1:26 am

Milford showed the spread tonight tonight which I thought worked well when they went to it, but Milford really didn't identify what they wanted to do on offense and I think it hurt them as I think they could've done more damage tonight in the Spread. They went to it more to pass and it worked well when they were able to protect QB Bud Theriault. Thought Bud played one of his better games tonight, ran Mid-line option rather well and threw the ball efficiently.

Milford was banged up in the secondary tonight with Mitch Banuskevich and Willie Miles out, they had to start Ian Michaud and he got picked on early and often. Portsmouth did a little of everything on there fist drive, option to Lane and throwing the ball with Hartman. They capped the first drive off with about a 15-20 yard TD Reception to Dicearse, Michaud got spun around and lost Dicearse and he easily caught the TD pass. After that Milford buckled down and controlled the clock rather well and when PHS did have the ball they kept the Clippers offense in check forcing them to punt, but Milford was unable to score in the first half with PHS shutting them down continually. Portsmouth got the ball late in the first half, and had good field position on a shanked punt by Theriault. They drove and went option to Lane who scored near the end of the half. PHS went into the half up 14-0.

Milford came out showing more of the Spread in the 2nd half, again primarily to pass and it worked well. They came out of the half mixing in the bone/double wing and spread and capped a solid drive off with a TD pass to Harrison Urda. Urda played well tonight in the slot he also was solid tonight at DB. I thought Milford was playing well enough to make a comeback in this game but PHS continued to go to the air and exposed the banged up secondary. PHS responded with a solid drive of there own, Portsmouth went to a screen play that they had showed earlier in the game that popped for a big play and it hit again with Lane scoring. In past Milford has always struggled with the screen and PHS exposed them tonight with it. Milford got the ball back but they tried to play ball control football and dominate the LOS and didn't have as much success as they had been having in past games, this is where I thought the spread would've been better but they started only to use it in 3rd and 4th down situations never really getting in rhythm. PHS got the ball back and attacked through the air and struck making the score 28-7 after the 2pt conversion, this really put the game away as I didn't see Milford being able to come back whether they were in the spread or not. Lane would get in the endzone again after some shifty moves and some poor tackling. Milford punched in a meaningless TD late making the game 35-14. I feel if Milford has a healthy secondary this games different, they still would've struggled stopping the option which PHS would've likely attacked more if the pass was being slowed down and would've still struggled with the screen game as LB's were lost but I feel if they played again and Milford tried to attack them through the air more the game would be closer. Higgins was really a non-factor for Milford on offense other than the late score by him really didn't do much. I thought Albina did well tonight on the ground as well as Bud Theriault running mid-line option, and he looked very solid throwing the ball. Hartman torched Milford don't recall to many incompletions from him and Lane ripped up Milfords Defense on the ground and in the screen game.

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Post  SofaKing on Sat Oct 01, 2011 10:02 am

bigman44 wrote:Milford showed the spread tonight tonight which I thought worked well when they went to it, but Milford really didn't identify what they wanted to do on offense and I think it hurt them as I think they could've done more damage tonight in the Spread. They went to it more to pass and it worked well when they were able to protect QB Bud Theriault. Thought Bud played one of his better games tonight, ran Mid-line option rather well and threw the ball efficiently.

Milford was banged up in the secondary tonight with Mitch Banuskevich and Willie Miles out, they had to start Ian Michaud and he got picked on early and often. Portsmouth did a little of everything on there fist drive, option to Lane and throwing the ball with Hartman. They capped the first drive off with about a 15-20 yard TD Reception to Dicearse, Michaud got spun around and lost Dicearse and he easily caught the TD pass. After that Milford buckled down and controlled the clock rather well and when PHS did have the ball they kept the Clippers offense in check forcing them to punt, but Milford was unable to score in the first half with PHS shutting them down continually. Portsmouth got the ball late in the first half, and had good field position on a shanked punt by Theriault. They drove and went option to Lane who scored near the end of the half. PHS went into the half up 14-0.

Milford came out showing more of the Spread in the 2nd half, again primarily to pass and it worked well. They came out of the half mixing in the bone/double wing and spread and capped a solid drive off with a TD pass to Harrison Urda. Urda played well tonight in the slot he also was solid tonight at DB. I thought Milford was playing well enough to make a comeback in this game but PHS continued to go to the air and exposed the banged up secondary. PHS responded with a solid drive of there own, Portsmouth went to a screen play that they had showed earlier in the game that popped for a big play and it hit again with Lane scoring. In past Milford has always struggled with the screen and PHS exposed them tonight with it. Milford got the ball back but they tried to play ball control football and dominate the LOS and didn't have as much success as they had been having in past games, this is where I thought the spread would've been better but they started only to use it in 3rd and 4th down situations never really getting in rhythm. PHS got the ball back and attacked through the air and struck making the score 28-7 after the 2pt conversion, this really put the game away as I didn't see Milford being able to come back whether they were in the spread or not. Lane would get in the endzone again after some shifty moves and some poor tackling. Milford punched in a meaningless TD late making the game 35-14. I feel if Milford has a healthy secondary this games different, they still would've struggled stopping the option which PHS would've likely attacked more if the pass was being slowed down and would've still struggled with the screen game as LB's were lost but I feel if they played again and Milford tried to attack them through the air more the game would be closer. Higgins was really a non-factor for Milford on offense other than the late score by him really didn't do much. I thought Albina did well tonight on the ground as well as Bud Theriault running mid-line option, and he looked very solid throwing the ball. Hartman torched Milford don't recall to many incompletions from him and Lane ripped up Milfords Defense on the ground and in the screen game.

I find it a bit ridiculous that Milford would install a spread offense when they've been saying since before week 1 that their strength is in the run game and in a "3 yards and a cloud of dust" mentality. There are 5 other teams in the division who run the spread, so it's certainly not doing anything unique as far as defenses are concerned. Milford's big advantage in the division is being a ground-and-pound team where the others are mostly finesse teams. I think that is a bad move on the part of the coaching staff.

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Post  Guest on Sat Oct 01, 2011 10:40 am

I don't disagree Sofaking, Milford's first or second drive took 9 minutes off the clock (forgot to add that last night) all of which was just grinding (didn't score on it though). Had Milford stuck with this I don't know how the game would've turned out but I doubt PHS puts up 35 points. I will say a few kids did look solid when they went to the spread and it did help them get on the board early in the 2nd half, but it was also the reason PHS opened up the game, Milford had two 3 and outs in which Portsmouth scored almost immediately after. If Milford was going to go to the spread I wish they would've just stayed in it more not try and mix and match two completely contrasting offenses in which they were unable to develop any rhythm.

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Post  SofaKing on Sun Oct 02, 2011 10:05 am

Colin Pellerin last night for H/B:

5 carries
253 yards
4 TD's

Played only 18 minutes (about a quarter and a half) before H/B put their JV's and Freshmen in to close out the game.

That's a name we all need to keep our eyes on.

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Post  GNG on Sun Oct 02, 2011 12:18 pm

I am a H/B fan. I met the coach a few years back at a BG GAME. Seemed like a great guy. He enjoyed the banter with "THE CRAZY MERRIMACK PARENTS".

He had just taken over the program, but you could just tell he would be a good coach. Nice to see good things happen to good people.

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Post  SofaKing on Mon Oct 03, 2011 9:41 pm

GNG wrote:I am a H/B fan. I met the coach a few years back at a BG GAME. Seemed like a great guy. He enjoyed the banter with "THE CRAZY MERRIMACK PARENTS".

He had just taken over the program, but you could just tell he would be a good coach. Nice to see good things happen to good people.

It takes a while to build a program from scratch. H/B is actually a pretty cool story. Their first 3 varsity seasons in D4 they go 1 win, 2 wins, 1 win consecutively. Then, the realignment in 2008 moves them up to D3, and everyone is thinking "oh man...". They scrap their spread offense and put in more of a ground-game / under center / pro style offense, end up being fairly contrarian in a spread-happy divison, and have gone 3 wins, 5 wins, and 4th seed in playoffs since. But, they also play good defense. If you go on MaxPreps, you'd see that since coming into D3, they've been in the top 4 in "points per game" in D3 since moving up.

It will be intersting to see how they do against teams with wins this season. They're undefeated right now, but they've beaten Memorial (1 win), Pembroke (winless), Souhegan (1 win) and Pelham (winless). The blow-out over Souhegan gave them some serious credit despite Souhegan's struggles...but let's see how they do against Bedford and Milford after they dispatch ConVal this week.


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