Pelham drops one behind miscues on both sides of the ball
Pelham headed into the locker room with a relatively mistake-free, 10-6, first half lead. Although the jerseys were the same, the Python squad that showed up in the second half looked unlike the one that took the field before the break.
Pelham struck first with Jacob Diaz’s first career field goal five minutes into the first quarter.
The Blue Devils answered back when Brandon Carleton stretched a run up the gut on fourth and three into a 38-yard, tackle-breaking scamper.
A minute later, senior Kevin Cheam gave Pelham a long run of its own when he sprinted up the left sideline for a 59-yard score.
Despite scoring opportunities for both sides, the 10-6 score stayed the same through the next quarter-and-a-half.
Then, coming out of the break, a different Pelham team showed up.
Costly turnovers, dropped passes and missed tackles turned the tide early in the third quarter.
Carleton started tearing through defenders, beginning with a rumbling touchdown run less than four minutes into the third.
Drive after drive stalled for the Pelham offense, but defensive stops kept the score 13-10 heading into the final period.
A mishandled snap by junior quarterback Joseph Slattery started a chain of fourth-quarter mistakes for the Pythons.
Pelham head coach Ryan Clark was disturbed by the unforced errors.
“All these mistakes are actually very uncharacteristic,” he said. “We didn’t see any of that stuff in the first few weeks of the season.”
The Blue Devils turned Slattery’s fumble into a touchdown to make it 20-10. The Pythons subsequently lost another fumble, resulting in the game-clinching touchdown run for Epping-Newmarket.
With the game all but out of reach, Pelham players continued the trend of blunders.
By the end of the game, Clark said, Pelham tallied five fumbles to accompany several penalties and failed third down conversions.
One positive performance for the head coach was Cheam, who finished with 67 rushing yards and four catches for 30 yards. Cheam also handled punting duties for the Pythons.
“He’s the heart and soul of our team,” Clark said. “We really rely on him a lot.”
But Cheam and his teammates couldn’t overcome their own mistakes and a huge game by Carleton for the Blue Devils. Carleton’s several big runs sparked his team offensively and put the Pythons in a position to force plays in the second half.
“Going into the game, we knew that he was going to be tough to stop,” Clark said of Carleton. “He’s hard to bring down.”
Clark had an extensive list of what his team needs to work on by its next game.
At the top of the list, he said, are tackling and blocking. The Pythons, now 1-2 on the season, have a bye week before Monadnock Regional comes to visit on Saturday, Sept. 29.
“Now, looking on the bright side, we have two weeks to fix everything and get ready for homecoming,” Clark said.
The Salem Observer
100 William Loeb Drive
Manchester, NH 03109
News, Obituaries, & Social Announcements
Christine Heiser, Executive Editor
Email ads to firstname.lastname@example.org
Classified advertising: 603-669-1010
Display advertising: 603-206-7800 x264
Rate card | Ad Order | Credit application
Please use our online form at www.nh365.org
'From Bimah to Broadway' in Queen City
Win tickets to see Disney on Ice!