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High school football Power Poll: Exeter, Pinkerton share No. 1

Things are crowded at the top of this week&#';s Union Leader/WGIR/WMUR Power Poll.

Winnacunnet of Hampton fell from the top spot following Friday night&#';s 20-7 loss at Keene, which allowed Exeter and Pinkerton Academy of Derry to each grab a share of the No. 1 position in this week&#';s voting. It&#';s the first time in the poll&#';s five-year history that there has been a tie for No. 1.

Exeter (6-1 overall, 5-0 in Division I) received five of the eight first-place votes, and Pinkerton (6-1, 4-1) received two. Keene received the other first-place vote.

Pinkerton&#';s only loss came at home against Exeter (24-20) in Week 2. Exeter lost on the road to rival Winnacunnet (27-24) in Week 4.

Exeter, which entered the weekend ranked No. 2, posted a 35-21 victory over Nashua South on Friday night. Pinkerton, which had been No. 3, beat Brockton, Mass., 20-14, Saturday.

The loss to Keene dropped Winnacunnet from first to third. The Warriors were without head coach Ron Auffant for that contest. Auffant received a one-game suspension Friday for violating the NHIAA&#';s media policy with regard to comments about game officials.

&#';I was just responding to a question about how difficult it is to go play at Keene, but I guess it was a violation,&#'; Auffant said. &#';I feel like that loss was my fault. It was really nothing Keene did, it was everything we did to ourselves. You can&#';t turn the ball over five times — and one of those was returned for a touchdown.

&#';Getting that No. 1 thing off our back isn&#';t a bad thing. You know how high school kids are. Since the Exeter game (when Winnacunnet&#';s victory pushed it to No. 1) we really haven&#';t been playing that well.&#';

Plymouth is the only new addition to this week&#';s poll. The Bobcats improved to 7-0 in Division IV by beating Kingswood of Wolfeboro, 37-14 Saturday. Plymouth, the only undefeated team in the state, has St. Thomas of Dover (5-2) and John Stark of Weare (1-6) remaining on its regular-season schedule.

Concord fell out of the poll after dropping a 22-21 decision at Nashua North. Concord was ranked 10th last week.

Nashua South fell from No. 6 to No. 8 following Friday&#';s loss to Exeter.

There is one game this weekend that involves two ranked teams.

No. 6 Manchester Central will play a non-league contest at No. 9 Souhegan of Amherst on Friday night. Central competes in Division I. Souhegan is a Division III program.

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