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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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