action:article | category:SPORTS04 | adString:SPORTS04 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » Football

November 12. 2012 10:25PM

NHIAA football power poll: Exeter on top, but what will Saturday bring?

The top two teams in this week's Union Leader/WGIR/WMUR Power Poll will butt heads Saturday, when top-ranked Exeter (10-1) will meet second-ranked Pinkerton Academy (10-1) in the Division I championship game at Exeter's Eustis Field.

The Blue Hawks advanced by beating Manchester Central, 42-21, in Saturday's semifinals. Pinkerton received five touchdowns from running back Manny Latimore in its 42-3 triumph over Nashua South in the other Division I semifinal in Derry.

"I have a tendency to go with the hot hand," Pinkerton coach Brian O'Reilly said following Saturday's victory. "This is the game people have been waiting for."

Exeter beat Pinkerton, 24-20, in Derry during the regular season. Exeter also upset Pinkerton, 23-13 in last year's Division I championship game.

"Obviously Latimore is explosive and we have to watch out for him, but I think the key will be to take things a play at a time - a drive at a time," Exeter running back/linebacker Jamie Vogt said. "We can't get too down if something bad happens, or get too up if we score a long touchdown or something like that. It's going to come down to the wire and who makes the plays at the end."

The Exeter-Pinkerton winner will be the logical choice to finish the year at the top of the Power Poll, but Winnacunnet would likely argue otherwise. The Warriors (10-1) are ranked third, and will meet fourth-ranked Bedford (9-1) in Saturday's Division II championship game. Exeter and Winnacunnet could each finish with an 11-1 record, and Winnacunnet handed Exeter its only loss this season.

Plymouth (11-0) climbed to sixth after defeating Trinity, 7-0, in Saturday's Division IV championship game. The Bobcats completed their season as the only unbeaten team in the state.

BG (5-5) is ranked 10th, even though the Cardinals did not beat a team with a winning record this year. BG's season ended following a 35-26 loss to Winnacunnet on Saturday.

Souhegan (9-2) and Manchester Central (6-4) dropped out of the poll. Following Saturday's 54-53 overtime loss to Goffstown in the Division III semifinals, Souhegan coach Mike Beliveau told his team he planned to step down after coaching Souhegan in its Thanksgiving Day game against Merrimack.

"I have a habit of drawing trick plays on the whiteboard and then letting my assistants talk me out of running them," Beliveau said. "I told Joe (Merrimack coach Joe Battista) that's not going to happen next week. He should expect at least 10 trick plays. It's my last game."

Portsmouth (8-2) and Goffstown (6-5) - teams that will meet in Saturday's Division III championship game - each moved into the poll.

Like Goffstown, Portsmouth posted a road victory in the semifinals. The Clippers won 7-0 at Milford.

Portsmouth beat Goffstown, 56-22, during the regular season.

"Not sure how we're going to handle their defense, but we will show up," Goffstown coach Justin Hufft said.

rbrown@unionleader.com


 NH Sports Angle more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Mo'ne Davis, and why no one should laugh at the idea of a woman in Major League Baseball

Curt Schilling says smokeless tobacco caused oral cancer

Bill Belichick: Eagles joint practices as productive as any

Big Knockout Boxing has grown from NH debut to Las Vegas attraction

Toronto Blue Jays Minor League System: Philosophy change?

Spring trial likely for former UNH women's hockey coach

Special golf cart helping Vietnam veteran play game he loves article

And so it begins: Equipment distribution starts a new era in Plymouth football

Tailgating changes for UNH football games

Report: Pirates' pitcher Jeff Locke cleared in gambling probe involving childhood friend from Conway

Tim OSullivan: Even with NFL success, NHs Kelly remembers his roots

Chip Kelly: 'Put some Galoshes on and go play'

Survey says Duke the most hated college hoops team in NH

Cheyenne Woods, Tiger's niece, trying to make big time article

Gorham papermill owner Lynn Tilton is getting Yale tennis award

Ex-bank president co-authors racing book

New England Patriots are the most hated NFL team in the world

Travis Hughes: It's time to drastically overhaul minor league hockey in North America

Portsmouth native, 47, conquers 21-mile swim of the English Channel

Bennett to take control of the flags for Granite State Pro Stock Series

Air Force captain serving in NH honored before Red Sox-Yankees crowd at Fenway

Newmarket woman second to run solo across the U.S.

VIDEO: A car's-eye view of the demolition derby at Cheshire County Fair

With NASCAR's $8.2B TV deal, nobody wants to be at back of pack

Kelly tinkers with Philadelphia offense

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!