action:article | category:SPORTS21 | adString:SPORTS21 | zoneID:40

Home » Sports » High School Sports

November 15. 2012 9:36PM

NHIAA Div. III Football Championship Preview: Goffstown's September loss was motivational tool


Head Coach Justin Hufft directs his players during Goffstown High School's football practice on Thursday. (Thomas Roy/Union Leader)

Goffstown at a glance

Record: 6-3 Division III, 6-5 overall

Win streak: 1 game

Coach: Justin Hufft (2nd season), 14-7

History: Goffstown picked up its first playoff win last weekend with a thrilling 54-53 win over top-seeded Souhegan of Amherst in overtime.

Captains: RB Peter Shea, QB Connor Benjamin, OL Connor Wynn, OL Gregory Brunette.

Other key players: DB Mike O'Donnell, SE Ashton Florence

On Sept. 29, the last time the Goffstown High football team was at Tom Daubney Field, it suffered a 56-22 loss at the hands of Portsmouth, its worst of the season.

The loss didn't weigh too heavily on the Grizzlies, however. In fact, coach Justin Hufft said it has served as motivation. On Saturday, Goffstown will return to Tom Daubney Field, this time with a lot more on the line.

That's when the fourth-seeded Grizzlies (6-3) will take on the No. 3 Clippers (7-2) in the Division III championship. Game time is 1 p.m.

"We didn't play the way we wanted to play in that game," Hufft said. "We've progressed for the most part going forward."

Hufft said his team had some injuries in that game but still lacked the intensity and execution required to beat the defending champion Clippers on their home turf.

The next week Goffstown rolled over Merrimack Valley of Penacook, 47-12, then dismantled Alvirne of Hudson, 39-14, after that. That set up a showdown with Milford, one of the best teams in the league, and the Grizzlies prevailed, 30-28.

The team was rolling, but Hufft wanted it to be healthy for the playoffs so he was conservative over the final two games of the regular season, both of which the team lost.

The boys rebounded nicely in the playoffs when it faced top-seeded and undefeated Souhegan of Amherst for the second week in a row, this time in the semifinals.

The Sabers edged Goffstown, 32-27, in the regular season. The playoff game was just as explosive. This time it was the Grizzlies who came out on top, 54-53, thanks to a two-point conversion by quarterback Connor Benjamin in overtime.

Finally, the team was healthy and starting to play it should.

"It has taken a while for the kids to come together as a unit," Hufft said. "The kids I've got out there I feel good about."

It took a Herculean effort from Benjamin to pull off that win. The senior captain rushed for 217 yards and threw for another 309 as he figured in on all seven Goffstown touchdowns.

A lot of what Goffstown does on Saturday will depend upon how well Benjamin plays.

"There's no getting away from the fact that he's one of the best players in the state," Hufft said. "He's playing better now than he has all season."

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

Former All-Star Red Sox shortstop Rico Petrocelli: ôblessedö to have grown up in Brooklyn, now lives in Nashua

Toronto Maple Leafs left wing James van Riemsdyk, right, tangles with Boston Bruins goaltender Tuukka Rask in the first period of Game 1 of their NHL Eastern Conference quarterfinals hockey playoff series in this 2013 file photo.

NH-based insurer sues NHL to limit its defense in players concussion lawsuits

A's claim former Fisher Cat Marcus Walden

Mariano Rivera's son to pitch for NH squad

Kevin Davis, CEO and president of Bauer Performance Sports, displays Bauer Hockey's latest innovation in hockey skates — the Vapor APX 2 with easily changeable skate blades in this 2013 file photo.

Exeter-based Bauer continues to expand beyond hockey with $330M purchase of baseball firm Easton-Bell

Hollis-Brookline head football coach resigns unexpectedly

New owners for Waukewan Golf Club

Matches announced for USA v. Cuba clash at Rockingham Park this weekend

Boston Marathon victim Jeff Baumann throws out the first pitch prior to the start of a game against the Philadelphia Phillies at Fenway Park last year.

Service's creed on display in support of airman affected by Boston bombing

40-year-old Manchester mechanical engineer wins MMA decision

New Hampshire Motor Speedway touts viability of casino site in Loudon

USA Knockouts Tamed in Cuba

U.S., Cuba boxers clash in Havana, U.S. bouts set for Rockingham Park in Salem

Lee USA Speedway opens season April 13

Newmarket woman plans world-record cross-country run for charity

CHIP KELLY

Is Chip Kelly racist?

World Series of Boxing event moved to Rockingham Park - USA vs. Cuba

Manchester man in top 30 candidates for Padres public address announcer

NH man helps MLB players deal with stresses on, off the field

Review of the 2014 Toronto Blue Jays Minor League Handbook

New Hampshire Motor Speedway may run Sprint Cup race in 2015 under the lights

How Boston lost the Patriots and 'New England' grabbed the NFL's 'Gold Standard'

Twin State Speedway gets new manager

Yale promotes former UNH coach to offensive coordinator

Bulldogs sign UNH's Nick Sorkin

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

   ╗ SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

   ╗ ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!