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

Nashua's Fayne moves from Devils to Oilers

Granite State Pro Stock Series to make debut at Lee Speedway

BRIAN McCLOSKEY

Ex-UNH hockey coach indicted on four charges

Growing up a hazard to golf: Real world claims talent from NHGA

Concord man wins National Javelin Championship at 2014 USA Track & Field Masters Championship

Conway's Locke happy with first half, believes best yet to come for Pirates

Court filing details prosecution's perjury allegations against Aaron Hernandez girlfriend

Is N.H. really home to longest mini golf hole on the planet?

Professional hockey coming to Berlin

van Riemsdyk setting high expectations for pro career

Life changes in an instant: Travis Roy shares story at Frank Monahan Foundation event

Improvements help, but traffic still a problem on race weekend in and around Loudon

Itís show time in Chicago for Dartmouthís Hendricks

State sells Windham golf course site for $3.06M

Ex-minor leaguers sue MLB over low salaries

$14M to beaten Giants fan returns security focus

Matt Bonner and brother bring rock show back to Redhook

GM: Twin State Speedway progressing with revival

Foot golf arrives on Seacoast

New Hampshire's Burns gets more than he could ever ask for

Pro runner's yoga class will raise money for clean Kenyan water

Menard wrecks as New Hampshire testing concludes

Lawyers try to bar Patriots from paying Hernandez $3.2M bonus

Pease Golf Course celebrates opening of lower nine holes

NFL rule could signal end of Justin Tuck signature facemask and that's a good thing according to UNH findings

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

   Ľ SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

   Ľ ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!