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

Home » Sports » High School Sports

November 17. 2012 6:31PM

NHIAA Div. I Football Championship: Exeter has all the answers to repeat


Pinkerton Academy's Chris St. Onge(1) dives for extra yardage as Exeter defenders James Vogt, center, and Jameson Whiteley makes the tackle in the first half of the Division I championship game Saturday. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)

EXETER - Every time Pinkerton Academy of Derry connected with a punch in Saturday's Division I championship game, Exeter punched back.

The Blue Hawks delivered the knockout blow when quarterback Ethan Joyce connected with halfback Colby Swane on a 27-yard touchdown pass with 4:47 remaining in Exeter's 31-21 triumph.

The TD pass came shortly after Pinkerton's Manny Latimore returned a punt 78 yards for a touchdown that helped the Astros pull with three points, 24-21, with 9:22 to play. Exeter's resilience was on display all afternoon, however. Each time the Astros scored, the Blue Hawks responded with a TD on their ensuing possession.

"We could not get (the Exeter offense) off the field," Pinkerton coach Brian O'Reilly said. "We worked really hard for our offense today. We worked and worked and worked, and then they go right down the field and score on us. We couldn't make them give the ball back to us."

Exeter completed its season with an 11-1 record (10-0 in Division I). Pinkerton finished 10-2 overall, and 8-2 in Division I. Both Pinkerton losses came against Exeter.

"Every time I thought we were in a little danger, we came back and responded offensively," Exeter coach Bill Ball said. "Offensively we probably executed as well as we have all year - against a very good team. A lot of third-down and fourth-down conversions. Just a real solid effort by the guys."

Exeter had a 306-275 edge in total offense, but ran 15 more offensive plays than Pinkerton (65 to 50). The Astros relied heavily on Latimore, a junior running back who opened the scoring with an 84-yard TD run.

Exeter answered when Jamie Vogt scored on a 7-yard run, and then took its first lead when fullback Galen Antolino scored on a 4-yard run with 7:51 left in the first half. The PAT was blocked, which left Exeter with a 13-7 advantage.

Pinkerton opened the second half with a 13-play, 60-yard scoring drive. Quarterback Sean Conroy capped the drive with a 6-yard TD run. Kyle Cantalupo's point-after kick handed the Astros a 14-13 lead.

This time it took the Blue Hawks three plays to respond. After Antolino picked up 51 yards on first down, halfback Tyler Grant had runs of 12 and 3 yards. His 3-yard run was good for his 20th rushing TD of the season. Grant also hauled in a Joyce pass on the two-point conversion, which made it 21-14 with 5:41 left in the third.

"We're not fazed by every time someone makes a big play," halfback/linebacker Jamie Vogt said. "We know we're going to come back and make a play."

After Logan Laurent's 32-yard field goal extended Exeter's lead to 10 points, Latimore kept things interesting by returning a Laurent punt for a TD. Latimore rushed for a game-high 177 yards on 22 carries.

Grant, who entered the game with 1,138 yards on 151 rushing attempts, finished with 96 yards on 22 carries.

It was the second time Exeter has beaten Pinkerton to win the Division I championship in as many years. The Blue Hawks prevailed, 23-13, in Derry last season.

"I'd say this one feels a little better," Grant said. "It's my senior year and to go out on top is unbelievable."


  • Does New Hampshire high school football need a better system for selecting playoff teams?
  • Yes
  • 59%
  • No
  • 41%
  • Total Votes: 607
 NH Sports Angle more
Links to news and happenings around the world of sports with a Granite State connection, updated daily.

Trial date set for former UNH hockey coach accused of assaulting player

Sudanese runner with NH ties hoping to crowdfund way to 2016 Olympics

Former Wildcat van Riemsdyk undergoes successful surgery

Monadnock Speedway driver captures first Granite State NASCAR title

CASEY DeSMITH

Star goaltender DeSmith no longer on NH roster after assault charge

UNH squad practices without helmets, shoulder pads to reduce risk of head trauma

24 Hours Of LeMons: This Time We Went Fast, Briefly

NHRA president Tom Compton candid on series and its challenges

World's tallest pro basketball player is from Strafford, NH

NH-based hockey helmet maker Bauer to drop concussion protection claims

NH native's statistics help Padres win

UNH receives NFL funding for brain injury research

Olympic skier Krass helps Hanover High clinch soccer championship

'100: Head/Heart/Feet' film follows NH man in grueling world of ultra-running

Athletic director says no one injured in disturbance after Keene High football game

Fishers Cats extend agreement with Toronto Blue Jays through 2018

24 Hours of LeMons New England: The winners!

Kings use emergency-roster exemption before facing Penguins

NH man beat out 75,000 competitors to win $1M in fantasy football contest

Video: Exact moment NH man wins a million dollars on DraftKings

That 70s Line continues to work magic as L.A. Kings win sixth straight

N.H. Motor Speedway to become home of North East Motor Sports Museum

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!