action:frontpage | category:SPORTS21 | adString:N/A | zoneID:17

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."

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

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

Flyers Notes: Flyers sign speedy New Hampshire forward

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!