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

Home » Sports » Football

November 19. 2012 10:49PM

Roger Brown's First & 10: Blue Hawks perched at the top of Power Poll


Exeter High captains Tyler Grant, left, and Jamie Vogt pose with a statue of the school mascot and the championship plaque the Blue Hawks won in Saturday's Division I final. The Blue Hawks also earned the distincton of being the No. 1 team in the New Hampshire Union Leader/WGIR/WMUR Power Poll. (DAVID LANE/UNION LEADER)

WHO'S No. 1? Exeter, that's who.

Exeter received all eight first-place votes and finished first in the final Union Leader/WGIR/WMUR Power Poll, which was released Monday.

The Blue Hawks completed an 11-1 season by beating Pinkerton Academy, 31-21, in Saturday's Division I championship game. Pinkerton (10-2) entered that game ranked No. 2, behind Exeter.

"We worked hard all year and it paid off with a state championship," Exeter halfback/defensive back Tyler Grant said. "Then to be voted No. 1 in the poll - it's pretty amazing."

Exeter also beat Pinkerton in last year's Division I championship game, which was played in Derry. Saturday's contest was held at Exeter's Eustis Field.

"This one might have been sweeter because as seniors it was our last time playing on this field," Exeter linebacker/halfback Jamie Vogt said. "It's the ultimate feeling to go out on top, and it's obviously a big honor that people think we're the No. 1 team in the state and that we deserve to be on top of the Power Poll."

Ten of Exeter's 11 victories came by at least 10 points. The Blue Hawks scored more than 30 points in their final seven games, and outscored their opponents, 421-143.

The most impressive thing about this year's Exeter team may be how well it protected the football, however. The Blue Hawks had five turnovers (three fumbles) in 12 games.

"That truly is amazing," Pinkerton coach Brian O'Reilly said after Saturday's game. "Give them credit."

"That's our No. 1 goal here," added Exeter quarterback Ethan Joyce. "You can't score without the ball."

Winnacunnet, which beat Bedford 21-13 in Saturday's Division II championship game, finished No. 2 in the poll, even though it posted an 11-1 record and handed Exeter its only loss (24-21).

Winnacunnet's only setback came at Keene. The Warriors played without head coach Ron Auffant that night. Auffant was serving a one-game suspension for violating the NHIAA rule about commenting on game officials.

"We both won state championships and they did beat us, so I could see where they're coming from if they think they deserve to be No. 1," Vogt added. "I think they have an argument."

Bedford, which moved from Division III to Division II after the 2011 season, remained No. 4 despite Saturday's loss.

Portsmouth moved up from eighth to sixth after it beat Goffstown, 54-27, in the Division III championship game. It's the second consecutive year the Clippers have won the Division III title as the No. 4 seed.

Goffstown dropped from No. 9 to No. 10 following the loss.

Division IV champion Plymouth (12-0) finished No. 7. The Bobcats completed the year as the only unbeaten team in the state, and are the only team in the top 10 that doesn't compete in Division I, Division II or Division III.

Three teams in the poll will play on Thanksgiving: No. 6 Portsmouth will meet Dover in Portsmouth; No. 8 Nashua South will face Nashua North at Stellos Stadium; and No. 9 Souhegan will play at Merrimack.

Bishop Guertin was the only team that fell out of the poll. Souhegan replaced BG, even though neither team played last weekend. BG's season ended with a loss to Winnacunnet in the Division II semifinals, and Souhegan was eliminated following a loss to Goffstown in the Division III semifinals.

rbrown@unionleader.com


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

Maine fighters Lamour, Berry on New Hampshire boxing card

Q&A with Matt Bonner as he weighs free agency

Keene State mum on suspension of veteran track coach

Morgan Andrews speaks: Notre Dame star undeterred by U.S. U-20 World Cup snub

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

MORE

 New Hampshire Events Calendar
    

    SHARE EVENTS FOR PUBLICATION, IT'S FREE!

Upcoming Events

 New Hampshire Business Directory

  

    ADD YOUR BUSINESS TODAY!