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September 14. 2013 11:20PM

Roger Brown's First and 10: Different styles with the same result


The ball pops loose from St. Thomas's Robert Milliken after being hit by Kennett's Grant Meserve during Saturday's game in Exeter. (JAY REITER/Union Leader)

The Goffstown and Londonderry offenses offer a contrast in styles, and each style was effective Saturday.

Goffstown's spread and Londonderry's single wing produced 70 points, with Londonderry coming out on top, 36-34, in Goffstown.

While the spread has become a trendy offense in New Hampshire high school football - and elsewhere - Division I teams won't see the single wing this season unless they play Londonderry.

"It's something that's unique and different and presents some challenges for the defense," Londonderry coach Jon Rich said. "It's not something you see all the time. You see a lot of spread teams, and then you see a team like us ... ground and pound - it can be tough to get ready for in three days of practice."

Londonderry churned out an even 500 yards of offense in the victory, 356 of which came on the ground. Goffstown had 338 yards of total offense, and most of that came through the air. Goffstown quarterback Casey Gervais completed 19 of 33 pass attempts for 237 yards and three TDs. He was intercepted once.

"With that offense, they wore us down a bit," Goffstown coach Justin Hufft said. "Lack of size hurt us. Going in I thought it would be a real tough matchup for us, but I thought we'd have more success running the ball."

Londonderry will face another spread offense when it meets Bedford in Londonderry on Friday night (7). Both teams are 2-0.

"These guys run a great spread system here," Rich said. "We're going to see something similar in Bedford."

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Fans who would like to see the NHIAA championship football games played on one day at the same location had to be smiling Friday, when the University of New Hampshire announced that it would be adding lights to Cowell Stadium before the start of the 2014 football season.

Many championship contests in other NHIAA sports are held at a neutral site, but the NHIAA football championship games have always been played at the home field of the higher-seeded team.

"It would add a lot of excitement," Merrimack coach Dante Laurendi said. "If you could play all three (championship games) in one day I think that would be great for high school football. People won't miss out on the other games and they won't have to drive across the state to see somebody else.

"I think people will stay and might watch teams that they might not have watched before. I think it's great for the football fan."

"I'd love to see the championships played on a neutral field," Manchester Memorial coach Peter Colcord said. "I think it's a great idea. I think it would be outstanding if they could run it like that and have it at a great facility like UNH where it would seat all kinds of people.''

- - - - - - - -
Because there is an odd number of teams in Division III (17), Campbell of Litchfield started its season a week later than every other NHIAA team. Campbell's first game proved to be worth the wait.

Campbell stopped a two-point conversion attempt with 1:24 to play and held off Stevens of Claremont 21-20 Friday night.

Campbell quarterback Christian McKenna tossed three touchdown passes in the game. Cody Alward caught McKenna's third TD pass, which covered 67 yards and broke a 14-14 tie with 4:44 to play.

The victory came in Greg Gush's first game as Campbell's head coach.

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Things came easy for Trinity of Manchester in last weekend's 58-37 victory over Portsmouth, but the Pioneers had to work hard for their 30-20 Division II triumph over Milford on Friday night.

Trinity trailed 20-16, but received two fourth-quarter touchdowns from running back Austin Chambers. Chambers rushed for 155 yards on 12 carries, and scored three TDs in the game.

- - - - - -

Next weekend's Division I game between Manchester Memorial (1-1) and Manchester Central (0-2) has been moved from Friday night to Saturday. The contest will be played at Memorial and is scheduled to start at 1 p.m.

Roger Brown covers high school football for the New Hampshire Union Leader. He can be reached at rbrown@unionleader.com. Follow him on Twitter: @603sportsmedia.


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