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October 05. 2013 11:17PM

Top performance nationally

Roger Brown's First and 10: 'Wade'-ing through records


Jesiah Wade of Central, shown during last month's game against Concord, rushed for more than 550 yards against Merrimack on Friday night. (Bruce Preston / Union Leader)

MANCHESTER CENTRAL running back Jesiah Wade had himself a pretty good night in Central's 56-35 victory over Merrimack on Friday night.

Wade, a senior who played for Campbell of Litchfield last season, rushed for 556 yards and six touchdowns on 31 carries to help Central (3-2) stretch its winning streak to three games.

"It was an unforgettable night," Wade said. "The line did all they could and I just put my shoulder down when I got to the second level. It was too slick to be putting any juke moves on.

"I just wanted the win because a loss would have really hurt our playoff chances."

Although no official individual statistics are kept in New Hampshire - Wade's rushing performance is believed to be the best ever - the National Federation of State High School Associations lists Wade's total as the 12th best all-time nationally.

"We weren't trying to get him a record," Central coach Ryan Ray said. "We weren't trying to get him a big night. We were trying to do other things so they couldn't just send 11 guys to get him, but he was our best option on every play call."


John Giannantonio of Netcong, N.J., holds the national single-game rushing record. He gained 754 yards against Mt. Lakes in 1950.

Wade had six runs of at least 40 yards against Merrimack and ran for 319 yards in the first half. He led the state in rushing last season, when he gained 2,204 yards.

- - - - - - -

NASHUA SOUTH coach Scott Knight had to like what he saw from his team in Friday night's 28-6 victory over Exeter. South's defensive performance may be what he liked best.

No. 3 South held No. 5 Exeter to a pair of Matt Oppici field goals, both of which were set up by South miscues - an interception and a blocked punt - deep in its own territory.

It's the first time Exeter failed to score a TD in a game since a 42-0 loss to Bishop Guertin in 2009.

South quarterback Trevor Knight - Scott's son - ran for two TDs and passed for another. South trailed 6-0 at halftime, but scored 21 points in the third quarter.

"Our defense played a great game," Trevor Knight said. "They really kept us in it. They kept our hopes up. After we put two touchdowns in our momentum was real good."

South raised its record to 5-0. Exeter fell to 3-2.

"We've haven't had problems scoring this year, so (playing good defense) is a sign of a team that's maturing," Scott Knight said. "We needed defense in the first half until we got our act together. They kept us in it. They kept their foot on the gas on D, which I'm real happy with.

"We're getting it rolling a little bit," Knight said. "We want to play our best football in November and we know we have a ways to go."

- - - - - - - -

SALEM ended a 13-game losing streak by beating Manchester West 50-6 Friday. Quarterback John Cerretani tossed three touchdown passes to Jake Poore in the victory (38, 39 and 31 yards). Salem (1-4) scored 36 points in the second quarter and led 44-6 at halftime.

It was the first victory for Salem first-year coach Rob Pike.

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


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