Roger Brown's First & 10: Division I's top seed likely on the line Friday
THERE WILL be plenty at stake when No. 1 Concord hosts No. 2 Bedford on Friday night at Memorial Field.
Not only will it be a meeting between the top two teams in this week's Power Poll, it likely will determine the top seed for the Division I North championship game. It also could determine the No. 1 overall seed for the Division I playoffs, since Concord, Bedford and No. 3 Nashua South are the only unbeaten teams remaining in Division I.
"The Bedford game really has some significant playoff implications for us, and we know it," Concord coach Eric Brown said. "Whoever wins that game will host the conference championship game, I'm assuming, unless there's some major problems down the road for either of us. It'll be a great home crowd, and our kids will be ready to go."
Concord maintained its position at the top of the poll after it beat No. 4 Pinkerton Academy of Derry, 21-14 in overtime Friday night. The Crimson Tide trailed by eight points with less than a minute to play in that contest.
Friday's game will be the 11th time in the six-year history of the Power Poll that the top two teams have met on the field. It also will be a match-up between the top offense (Concord) and top defense (Bedford) in Division I. The Bulldogs had posted four consecutive shutout victories before beating Manchester Memorial 45-14 Friday.
Bedford also has the No. 2 offense in Division I. The Bulldogs have scored at least 45 points in four of their six victories.
"They like to throw it around," Brown said. "We've worked hard at getting better at pass defense, and hopefully that will show (on Friday)."
There was little change from last week in this week's poll. Portsmouth is the only new entry. The Clippers moved into the No. 10 spot after they beat previously undefeated St. Thomas Aquinas of Dover 49-28 on Friday night.
Portsmouth replaced Spaulding of Rochester, which was No. 9 last week but dropped out of the poll following a 38-26 loss to No. 5 Bishop Guertin of Nashua. Trinity of Manchester moved from No. 10 to No. 9.
In addition to the Concord-Bedford matchup, there are two other games on this weekend's schedule that feature two teams in the poll: No. 5 BG at No. 3 Nashua South on Friday, and No. 10 Portsmouth at No. 6 Plymouth on Saturday.
THE NEWS isn't good at Milford, where quarterback/defensive back Harrison Urda suffered an ankle injury in the first half of his team's 42-7 triumph over John Stark of Weare on Saturday. Urda will miss the rest of the season.
"It's a complete dislocation, and he snapped the fibula," Milford coach Keith Jones said. "He had surgery (on Sunday). Now it's six weeks of non-weight bearing before he starts rehabilitation."
Urda, a senior, is likely to miss the entire varsity basketball season, but Jones said he may be able to play lacrosse in the spring.
"Character-wise, he's one of the nicest kids we've ever had," Jones said. "He's a great captain — very good with the younger kids."
Sophomore Max Urda, Harrison's younger brother, will take over as Milford's starting quarterback. The Spartans (4-2) are still in the mix for a playoff spot in Division II South.
PELHAM (5-0) remained the only unbeaten team in Division III, with a 21-7 triumph against Epping-Newmarket on Saturday. Pelham's Chris Medeiros rushed for a game-high 83 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries.
Despite its unbeaten record, Pelham has little room for error since the South is the most competitive conference in Division III. Bow and Campbell of Litchfield are both 4-1, and Somersworth is 3-2. The toughest test remaining on Pelham's schedule is an Oct. 25 contest at Campbell.
MONADNOCK of Swanzey (6-0) and Plymouth (6-0) each secured the No. 1 seed for their respective conference championship games by winning last weekend. Monadnock will be at home for the Division II West title game, and Plymouth will play host to the Division II North championship game.
Roger Brown covers high school football for the New Hampshire Union Leader and Sunday News. He can be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org. Follow him on Twitter:@603sportsmedia.