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Roger Brown's High School Football: Division II showdown will answer questions

By ROGER BROWN
September 22. 2017 12:18AM
Bow defender Nate Alford brings down Plymouth's Garrett Macomber after a gain during the second half of the NHIAA Div. II championship game hosted at Wildcat Stadium in Durham Saturday. Plymouth won 27-24. (Mark Bolton/Union Leader)

ANY TIME you’ve played three games and still haven’t allowed a point, you know your defense is good, but sometimes you still don’t know how good.

That may be the case with the Bow High School football team, which has outscored its opponents 125-0 in its three games this season. A win is a win, as they say, but Bow’s three victories have come against teams that are a combined 1-8 so far this year.

The Falcons (3-0) can expect a much tougher test Saturday when they play at Plymouth (3-0) in a game between the two programs that met in last year’s Division II championship game. Plymouth won that contest 27-24.

“They can’t control who they play,” Plymouth coach Chris Sanborn said. “They play the schedule they’re given. What I know is they’re unbeaten and unscored upon.

“They very good up front (defensively), especially their defensive tackles. They definitely control the line of scrimmage. They’re big and athletic. Very impressed with number 50 (Nolan Filteau).”

Bow coach Paul Cohen said swarming to the ball carrier has been the recipe for his team’s defensive success this season.

“Gang tackling,” Cohen said. “They understand that it’s been working as a collective effort. (Plymouth) hasn’t shown a varied offense, but what they do they do well. We’re not the same team we were a year ago and neither are they.”

Plymouth is ranked fifth in this week’s Union Leader Power Poll. Bow is No. 10.

Sanborn said he expects Bow will try to win by controlling the line of scrimmage. “Last year (in the championship game) I’m not sure they thought they could beat us up front so they spread us out and threw the ball against us,” he said. “They have most of their interior linemen back so I think they’ll try to eat the clock and pound the ball at us. I think that will be their game plan. I know if I was them that’s how I’d look at it.”

Plymouth has outscored its three opponents 129-21 thus far. Those three teams are 2-6, so Sanborn will likely learn a lot about his team Saturday as well.

“Both teams want to win, but this is not a game that’s going to be won by desire,” Cohen said. “It’s going to be won on execution. It’s a huge game for both teams.”

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IF YOU’RE headed to Saturday’s game between Bishop Guertin and Keene, don’t make the mistake of showing up at Nashua’s Stellos Stadium. Stellos wasn’t available to BG this weekend because of the Battle of the Bridge sporting events between Nashua North and Nashua South, which includes a football game tonight and several contests Saturday. That left BG scrambling to find a field.

“Two years ago, we did it at St. A’s (St. Anselm College) and it went well,” BG coach Jeff Moore said. “There was talk of doing it at St. A’s again, but that’s not really a home game. We were going to play on Thursday night but couldn’t because one of the Keene coaches had a conflict.”

BG passed on an opportunity to play in Keene, and decided to hold the game on Elliot Field — its practice field at the high school.

“That trip to Keene is definitely an advantage for the home team,” Moore said. “For us it’s very familiar to play on this field.”

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LONDONDERRY will be trying to beat Pinkerton Academy for the first time since 2001 when the teams meet in Derry tonight as part of Mack Plaque weekend. The Lancers improved their record to 3-0 and moved into the No. 8 spot in the Power Poll following last Friday’s victory over Nashua North. Pinkerton (2-1) is No. 9 in the poll.

Pinkerton, which is coming off a 35-20 loss to No. 1 Salem, has won the last 18 meetings and leads the series 29-6-0.

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THE Sixth Annual Blackout Cancer Week at Windham High School will culminate with tonight’s football game against Souhegan. Tickets for a raffle being held to support childhood cancer will be sold until halftime and there will be other fund-raisers before and during the game as well.

In addition, there will be a VIP tent for Windham children who are fighting cancer and their families. These children will also be recognized at halftime.

“We’ve been holding events all week and this will wrap things up,” Windham coach Bill Raycraft said. “I think everyone knows someone who has been affected by cancer.”

rbrown@unionleader.com


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