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NHIAA Football: Keith stars as Grizzlies top Central

New Hampshire Union Leader

October 13. 2017 11:17PM
Central's Jeremyah Rivera goes upfield as Goffstown's Jacob Brown chases at Gill Stadium in Manchester on Friday. (THOMAS ROY/UNION LEADER)

MANCHESTER — There was some early adversity that the Goffstown High School football team had to overcome, but the Grizzlies did just that and asserted themselves in the second quarter to pick up a 29-12 victory over Manchester Central on Friday night at Gill Stadium.

Central’s Jeremyah Rivera returned the opening kickoff 82 yards for a touchdown and Central led 6-0 after 12 minutes, but Goffstown scored 22 points in the second quarter and had a 22-12 lead at halftime.

Goffstown quarterback Charlie Keith ran for 116 yards and a touchdown on 21 carries, and also completed 11 of 18 passes for 152 yards and a touchdown. He was intercepted once.

“Charlie is able to process things very quickly, which I like,” Goffstown coach Justin Hufft said. “He makes the right read (to hand off or keep the football) almost every time. He doesn’t make every throw, but that’s high school football. He knows where he’s going with the ball.

“The thing about (Central) is they always get better as the year goes along. We always get them at the end of the year, so they’re really coming into their own right now. I was not surprised at all that they gave us a hard time.”

Central's Travis Jeffries tackles Goffstown's Jack Stinnett at Gill Stadium in Manchester on Friday. (THOMAS ROY/UNION LEADER)

Goffstown scored four touchdowns in a five-possession stretch that began early in the second quarter and ended with the first drive of the second half. Joey Poisson’s 1-yard TD run with 7:38 left in the third helped the Grizzlies (6-1) take a 29-12 lead.

The loss ended Central’s five-game winning streak and dropped the Little Green to 5-2. The winner of the Central/Bedford game on Oct. 27 will likely be the fourth playoff qualifier in the Division I North/East bracket. Goffstown will be the North champion if it defeats Spaulding next Saturday.

“Right now they’re a better team than we are, but we’re going to keep fighting, reload and hopefully we’ll get better next week,” Central coach Ryan Ray said. “Their kids play harder than just about anybody else in the state so you have to give them credit. Whatever Coach Hufft is doing over there in Goffstown is obviously working. They’ve got a great program.”

Central took a 12-7 lead when quarterback Alex Hawkom connected with Alex Guillemette for a 29-yard TD pass with 7:04 remaining in the first half, but Goffstown responded with a 44-yard TD pass from Keith to Andrew Duval, added the two-point conversion, and then got an 8-yard touchdown run from Coleman Handrahan with 30.4 seconds left in the half.

“It’s hard enough to stop them with average athletes, but they’ve got above-average athletes in the playmaking spots,” Ray said. “Obviously No. 9 (Duval) is one of the very best in the state. We were disciplined for most of the game, but their athletes in space are dangerous weapons.”

Central's Jeremy Chandler is tackled by Goffstown's Brandon St. Onge at Gill Stadium in Manchester on Friday. (THOMAS ROY/UNION LEADER)

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