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NHIAA Football: North outscores Central

New Hampshire Union Leader

September 21. 2018 11:14PM

High School Football
FRIDAY, SEPT. 21, 2018:

Portsmouth 42, Spaulding 13
Exeter 10, Windham 6
Winnacunnet 20, Dover 10
Bedford 56, Memorial 0
Nashua North 34, Central 27
Pinkerton 34, Londonderry 14
St. Thomas 41, Milford 40
Hollis/Brookline 34, West 14
Alvirne 40, ConVal 12
Stevens 41, Somersworth 0
Campbell 47, Laconia 26
Franklin 20, Fall Mountain 8
Merrimack 14, Nashua South 0
Pelham 52, Merrimack Valley 0
Hanover 36, Pembroke 14

SATURDAY, SEPT. 22, 2018:

Concord at Goffstown, 1:30 p.m.
Timberlane at Salem, 2 p.m.
Souhegan at Sanborn, 2:30 p.m.
Epping at Inter-Lakes, noon
Newport Hillsboro-Deering, 1 p.m.
Lebanon at Kearsarge, 6:30 p.m.
Monadnock at Trinity, 7 p.m.
Newfound at Winnisquam, 1 p.m.
Farmington at Mascoma, 2 p.m.
Raymond at Bishop Brady, 6 p.m.
Keene at Bishop Guertin, 6:30 p.m.
Kennett at Plymouth, 2 p.m.
Bow at Gilford, 2:30 p.m.
Kingswood at John Stark, 4 p.m.

MANCHESTER — The Nashua North football team created a 14-point swing late in the contest on the way to a 34-27 shootout victory over Manchester Central Friday night at Gill Stadium.

The Titans, ranked ninth in the Union Leader Power Poll, took a 27-20 lead with 1:05 remaining in the third quarter when Brian Montminy ran in a 10-yard touchdown. The senior followed up with an interception on the first play of Central’s next drive, which led to a North touchdown that helped give his team a 14-point advantage. Mike Loveless connected with Curtis Harris for a 10-yard TD on a screen pass with 9:56 remaining to make it 34-20 Nashua North.

Central, ranked fourth in the Union Leader Power Poll, cut the Titans’ lead to 34-27 with a 1-yard TD run by Cooper Varano with 3:16 left but the Titans ran the clock out on their following drive.

“To be able to get up two (scores) against them, that was big,” North coach Dante Laurendi said. “Fourteen points against that team is not a cushion.”

Nashua North (3-1) opened the second half by forcing the Little Green (3-1) to go three and out and followed up with a seven-play scoring drive to take the lead for the first time in the contest. Central aided the Titans on that scoring drive with two penalties on the same play that totaled 30 yards, setting them up at Central’s 36-yard line. Harris (14 carries, 78 yards) ran in a 1-yard touchdown three plays later. North was successful on its two-point try to build a 20-13 advantage.

“I’ve been telling a lot of people that Nashua North is one of the toughest teams on our schedule,” Little Green coach Ryan Ray said. “They’re very, very similar to us and played very tough. I’m not sure we will play a more physical game for quite some time.”

Central tied the game at 20-20 on its ensuing possession by driving 53 yards on eight plays. Little Green senior quarterback Alex Hawkom hit Nick Olibrice on a 5-yard slant route for the score. Olibrice (four receptions, 92 yards) kept the drive alive by wrestling a potential interception away from Loveless, pulling down a 34-yard pass on a fourth-and-7 play.

The Little Green took a 13-12 advantage into halftime behind two touchdown passes from Hawkom (11 of 20 passing, 216 yards).

Hawkom capped its opening drive with a 44-yard TD pass to Miguel Gensee to give his team a 6-0 advantage. Hawkom found Olibrice over the middle for a 34-yard touchdown with 2:27 remaining in the half to break a 6-6 tie. Andrew Canotas followed up with the point-after kick to give the Little Green a 13-6 lead.

Nashua North finished its final first-half drive with a 48-yard TD pass from Loveless to Austin Ouellette, who played the game with a cast on his right hand. The score came with 2:27 left before halftime. The Titans’ ensuing PAT was no good, giving Central the one-point edge.

The Titans knotted the score at a touchdown apiece with 6:24 remaining in the first half, when Harris broke a tackle at the line of scrimmage and proceeded to dash 19 yards to the end zone.

Central senior defensive back Dylan Feliciano recorded an interception.

North sacked Hawkom five times.

“We just were able to kind a hold on a little bit and fight,” Laurendi said. “We had a feeling — or at least we hoped that’s what it would be — a fight.”

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