181106-spt-pinkerton-mud-ROY_8974

181106-spt-pinkerton-mud-ROY_8974

The Pinkerton Academy players’ white unifoms became black from the mud and rain during Saturday’s playoff game at Londonderry. The Astros advanced, 20-14.

The second- and third-ranked teams in this week’s New Hampshire Union Leader High School Power Poll are set for a showdown.

New No. 2 Salem, fresh off its first-round Division I playoff victory over Winnacunnet last Saturday in Hampton, will host Pinkerton Academy on Saturday in a second-round contest. The Astros jumped one spot in today’s voting, to No. 3, after their dramatic playoff victory over rival Londonderry on Saturday at muddy Lancer Park.

Salem won the earlier meeting of the teams, 15-14, in Derry. The winner of the Salem-Pinkerton contest advances to the Division I championship the following Saturday at UNH.

The other Division I semifinal features No. 1 Bedford vs. No. 6 Merrimack. The unbeaten Bulldogs remained in the poll’s top spot for a sixth straight week after its playoff victory over Goffstown. Merrimack advanced to the second round with an overtime victory over Nashua North.

Each of the state’s top three divisions has an unbeaten team, and all three cracked the poll. Aside from Bedford, Division II’s Plymouth Regional sits at No. 4 and Division III’s Monadnock of Swanzey is at No. 9, tied with Windham.