BEDFORD — The speed advantage the Nashua North football team had in Saturday’s Division I championship game against Goffstown was never more evident than when North quarterback Curtis Harris-Lopez scored on a 63-yard run in the opening quarter.
Harris-Lopez didn’t look like he was anywhere near fourth gear as he cruised down the sideline and distanced himself from Goffstown defenders en route to the end zone.
North’s speed helped produce nine offensive plays of 10 yards or more in the Titans’ 49-21 triumph. That speed was also apparent on Isaac Smith’s 66-yard kickoff return, and when Harris-Lopez intercepted a pass and returned in 47 yards for a TD early in the first quarter.
“(Smith) has speed,” Harris-Lopez said. “His speed is what helps him a lot.
“It was the last game of the year. Everyone was locked in and we did what we were supposed to do.”
Saturday’s victory gave the North program its first Division I championship. The Titans have finished as the Division I runner-up twice.
“We have some athletes who can run, and with the ball in their hands they’re dangerous,” North coach Dante Laurendi said. “Our team speed really showed today, I thought.”
The Goffstown offense had its moments — quarterback Jarrett Henault tossed two TD passes and ran for another — but not enough to overcome North’s big-play ability. The Titans cashed in on Goffstown mistakes by scoring two defensive TDs. In addition to the Harris-Lopez interception return, Jayden Espinal flashed plenty of speed when he picked up a fumble and returned it 29 yards for a touchdown.
Espinal looked anything but slow on most of his offensive carries as well. He finished the game with 62 yards on 11 rushing attempts.
“They might have been a little faster than we anticipated,” Goffstown coach Nick Hammond said. “And we knew they were very fast.”