DERRY — It didn’t take long for Brian O’Reilly’s game plan to become clear in Friday’s Division I football game between Pinkerton of Derry and Manchester Memorial: Give the ball to fullback Jake MacInnis, hold your blocks and let him go.
MacInnis finished the Astros’ 44-7 win with 142 yards rushing and a touchdown, doing all his damage on 16 carries while adding a 19-yard receiving touchdown late in the third quarter.
He set the tone on the first drive with a 14-yard run up the middle on the game’s first play from scrimmage, and two plays later added a 19-yard run to the right side. That helped set up Marcus Terrio for a 34-yard TD rush, giving a 7-0 advantage to Pinkerton (1-1) less than two minutes into action.
Memorial (1-1), which broke a 36-game losing streak last week in beating Timberlane, saw its first drive stall out after six plays but took back over shortly thereafter when it recovered the Astros’ first of five fumbles. This one came on a botched exchange between center and quarterback, and gave the ball to the Crusaders on the Pinkerton 38 yard line.
They didn’t end up capitalizing, but Memorial finally broke through in its next series after once again recovering a Pinkerton fumble. Starting from the Astros’ 13, Memorial ran its way down to the 1-yard line, where quarterback Jeffrey Josefik plunged in on a QB sneak.
With the game tied and 9:20 remaining in the second quarter, Pinkerton broke the 7-7 tie for good when Jacob Albert ran into the end zone on a sweep play from 14 yards out to go up 13-7.
Everything came up Astros the rest of the way.
Evan Wilson, who finished with five carries for 18 yards and a touchdown, scored from three yards and Jeff Potvin’s QB keeper was successful for the 2-point conversion, putting Pinkerton up 21-7.
Brandon Roy drilled a 32-yard field goal as time expired in the first half and the Astros led 24-7 going into the locker room at halftime.
Pinkerton’s Robert Leake intercepted Josefik on Memorial’s first drive of the second half, which led to MacInnis’ rushing touchdown. The Astros’ next drive ended in MacInnis’ receiving score.
Will Brown ran the ball in from 9yards late in the fourth quarter to put a bow tie on an impressive offensive performance for the Astros.