IT’S BEEN a rough year for quarterbacks, and we’re not talking about guys named Brees, Darnold, Foles or Roethlisberger.
There’s been an inordinate number of injuries to NHIAA quarterbacks this season, particularly Division I QBs. Nashua South’s Dante Young, its starting QB last season, sustained an injury before the season began and has yet to play a down in the season’s first two weeks; Concord’s Trevor Smith broke his arm against Souhegan in the Queen City Jamboree and Winnacunnet’s Pat Britton left the field via ambulance during a Week 2 loss to Portsmouth. Winnacunnet coach Ryan Francoeur said Britton suffered a concussion.
“My guess is he’ll be out at least two weeks,” Francoeur said.
In addition, Salem lost starting QB Cody Clements to a collarbone injury in the second quarter of last Saturday’s loss to Londonderry. Sophomore Kaleb Bates, Salem’s backup QB, was already on crutches when the game against Londonderry began, so Salem turned to No. 3 QB Noah Mustapha, who turned in an admirable performance considering the opponent and circumstances.
No team has been hit harder by injuries at quarterback than Bishop Guertin, however.
That position was thinned in the offseason when two BG quarterbacks transferred, including Joey DaSilva, who is now playing at Windham. DaSilva spent a good chunk of the 2018 season as BG’s starting QB.
Still, the Cardinals seemed to be in good hands since they had an experienced and QB in Hayden Moses, who made five starts at quarterback last season.
Like Smith, however, Moses went down with an injury (torn ACL) in the Queen City Jamboree. BG had already lost backup QB John Farris to a broken foot.
Then BG quarterback Josh Larson suffered a lower-back injury in the first quarter of last weekend’s game against Nashua South. That forced the Cardinals to move wide receiver Joey Lupo behind center. Lupo was the star of BG’s 20-0 victory over South, a victory that evened BG’s record at 1-1.
Lupo ran for 191 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries. His TDs came on runs of 18, 84 and 52 yards. He also completed a pass to tight end Kyle Baker for a two-point conversion.
“It worked out, but even though he’s a senior and a good athlete he’s clearly not a quarterback,” BG coach John Trisciani said. “As soon as (Larson) went out, the game plan completely changed.”
Trisicani said although Larson is expected back this season, he’s not expected to play in Saturday night’s game against Portsmouth. Lupo and Dylan Santosuosso will likely each take snaps.
“This whole quarterback thing, going back to last year, has been a nightmare,” Trisciani said. “The one thing that helped me deal with it mentally is I know we’re not the only team dealing with it. Gotta make do with what you have.”
There are six undefeated teams in Division I, but that number is sure to shrink this weekend. Two Division I matchups on the Week 3 menu feature a pair of unbeaten teams: Merrimack (2-0) at Exeter (2-0) Friday, and Bedford (2-0) at Goffstown (2-0) Saturday at 1:30 p.m.
All four teams are ranked in the Power Poll. Bedford is No. 2, Exeter is No. 4, Goffstown is No. 6 and Merrimack is No. 7.
No. 1 Londonderry (2-0) and No. 5 Nashua North (2-0) are the other unbeaten teams in Division I and both will be in action Friday. Londonderry faces Timberlane (0-2) at home, and North plays at Dover (1-1).
There are two other games on the Week 3 schedule that involve two unbeaten teams: Lebanon (2-0) at Monadnock (2-0) in Division III, and the Division IV matchup between Bishop Brady (2-0) and Raymond (2-0) that will be played in Raymond. Bishop Brady has already won more games this year than it did last season, when it finished 1-6.
The longest winning streaks in the state by division:
Division I: Bedford (14 games)
Division II: Kennett (three games)
Division III: Monadnock (15 games)
Division IV: Winnisquam (11 games)
Another Quiet weekend
No NHIAA game played last Friday was closer than seven points. Manchester Central’s 14-7 victory over Timberlane was the only game played that night that was decided by fewer than 16 points. … Hillsboro-Deering/Hopkinton running back Colby Quiet has run for 465 yards on 24 carries this season, an average of 19.4 yards per carry. …
A reminder that Friday's Salem-Concord contest will be played in Concord even though it’s Salem’s home game.