Boston High School: Goffstown (N.H.)

Shrine Bowl: NH shuts out Vermont for 13th straight

August, 3, 2013
8/03/13
11:12
PM ET
HANOVER, N.H. -– Vermont may have run a prettier offense Saturday night, but New Hampshire's Double-Wing was much more effective.
New Hampshire outgained Vermont 460-162 and rolled to a 43-0 triumph in the 60th Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl at Dartmouth's Memorial Field.

It was the 13th consecutive victory for New Hampshire, which has a 45-13-2 lead in the series.

Trinity running back Romeo Masuku ran for a game-high 113 yards and two touchdowns on 14 carries. Goffstown quarterback Connor Benjamin tossed a 55-yard TD pass to Laconia tight end Graham Nyhan –- New Hampshire's only pass completion in the game –- and also ran for a 36-yard TD.

New Hampshire operated out of a Wildcat formation for much of the second half, when it scored 28 of its 43 points.

“We wanted to save that for the second half so they couldn't prepare for it at halftime,” New Hampshire coach Ray Kershaw said. “The Double-Wing is designed to wear teams down in the second half, and that's what happened. That's what my offensive linemen were telling me.”

New Hampshire also received a 9-yard TD run from Concord's Tolbert Nemo, a 1-yard TD run from Exeter's Tyler Grant and a 42-yard field goal from Souhegan's Tyler Ford. Ford also made four point-after kicks.

Vermont's no-huddle spread offense was limited to 40 yards rushing on 22 carries, and 13 completions in 34 pass attempts. Vermont committed six turnovers, five of which were interceptions.

“We just make too many mistakes,” Vermont coach Jason Thomas said. “We had our chances – I really believe that – I just don't think we executed very well.”

New Hampshire led 6-0 after one quarter, 15-0 at halftime and 29-0 entering the fourth.

Vermont has lost 23 of the last 25 games.

LINE DANCING
New Hampshire's defensive line, which featured University of New Hampshire-bound tackle Ricky Holt, recorded four sacks.
“We had one of the most dominant defensive lines you could have put together in our state,” Holt said. “We did a really good job of getting after the quarterback.”

New Hampshire's defensive line included Exeter defensive end Zach Bosen, Pembroke Academy defensive tackle Chris Ford and Stevens defensive end C.J. Gosselin.

“We knew they'd be really good up front, and when they're really good up front it makes it challenging,” Thomas said. “Their defensive line was outstanding putting pressure on our quarterbacks all day. Made it difficult for them to throw it to the open guy.”

It was the first time Vermont was shut out since 2008, when New Hampshire posted a 42-0 victory.

“They did throw us off our game a little bit,” Vermont quarterback Jake Stalcup (Burr & Burton) said. “It's tough to make a full-field read when there are guys coming at you.”

EXTRA POINTS
Ford's 42-yard field goal came as time expired at the end of the first half, and is the longest field goal in the game's history. Spaulding's Scott Sanborn held the previous record. Sanborn made a 41-yard field goal in 1982. ... New Hampshire attempted six passes. ... Woodstock's Ed Doton was Vermont's leading rusher with 38 yards on six carries. ... Vermont's Chris Redding (Burr and Burton) caught five passes for 53 yards. ... Logan Batchelder (Stevens) had two of New Hampshire's five interceptions. ... It was the first time the game has been played at night.

NH going for baker's dozen in Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl

August, 2, 2013
8/02/13
4:35
PM ET
It's a different year with different players and different coaches, but the storyline leading up to Saturday's 60th Shrine Maple Sugar Bowl hasn't changed: Can Vermont find a way to upset New Hampshire, or at least make it a competitive game?

New Hampshire will bring a 12-game winning streak into Saturday's contest, and has outscored Vermont 433-145 in those 12 games. New Hampshire leads the overall series 44-13-2.

New Hampshire head coach Ray Kershaw (Mascoma Regional) said he has warned his team about the danger of being overconfident.

“They do know not to take them lightly,” Kershaw said. “I tell them that every single day. I tell them it's not going to be handed to them.”

Saturday's game will be played at Dartmouth's Memorial Field. The opening kickoff is scheduled for 5:30 p.m., and all proceeds benefit the Shriners' Hospitals for Children.

“Different set of circumstances,” Vermont coach Jason Thomas (Burr & Burton) said. “I wouldn't be doing my job if I didn't have my guys ready to go and believing they could win.”

Goffstown's Connor Benjamin will lead the New Hampshire offense. Benjamin played running back in the New Hampshire CHaD All-Star Game, but will be New Hampshire's starting quarterback Saturday. He was a quarterback during his junior and senior seasons at Goffstown.

Exeter's Tyler Grant, Concord's Tolbert Nemo, Trinity of Manchester's Romeo Masuku and Manchester Memorial's Jared Ombati are among New Hampshire's running backs.

“Our backfield has a lot of speed and a lot of depth,” Benjamin said.

Vermont will have to deal with a New Hampshire defense led by Portsmouth defensive lineman Ricky Holt, who will play at the University of New Hampshire.

Vermont fans are hoping quarterback Jake Stalcup can guide their team to victory.

Stalcup, a three-year starter for Thomas at Burr and Burton, was named Vermont's Gatorade Player of the Year in 2011, when he tossed 31 touchdown passes as a junior. Stalcup passed for 2,613 yards and 31 TDs last fall. He will play for Middlebury College this season.

Stalcup will direct a fast-paced spread offense that Thomas learned from Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly while both were assistant coaches at UNH.

“I think the game will be won or lost up front,” Thomas said. “If we can't protect the QB, keep him upright so he can get the ball off, the skill kids aren't going to matter.

“We feel like we have to score points against these guys for sure. New Hampshire is big and athletic. I imagine they'll be a very difficult team to stop.”

New Hampshire set a record for points scored by one team when it won last year's game 62-24.

“Both teams have been working hard and it's going to be a tough game,” Benjamin said. “Regardless of who wins, this game is all about fund-raising. It's for kids who can't do what we do.”

N.H. All-Star Football: West 13, East 7

June, 30, 2013
6/30/13
10:28
AM ET
DURHAM, N.H. -– Very little separated the teams in Saturday's CHaD New Hampshire East-West All-Star Football Game at the University of New Hampshire's Cowell Stadium.

The West prevailed 13-7 when Goffstown tailback Connor Benjamin scored on an 8-yard run in overtime.

“I wanted to get in and score more than anything,” Benjamin said. “I ran my hardest and it paid off. We worked hard all week for this.”

The West had an opportunity to win the game in regulation, but Portsmouth's Rick Holt blocked Zach Ziemba's 41-yard field goal attempt as time expired. The East fumbled on the 1-yard line on its overtime possession.

“I feel bad for the kid who fumbled, but what are you going to do –- that's part of the game,” West coach Jim Schubert said. “I thought our kids played real hard, and that's all I cared about.”

The game raises money for Children's Hospital at Dartmouth-Hitchcock. The West won the inaugural game 44-12 last summer.

“Real good football game,” East coach Bob Camirand said. “Obviously we were disappointed losing, but I can live with this. It was a great effort on both sides. Two quality teams and I thought two well-coached teams.”

The East trailed by seven until St. Thomas Aquinas running back Ryan Monette scored on a 1-yard run with 10:48 to play. Monette rushed for a game-high 102 yards on 25 carries. He also caught a 15-yard pass and gained 22 yards on two punt returns.

The only scoring in the first half came on a 1-yard pass from quarterback James Caparell to former Bedford teammate Brian Collins with 3:42 left in the first quarter. The scoring drive covered 60 yards in six plays. The big play was a 47-yard pass from Caparell to Collins, who had three catches for 53 yards in the victory.

Benjamin, who was a quarterback during his junior and senior seasons at Goffstown, led the West's running game with 57 yards on 14 carries.

DEFENSE DOMINATES
Holt, a defensive tackle who will play at the University of New Hampshire, was named the game's Most Valuable Player. In addition to blocking what could have been a game-winning field goal, Holt had 8-1/2 tackles, including a sack.

“I knew (UNH coach) Sean McDonnell was here and I wanted to leave it out on the field to the best of my ability, and I think I did that,” Holt said. “Thankfully he let me play in this.”

The West averaged 3.6 yards per play. The East averaged 3.5.

Nashua North linebacker/defensive end Deric Wagner recorded a game-high 10 tackles. The West received 9-1/2 tackles from Bedford linebacker David Cannone and 7-1/2 from Stevens linebacker C.J. Gosselin.

“We were a little undersized, but the kids really stuck in there on defense,” Schubert said. “No. 71 (Holt) was by far the best player on the field. We couldn't handle him. He disrupted our three-step drop and our five-step drop so we had to start sprinting out in the third quarter.

“When you only have 10 days (to prepare) defense is always going to dominate. If you can look at film of a defense then that's different.”

MONEY MATTERS
According to CHaD officials, the game raised $301,500, which included $48,000 in in-kind donations (uniforms, food, etc.)....Souhegan's Tyler Ford had a 74-yard punt....Caparell, who is New Hampshire's leader in career passing yardage (5,389), completed 8 of 12 pass attempts for 97 yards. He will play for the University of Rhode Island....Philadelphia Eagles head coach Chip Kelly, a former assistant coach at UNH, was among those in attendance.

New England Roundup: New Hampshire

October, 3, 2011
10/03/11
1:34
PM ET
Seventy games have been played at Plymouth Regional's Zoulias Field since the start of the 2000 season. Just two of those contests were won by the visiting team.

Manchester's Trinity High was the second squad in that span to record the road win. The Pioneers, in most improbable fashion, pulled off the season's No. 1 stunner to date.

In their first-ever trip to Plymouth's home turf, the Pioneers struck for two long touchdown passes in the final minutes of their Division IV tilt to complete a 12-7 comeback win Sept. 24.

Trinity (4-0) terminated Plymouth's 40-game home win streak, which started nearly seven years earlier with a regular-season finale victory over Peterborough's ConVal Regional on Oct. 30, 2004.

"I brought it up (the night before the game) at a team meeting. That was the only time that we really brought it up," Trinity head coach Gary Leonard said of Plymouth's 40-game run at home. "It didn't seem to motivate them. But we can say we did it. That's what counts."

Exactly what motivated the Pioneers is difficult to determine. But it's clear what –- make that “who” -– sparked their comeback. He is sophomore quarterback Carmen Giampetruzzi.

A first-year starter under center, Giampetruzzi hit running back Josh Hughes for an 80-yard touchdown with 4:01 to play. Hughes caught the 10-yard pass outside the left hash mark, turned, and raced 70 yards down the left sideline. The throw was threaded perfectly between two Plymouth defenders.

The play was just the second pass attempt for Trinity, whose double-wing offense rarely moves the ball through the air. But the Bobcats completely neutralized Trinity's rushing attack, which left Leonard with no choice but to rely on his quarterback's left arm.

Moments after Hughes hit paydirt, the Pioneers, as they routinely do, lined up for the two-point conversion. Plymouth stuffed it.

Trailing by a point, the Pioneers needed a defensive stop. They got it with a turnover-on-downs at their 26-yard line.

The scenario: Trinity was 74 yards from the end zone – without a time out. Just 1 minute, 24 seconds remained in regulation.

Giampetruzzi went to work from the shotgun. He completed passes to Hughes (5 yards), Andrew Lauderdale (16 yards) and Adam Chambers (10 yards), moving the ball to Plymouth's 43. A false start moved the ball back to Plymouth's 48.

On third-and-15, with 26.5 seconds to play, Giampetruzzi handled the snap, dropped back, and rifled a spiral down the right seam. Lauderdale, a 6-foot 6-inch tight end, gained a step on his defender, caught the pass in stride and bolted for the goal line.

He crossed it with 17.8 seconds to play.

"So far, for Trinity, for football, this is probably one of the best wins we've had," said Giampetruzzi, whose ensuing two-point pass was incomplete, forcing the defense to make one final stand.

Lauderdale locked up the win, batting down a pass from Plymouth's 43 on the final play.

The Pioneers celebrated. The Bobcats huddled up to hear head coach Chuck Lenahan, the state's all-time wins leader, address them.

"Stick together," said a stunned Lenahan (328-68-1) when asked what he told his team after the final horn sounded. "That's all you can do. Regroup."

BIG WINNERS
Hampton's Winnacunnet High and Northwood's Coe-Brown Academy were the big winners at the 37th annual Manchester Cross Country Invitational Sept. 24.

Without a single runner recording a top 10 finish at Derryfield Park, Winnacunnet won the boys' team title in the large-school race. Coe-Brown won the girls' crown in the small-school event.

Winnacunnet edged Burlington, Vt., 157-161. Justin Trott was Winnacunnet's first runner (12th overall) to complete the 3.1-mile course.

Coe-Brown won comfortably (67-99) over second-place Hopkinton High. Jessie Carney (20:22) and Carissa Hodgdon (20:40) were top 10 finishers, placing fourth and sixth, respectively.

The Bears also celebrated a boys' individual title as Jeremy Brassard won the small-school race. He clocked a time of 16:27.

In the boys' elite race, Pinkerton Academy of Derry delivered a solid showing. The Astros placed second in the team competition behind Rhode Island's Bishop Hendricken (42-89). Anthony Anzivino finished second overall (16:06).

Sami Hicks of Laconia High won the girls' small-school individual title (19:22).

CHAMPIONSHIP PREVIEW?
Division I field hockey powers Salem High and Pinkerton clashed Sept. 24 in a fight for first place. Very little separated the squads in Salem's 2-1 home win.

Abbey Raymond snapped a 1-all tie inside the final 4 minutes of regulation. The dagger ended Pinkerton's bid for perfection. Danielle Ferraro set up Raymond's game-winning strike.

Jordyn Hamilton's goal late in the first half pulled Pinkerton even at 1-1. Her tally answered an early marker by Erika Smith.

Pinkerton finished the month with back-to-back wins, improving its record to 9-1. Salem also closed the month 9-1.

GRANITE STATE GREATS
Sept. 15: Josh Hofer scored in double overtime to lift Manchester Memorial High to a 2-1 win over Salem in Division I boys' soccer. Hofer buried a rebound in the 95th minute.

Sept. 15: Cassidy John scored in the final minute of regulation to give Penacook's Merrimack Valley Regional a 1-0 win over Concord's Bishop Brady High in Division II girls' soccer. The win was the Pride's fifth straight and, at the time, kept the team unbeaten in league play at 6-0-1.

Sept. 17: Chris Camire made an acrobatic 32-yard catch in the final minute to set up a game-winning 1-yard touchdown run by quarterback Connor Benjamin. Division III Goffstown High for the first time in the football program's history defeated Amherst's Souhegan High, 21-14.

Sept. 19: Jenna Freitas connected for five goals in Memorial's 7-0 Division I field hockey win at Nashua North. She scored the game's first three goals and added two more in the second half.

Sept. 24: Playing quarterback and running back during Merrimack Valley's rain-soaked football contest in Week 4, Cody Thurston had a hand in six touchdowns. He tossed four TDs and notched two rushing scores as the Pride topped Wolfeboro's Kingswood Regional, 64-45, in Division IV action.

Marc Thaler is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader & Sunday News. He can be reached at marc.thaler@gmail.com. Read his "New Hampshire GameDay" blog and follow him on Twitter: @marc_thaler.

New England Roundup: New Hampshire

February, 23, 2011
2/23/11
5:53
PM ET


MANCHESTER, N.H. -- Manchester High School West's Valentine's Day victory made basketball coach Nick Moutsioulis wish his wallet could support a team trip to the Magic Kingdom.

"If I could pay for every one of the girls to go, I'd do it in a heartbeat," said Moutsioulis, his reference to Disney World and the visit made by the Super Bowl MVP after winning the biggest of games.

New HampshireYou see, West entered its Feb. 14 girls' hoop contest lugging a 77-game losing streak that dated to the 2007-08 season opener. But after three consecutive winless campaigns, and another 14 straight losses this winter, the Blue Knights stopped the frustration-filled skid with a 38-33 Division II road win at Pelham High.

"I'm still processing it. I don't even know how to react to a win," said 5-foot 8-inch forward Emily Colon, one of three seniors on West's varsity team that features just eight active players.

West's low participation in athletics isn't limited to girls' hoop. The loss of Bedford student-athletes to the opening of Bedford High in 2007 has affected most sports programs at the school.

The exodus that eventually shrunk West's population from 2,000-plus students to roughly 1,100, took place over several years. But West's ability to compete in most sports quickly declined.

Colon and classmate Brooke Brown were freshman call-ups to the varsity in 2007-08, West's first winless campaign. Routinely losing was a foreign feeling to these stars of the streak-snapping win; as ninth-graders they led their freshman team to a 12-4 record.

"We tried not to think about the negative," said Brown, a 5-foot-11 center, noting the team became the punchline to jokes that spread throughout the school.

Over time, however, staying positive proved tough. One winless season grew into two, which reached three last winter.

But worse than the lopsided losses -- and jokes generated by them -- was the sinking feeling caused by looking into the stands during home games.

(Read full post)

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