Boston High School: Jake Kennedy

Recap: Maynard 38, Clinton 24

November, 27, 2014
Nov 27
8:56
PM ET
CLINTON, Mass. -- It was just a few ticks into the fourth quarter and Maynard was feeling the heat.

After racing out to a 30-point lead, the Tigers suddenly found themselves in a precarious situation after watching Clinton storm its way back to trail by only a touchdown.

Clearly, with momentum shifted over to the side of the Gaels, Maynard needed to siphon up something positive in the worst possible way.

Enter punter Reese Lesage.

The senior, standing inside his own 35-yard line, booted a deep punt that settled on the Clinton 3. The kick seemed to breathe life back into the Tigers as they rewarded Lesage's heroics by holding the Gaels on downs and forcing them to punt inside their own end zone.

Maynard got the ball back on the Clinton 31-yard line and two plays later, junior running back Stephen Peterson (103 yards on 14 carries) bolted 27 yards to pay dirt with just under six minutes remaining allowing Maynard to survive a 38-24 triumph in the 56th edition of this Thanksgiving rivalry at Veterans Athletic Complex.

Clinton leads the overall series 33-22-1.

"Reese's punt was the turning point of the game," said Tigers head coach Harold Ogilvie. "It put them back on the 3-yard line. If we gave them the ball at midfield or anywhere else we could've been in trouble. We were able to pin them back on that play and our defense pinned their ears back and played the way they've been taught to play. We are a bend but don't break sort of defense. We're going to give you the yards but we're not going to let you get into the end zone."

The Tigers completed an impressive campaign, closing with a record of 8-3, while the Gaels finish at 4-7. Both teams earned playoff berths this year. Maynard lost to Blackstone Valley Tech while Clinton was upended by Northbridge.

Despite the half-foot of snow that fell on the region overnight, there was no doubt this game would be played as scheduled. Kudos to a host of volunteers who arrived here in the wee hours of the morning to clear off the field and stands in preparation for this tilt.

"There were people here at 6 a.m. getting this field ready," Clinton head coach Paul Constantino said. "We wanted to play on Thanksgiving and Maynard did too. Barring any unforeseen thing when they showed up we were going to play today. All of the kids wanted to play today. It's what it is suppose to be."

The Tigers wasted little time setting the tempo in this one, scoring on their first four possessions to lead 30-0. A Daryl Jent fumble on the game's opening play was recovered by Maynard on the Gaels' 30. Two plays later, senior running back Bryan Kiley busted up the gut for a 27 yard score. Kiley would add the conversion run to put the Tigers on top 8-0. Early on, Clinton's offense (179 yards) failed to move the ball against Maynard's vaunted defense led by linemen Jared Cormier, Akram Semakula, Jake Kennedy and linebacker John O'Callaghan. The Tigers would go up 16-0 minutes later on Zach Boerman's 1-yard dive completing a 40 yard drive.

On Clinton's ensuing possession, a bad snap on a punt attempt forced punter Alex Ortiz into a throwing situation that fell incomplete. Getting the ball back deep in Gaels' territory, Zach Uglevich found the end zone from 10 yards out with 2:38 still remaining in the opening quarter. Another Clinton punt resulted in more points for Maynard (308 yards, 211 in the first half) as they marched 95 yards capped off by Cal Howes' 12 yard scoring pass to Boerman. Kiley's conversion run had the Tigers well-in command.

"Leadership has really brought us through," said Kiley, who finished with 136 yards on 22 rushes. "We knew we needed to stay focused when they came back on us. We did what we had to do to win. As a team we try to even out the carries to several running backs. The past years we kind of had just one key running back. It's not like that this year. We've spread things out and it has really worked well for us and gave us a really strong backfield."

Down by 30 points, it would have been easy for the Gaels begin turning their thoughts to Thanksgiving dinner. But after Ortiz returned a kickoff 89 yards to put Clinton on the board, suddenly a glimmer of hope could be seen on the Gaels sideline. After stopping the Tigers on their next possession, Clinton got the ball back and drove 76 yards, keyed by runs from senior back Kenel Meunier (86 yards on the ground). Facing fourth and goal at the Tigers 3, junior running back Brandon Whitney bowled over the goal line with no time left in the half. Following Jent's conversion catch, Clinton had sliced the deficit in half, trailing 30-16.

Maynard could do nothing offensively on its first possession to begin the third quarter. The Gaels had the ball back in their hands and were now starting to find holes within the Tigers defense. Behind the running of Jent and Whitney (27 yards), Clinton kept its 65 yard march intact. Reaching the Maynard 1, Jent (19 yards on 11 carries) pushed his way across the goal line and would add the conversion run to make it a one score game (30-24) with 2:33 left in the quarter.

"We gave Maynard two scores right from the get-go," said Constantino. "Suddenly it's 22-0 and then its 30-0. We called a time out and I told our kids to keep fighting because there is no place to hide. We were able to get back into it but they had that great punt which changed things a bit as it put us back so deep. I told our kids I know things are hollow right now but it really was an incredible comeback in the way they never quit."

Following Jent's score, a feeling of dis-belief had beset on the Tigers sideline. Thoughts resonated through their heads that If they continued to allow Clinton to ride this newfound crest of momentum, how would they ever live this down should the Gaels find a way to rally back for a victory?

Early in the final quarter, Maynard reached midfield but a swing pass to Kiley on third down netted them a four yard loss thus forcing a punt. But as a result, Lesage proved to be the most unlikeliest of heroes with his high, arcing punt putting Clinton in the shadow of its own goal post and, in turn, snuff out to its remarkable comeback effort.

"It's Clinton and I knew they would make a charge at us," Ogilvie said. "That's a well-coached team over there and those kids don't quit. I'm very proud my guys answered the bell in the fourth quarter. It's nice to finish the year 8-3. It's a great way to go into the off-season. I'm excited about what we have coming back next year. Maynard is a special place and there are a lot of special players on this team."

Recruiting Notes: Boyle opts for UConn

February, 11, 2013
2/11/13
10:52
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From a New England standpoint, perhaps the most noteworthy item on national signing day was Tim Boyle's decision to remain in his home state and sign with the University of Connecticut.

Recruiting NotebookBoyle, a 6-foot-4, 215-pound quarterback, led Xavier High School (Middletown) to its third consecutive Class LL state championship last fall. He passed for 2,483 yards and 24 touchdowns during his senior season.

Boyle originally committed to Boston College, and remained committed to BC after Connecticut native Steve Addazio replaced Frank Spaziani as BC's head coach. Addazio's offense requires a dual-threat quarterback, however, and although he ran for 295 yards and five touchdowns on 60 carries last season, Boyle is considered to be more of a pro-style passer.

He decommitted from BC and gave a verbal commitment to UConn earlier this month, and made things official on national signing day.

“This is a good day for me,” Boyle said after signing his National Letter of Intent. “It's been a long process because BC was the first school to offer me a scholarship back when I was a sophomore. I'm happy it's over.”

Boyle is one of five Connecticut residents in the Class of 2013 who signed National Letter of Intent to play at UConn. The others are linebacker Cory Jasudowich (Cheshire Academy), tight end Thomas Myers (Coventry), defensive end Cole Ormsby (Windsor) and fullback Matt Walsh (Daniel Hand).

BLOCKS OF GRANITE
The University of New Hampshire brought in a small class – 11 players – but three of them were in-state linemen: Portsmouth defensive tackle Rick Holt, Souhegan offensive tackle Jake Kennedy and Bedford offensive tackle Will McInerney.

Holt and Kennedy have been playing against each other since they were freshmen.

"There was some trash-talking between us when we were freshmen and sophomores, but we developed a level of respect for one another during our junior year," Holt said. "We've played against each other for a long time, but it's pretty cool that we're both going to UNH as friends and teammates."

McInerney, who is 6-foot-7 and weighs 290 pounds, may be the most intriguing prospect of the three. He had surgery on both knees last year, and did not play during his senior season.

"It was unfortunate that he missed his senior year, but he was very impressive in our camps and clinics last spring, so we knew he was the right fit for us," UNH coach Sean McDonnell said.

LIKE FATHER, LIKE SON
Bangor (Maine) wide receiver Matt Cosgrove is one of three players who signed a National Letter of Intent to play at the University of Maine. Cosgrove's father Jack is Maine's head coach.

“It’s exciting, I think, for both of us,” Jack Cosgrove told the Bangor Daily News. “It’s something we talked about up front. Matt gets it -- he knows what we’re all about. He’s seen it growing up with big eyes as a little boy and with small eyes as a big boy.”

Defensive back Spencer Carey (Lawrence) and tight end Dakota Tarbox (Thornton Academy) were the other Maine players who signed with the Black Bears.

DELAY OF GAME
Running back Jerickson Fedrick, who grew up in Lawrence but played high school football in Salem, N.H., said he has accepted a scholarship from the University of Maine, but will redshirt next season.

Fedrick graduated from Salem in 2012 and played prep school football for Choate Rosemary Hall in Wallingford, Conn., last season. He ran for a team-high 1,268 yards and 16 touchdowns last fall.

Fedrick, who was also a track standout in high school, rushed for 4,568 yards and scored 75 touchdowns for Salem.

SEE YOU NEXT YEAR
Five of the top recruits from New England in the Class of 2014:
  • Jon Baker, OL, Millis/Hopedale
  • Manny Latimore, RB, Pinkerton Academy (N.H.)
  • Arkeel Newsome, RB, Ansonia (Conn.)
  • Connor Strachan, LB, St. Sebastian's
  • Jon Thomas, RB, St. John's Prep

Strachan and Thomas are both on the ESPN Watch List.

Information about high school or prep school recruits in New England can be sent to Roger Brown at rbrown@nhfootballreport.com.

Recruiting Notes: Tabor's Montgomery trims list

September, 18, 2012
9/18/12
6:52
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Tabor Academy's Tevin Montgomery narrowed his college options to three schools during the summer, and he's almost ready to announce where he'll be playing football next season.

Montgomery, a 6-foot-4, 295-pound defensive lineman, will choose between Boston College, Vanderbilt and Virginia.

“That is the situation, and I think I'll make the decision real soon,” Montgomery said. “Probably within a week or two.”

Montgomery is the top-rated uncommitted recruit from Massachusetts. ESPN Recruiting lists him as a three-star offensive tackle, but Montgomery said he's being recruited to play on the defensive side of the ball.

Montgomery, who didn't begin playing organized football until last year, has also received scholarship offers from Temple, Massachusetts, Connecticut, Rutgers, Maryland and Missouri.

“BC, Vanderbilt and Virginia were the three that fit me the best as a student-athlete,” Montgomery said. “They're schools with a lot in common. They all have great academics and a football team that's on the rise.

“BC was my first scholarship offer. They were the school that put me on the map.”

Montgomery won't be in uniform when Tabor opens its season this weekend. He's still recovering from ankle surgery that was performed in August. He said he expects to miss Tabor's first three games.

Montgomery said he'll likely announce his college choice before he plays in a game this season.

“I was going to take official visits, but now I think I'll just take an official to the school I commit to,” Montgomery said. “I think I've made up my mind. I just want to make sure it's the right decision.”

Staying in-state: New Hampshire's top prospect in the Class of 2013 came off the board Saturday when Souhegan's Jake Kennedy committed to the University of New Hampshire.

“I knew UNH was going to be a very comfortable place for me,” Kennedy said. “I love the school and I know the football program is great. They win a lot of games, and staying in-state was definitely a factor for me.

“I also felt very comfortable with Coach McDonnell [UNH head coach Sean McDonnell]. There's no BS. With him it's what you see is what you get.”

Kennedy, a 6-foot-4, 280-pound offensive tackle, also had offers from Massachusetts, Colgate, Fordham, Holy Cross, Maine and Rhode Island. He said he strongly considered Fordham and UMass as well.

“They were both a close second, but I always felt more comfortable at UNH,” Kennedy said. “I've wanted to go there for a while. I was just waiting to see what else might come along.”

Kennedy also plays varsity basketball for Souhegan, which is located in Amherst.

“Jake did all he could in terms of being thorough and diligent in terms of looking at all of the schools,” Souhegan coach Mike Beliveau said. “I don't know if he'll project to be an offensive tackle or an offensive guard, but he moves real well for a 280-pound kid. He's a finisher in terms of his blocking. He doesn't take a play off. He plays hard on every play.”

The Wright stuff: Although Holy Name running back Quron Wright is on pace to break the school's career rushing record (5,037 yards, held by Emil Igwenagu), Holy Name head coach Mike Pucko is having difficulty convincing college coaches that Wright can play at the next level.

The problem, Pucko said, is Wright's height.

“We list him at 5-7, 165 pounds, but he's closer to 5-5,” said Pucko, who played at the University of Connecticut. “The kid is the real deal, but because of his height I'm having a hard time selling him to people. He can dunk a basketball and he runs a legit 4.5 (40-yard dash), but these guys don't want to take a chance on a kid his size.”

Pucko said he has at least two other college prospects on his roster: senior Basit Dennis, a 6-foot-1, 290-pound two-way tackle; and senior Dan Kegbeh, a 6-foot-1, 180-pound defensive back.

“Dennis is from Liberia, and he'll probably get the best shot of the three,” Pucko said. “Kegbeh is the center on the basketball team. He's got a huge upside. Donnie Brown [Connecticut's defensive coordinator] thinks he could be a I-A player. He's got 4.39 speed, and he's a hitter too.”

Wright entered this season with 3,637 yards rushing, and has gained 446 yards on the ground in Holy Name's first two games. He's in his fifth season of varsity football, and his fourth as a starter.

“He'd be a steal at the Division II level, but I know he can he can play higher than that,” Pucko said.

Ineligible receiver? The Connecticut Interscholastic Athletic Conference is scheduled to announce Thursday whether or not Sacred Heart (Waterbury) wide receiver David Coggins will be eligible for the 2012 season.

Coggins, who committed to Boston College in July, missed last season with an ankle injury. He and another Sacred Heart player, Javon Martin, attempted to transfer to Naugatuck after the 2011-12 school year, but Sacred Heart refused to release either player's transcript because each had an outstanding tuition balance.

Naugatuck coach Rob Plasky was then put on paid leave after it was alleged that he violated CIAC rules by giving money to the players who wanted to transfer. Plasky resigned one day after he was placed on leave.

Coggins, a three-star wide receiver, returned to Sacred Heart, but was not allowed to play in Thursday night's 46-0 loss to Woodland.

Footnotes: La Salle Academy running back Josh Morris, Rhode Island's Gatorade Player of the Year last season, has offers from Bryant, Valparaiso, Monmouth and Brown. Morris said he's also receiving interest from BYU, Louisiana Tech, Pennsylvania, Yale, UNH, Villanova, Holy Cross, Towson and Massachusetts. He's rushed for 285 yards and has 145 receiving yards in two games this season...Exeter (N.H) placekicker Logan Laurent made each of his seven point-after kicks and put the ball in or out of the end zone on each of his kickoffs during Friday night's 49-0 victory over Manchester Central. Laurent has been offered a scholarship from UNH...Ansonia (Conn.) running back Arkeel Newsome, one of Connecticut's top prospects from the Class of 2014, rushed for 197 yards and five touchdowns on nine carries in a 66-26 victory over Torrington last Friday. Newsome set Connecticut's single-season rushing record when he ran for 3,763 yards and scored 62 TDs last season.

Recruiting information regarding high school or prep school football players in New England can be sent to Roger Brown at rbrown@nhfootballreport.com.

New England Roundup: New Hampshire

September, 2, 2012
9/02/12
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Talk of an obscure rule in the NHIAA football policies and procedures manual -- and, more specifically, one prominent head coach's violation of it -- dominated the 2012 preseason.


New HampshireMike Beliveau made statewide news Aug. 21 when the story of his infraction broke in the New Hampshire Union Leader. The longtime leader at Division III power Souhegan said he unknowingly violated the manual's 15th point of emphasis, which prohibits filming or scouting opponents before their final scrimmage or jamboree of the preseason.


Beliveau attended the Aug. 17 scrimmage between Division I Nashua South and host Winnacunnet, a Division II program doubling as Souhegan's season-opening opponent.


“I did not know the policy. As a 20-year veteran coach, I should have,” Beliveau told the Union Leader. “Because I did not know the policy, I violated the policy when I went scouting. I've recommended to my school, my team, the NHIAA, that I be unavailable to coach the first two regular-season games.”


School officials, not the NHIAA, handle disciplinary issues involving coaches. But the state's governing body for interscholastic athletics must approve of the school's recommended sanction.


All parties agreed a one-game penalty was sufficient, meaning Beliveau will serve a Week 1 suspension on Aug. 31 while his Sabers face the team he scouted.


“For the nature of the infraction, in football, two weeks is a good chunk of the season,” NHIAA executive director Patrick Corbin told the statewide newspaper. “The AD and myself agreed that one game was adequate for this situation.”


Beyond the initial statement provided, Beliveau has declined to comment.


Many of his coaching colleagues, however, spoke openly about the matter. They did so during, of all events, the 23rd annual Queen City Jamboree on Aug. 24 at Gill Stadium. The QCJ has long been considered football's final dress rehearsal before the regular season kicks off.


The overwhelming majority of football coaches at the jamboree said they did not know the rule existed – until Beliveau's misstep brought it to light.


Brian O'Reilly, entering his 35th year at Pinkerton Academy in Derry, is among them.


“I'm not surprised he didn't know and, I think, most coaches didn't know,” O'Reilly said. “And to be honest with you, I never really looked at (the manual) either.”


The fact the rule was enforced opened eyes. Several coaches said, for years, representatives of opposing teams attended their scrimmages.


Justin Hufft, the second-year grid boss at Goffstown, said opposing coaches routinely caught peeks of Souhegan's scrimmages. Hufft spent 11 seasons as an assistant to Beliveau.


“When I was around him, I always saw him be nothing but gracious to other coaches … So, I'm disappointed when I see people treating him in a different manner,” he said.


Of course, the fact that the violation occurred at Winnacunnet didn't help Beliveau's cause. The Hampton school's athletics director, Carol Dozibrin, is also the NHIAA football committee chair.


Beliveau was spotted in plain sight, supporting his assertion that he didn't know the rule existed. If he intended to knowingly ignore the policy, why not make himself less visible?


Regardless, this much seems clear:


“In the future,” Bishop Guertin head coach Travis Cote said, “I don't think many guys will make those mistakes after what's happened to Mike this year.”


PRESEASON NO. 1

Unlike August 2011, the Exeter Blue Hawks won't enter this Division I football regular season with modest expectations.


The spotlight shines brightest on them.


Exeter wears the bull's-eye as defending champion, status earned after last year's 23-13 championship upset of Pinkerton. The stunner capped a storybook worst-to-first turnaround, as the Blue Hawks went winless in their 2010 Division I debut.


Which explains this: Exeter earned New Hampshire's preseason No. 1 ranking in the fifth-year Power Poll, the weekly statewide high school football top 10 as voted by media members from the Union Leader, WGIR-Radio and WMUR-TV.


“Any time your school's name is being tossed around with any of those programs, it's great,” Exeter head coach Bill Ball said about being joined in the top three by No. 2 Pinkerton and No. 3 Manchester Central. “It says a lot about the quality of football in New Hampshire.”


Ethan Joyce is among Exeter's senior leaders. He'll take the snaps in the program's signature straight-T offense. Halfbacks Tyler Grant and Colby Swane provide the blend of power and quickness.


Defensive tackle Zach Bosen and linebacker Jamie Vogt anchor Exeter's hard-hitting defense. Placekicker Logan Laurent, offered a scholarship by the University of New Hampshire, returns to give Exeter a decisive advantage on special teams.


“We have some experience back, guys that have been in the fray,” Ball said. “It's incumbent upon them to let the new guys know what's expected.”


DECISIONS, DECISIONS

Offensive linemen are often overlooked. But Souhegan's 6-foot 4-inch, 290-pound left tackle Jake Kennedy will be tough to miss this season.


Kennedy already has seven verbal scholarship offers to play college football at either the Football Bowl Subdivision or Football Championship Subdivision levels.


The list of schools includes Massachusetts (FBS), and Colgate, Fordham, Holy Cross, Maine, New Hampshire and Rhode Island.


“I'm not focused on (the scholarship offers) right now. I'm focused on this team,” Kennedy said. “I want to help these guys win a championship.”


NEW FACES

All six of NHIAA football's divisions feature at least one new head coach. Here's the rundown:


Brad Archer (Gilford) and Art Jacobs (Farmington-Nute) walk through the door in Division VI. Ryan Clark (Pelham), John Francis (Inter-Lakes-Moultonborough), Ross Salovitch (Epping-Newmarket) and John Welch (Sanborn) join Division V.


Steve Burns leads defending Division IV champion Trinity. He takes over after five years as an assistant on Gary Leonard's coaching staff.


“Is it any different for me? A little bit. Anything that goes wrong for me is my fault. I don't get to blame Gary anymore,” Burns deadpanned.


Ryan McCartney – whose uncle is former University of Colorado head coach Bill McCartney – guides Division III ConVal. Claude Gagnon calls the shots at Division II Spaulding.


Former Westford (Mass.) Academy assistant Adam Gagne secured the job at Division I Salem.


Gagne replaces New Hampshire coaching legend Jack Gati, who amassed a 221-138 career record (four state titles) in 34 years at Trinity, Concord and Salem. The new coach scrapped the Salem staple straight-T for the spread.


“I have the utmost respect for Jack and what he's done. If anything, it's made (the coaching transition) easier for me because (the players) know football,” Gagne said. “That's a true testament to Jack.”


Marc Thaler is a reporter for the New Hampshire Union Leader. He co-hosts the “N.H. High School Football Show” on WGIR-AM 610. Follow him on Twitter: @marc_thaler.

New England Roundup: New Hampshire

May, 13, 2012
5/13/12
11:39
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Every win streak, no matter its length, has an expiration date.

New HampshireLearning the life span of record runs for Portsmouth High baseball (89 games) and Londonderry High girls' lacrosse (59 games) ended in the same week, however, was certainly unexpected.

The Clippers run of consecutive NHIAA wins on the diamond, currently a national record, was snapped April 30 by Seacoast rival St. Thomas Aquinas High. The Dover club celebrated a comeback 5-4 home win.

“This year's group, 2012, is the most different of all the five teams (that contributed to the streak),” Portsmouth head coach Tim Hopley said. “Ten of the 18 guys had never been in a varsity game before the season started, and they weren't necessarily invested in what had happened in the past.

“Yet our best players, our leaders, pointed us in the right direction and they went out and were able to get the record back,” added Hopley, referring to Martensdale-St. Mary's (Iowa) High, which briefly broke the Clippers' record last season. “Whether it be for a few weeks or longer is irrelevant. It really is."

The Lancers' state-record streak of NHIAA wins was stopped by visiting Concord High. The date was May 5. The score was 14-12.

“I told the girls, 'Now it's done. You've set the bar for the state. You've done something that's going to be awfully hard to do again. Now you can focus on the next game. As long as we don't lose the last one, that's what matters,'” said Londonderry coach Bob Slater, whose program owned one of the nation's longest overall win streaks, a 51-gamer, until last season's 12-9 loss at Andover (Mass.) High.

Portsmouth, the four-time defending Division II champion, last lost an NHIAA contest in the 2007 quarterfinals. Hollis/Brookline High eliminated the Clippers, 4-3.

Londonderry, the three-time defending Division I champ, hadn't lost to an in-state foe since the 2008 title game. Amherst's Souhegan High scored a 15-7 win.

Both streaks were snapped by teams that nearly won a state title last spring. STA and Concord closed their 2011 campaigns in heartbreaking fashion.

The Saints were four outs from hoisting hardware. Pitching ace and star slugger Jordan Bean -– less than a calendar year before scoring the streak-snapping run -– was tagged for a two-out, two-strike bases-clearing double in the home sixth. It was the critical blow in a four-run inning for the Clippers, 9-6 winners.

The Crimson Tide erased a five-goal halftime deficit and had the chance to tie the championship at 10-apiece with 21 seconds to play. But goaltender Sarah Ford clinched the 10-9 win for the Lancers by stopping Jenna Tewksbury's free-position shot.

Here's how the win streaks came to a halt:

STA rallied for four runs in its last at-bat. Chris White ripped the game-winning single back through the box. White's winner scored Bean, who belted a two-run, game-tying double in addition to scattering eight hits and allowing two earned runs over six frames.

“We have a tremendous amount of respect for the entire Portsmouth program and all that they have accomplished over the past five years. I think this year's victory went a long way to dispel the myth in the minds of our players that we simply cannot beat them,” said STA coach Marc Schoff, whose program entered the showdown 49-15 since 2009, with eight of those losses to the Clippers.

“One of our players said after the St. Thomas game that most people never have the opportunity to set a significant national record once in their lifetime," Hopley said. "But we were fortunate enough to be able to accomplish it twice.”

Concord quickly surrendered four goals, but rebounded to take a 7-5 halftime lead. Late in regulation, Jane Symmes ensured the game's seventh tie didn't materialize. Winning the draw with her team protecting a 12-11 lead, she scored Concord's critical 13th goal.

“They got down, 4-0, at the beginning and that was a wake-up call. After that, they got back into the game and took charge,” Concord coach Terry Anderson told the New Hampshire Sunday News. “This was an intense and competitive game, and the difference was ball control, just getting the draw and making good decisions.”

MORE WITH HOPLEY
What else did Portsmouth's baseball coach say about the national record-setting streak?

On the post-game message after losing: “First, standing in short right field 3 minutes after the game, we told them that it was bound to happen at some point, and that we really did do everything that day to win.

“The next day was the second step, more reflectionary. We told them how proud we were of them for what they had accomplished and for how they handled themselves through everything. It had to be said, and it will be said to every player who's been a part of this crazy ride. But we also reminded them that the seventh game of the season wasn't going to, couldn't, and shouldn't define who we were as a group.”

On winning while in the national spotlight: “The fact that the last two groups had to deal with the circus of media attention was probably fun at the time. But in hindsight, for 15-, 16-, 17-year-old high school kids who have to worry about a Calc test, their girlfriends, and cleaning up their room so mom and dad stop yelling, dealing with something like that is pretty heady stuff.

“And I'm sure we'd all do it again in a minute if we had the chance.”

NOTEWORTHY
– Holly Kathios, a freshman pitcher for the softball team at Nashua's Bishop Guertin High, threw a complete-game no-hitter on May 10. She notched nine strikeouts, worked around three walks, and contributed a fourth-inning RBI single. The Cardinals beat Hampton's Winnacunnet High, 2-0.

– Jake Kennedy, a soon-to-be senior at Amherst's Souhegan High, was nominated for the U.S. Army All-American Bowl on Jan. 5, 2013. Offered a scholarship by the University of Massachusetts, the offensive and defensive lineman is one of 400 football players nationwide, and the only one from New Hampshire, to receive a nomination. Ninety players will be selected later this year for the East vs. West matchup televised on NBC.

Marc Thaler is a reporter for the New Hampshire Union Leader & Sunday News. He co-hosts the “N.H. Sports Show” on Manchester's WGIR-AM 610 and the Seacoast's 96.7 FM every Saturday morning. Read his “New Hampshire GameDay” blog and follow him on Twitter: @marc_thaler.

UMass making splash in NE recruiting

March, 16, 2012
3/16/12
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Shortly after University of Massachusetts football coach Charley Molnar secured his first recruiting class in February, he talked about how he wanted New England players to form the foundation of his program. Apparently that was more than just talk.

UMass has clearly made New England –- and Massachusetts in particular –- the focus of much of its recruiting efforts.

BC High offensive lineman Jack McDonald, Everett offensive lineman John Montelus, Xaverian defensive lineman Maurice Hurst Jr., Tabor Academy defensive lineman Tevin Montgomery, BB&N tight end Brendan O'Neil and Catholic Memorial defensive end Peter Ngobidi have each received a scholarship offer from UMass, which held two junior days last month.

In addition, Todd Stafford, a 6-foot-5, 240-pound quarterback from the Brunswick School in Greenwich, Conn., committed to UMass on Thursday. He became UMass' first commitment from the class of 2013.

“I went to the first junior day and [Molnar] said with the move to the MAC they want to start with the local kids,” McDonald said. “He talked about how good the talent is around here, and they want to bring in as many local kids as they can.”

UMass has been competing at the FCS level in the Colonial Athletic Association, but will move up to the FBS level when it begins play in the MAC next season. The Minutemen won't play on campus, but will use Gillette Stadium as their home field.

“It's a little bit of a drive from the campus, but I got to play at Gillette in last year's Super Bowl and it's a once-in-a-lifetime experience,” McDonald said. “They'll have their own locker room there. I think the positives will outweigh the negatives.”

McDonald also has offers from Boston College and Maryland, and has received significant interest from Duke and Temple.

“Right now I'm considering everything,” he said.

Montelus and Hurst each have at least 10 Division 1 scholarship offers. Hurst received his offer from UMass while at one of the junior days last month.

“I'll definitely consider UMass,” Hurst said. “I really like the coaching staff and a lot of Mass. kids seem to be going there.”

There were six players from New England in Molnar's first recruiting class: wide receiver Khary Bailey Smith (Weymouth), tight end Nevin Cyr (Pelham, N.H.), quarterback A.J. Doyle (Lakeville), linebacker Vondell Langston (Everett), linebacker John Robinson (Springfield) and linebacker Jovan Santos-Knox (Middletown, Conn.).

Wide receiver Derek Beck, a New Jersey native who played at Bridgton Academy in North Bridgton, Maine, signed with UMass as well.

Jake Kennedy, who is perhaps the best offensive lineman from New Hampshire in the Class of 2013, also has a UMass offer. Kennedy plays for Souhegan High School in Amherst.

Kennedy received his offer from UMass defensive line coach Dave Sollazzo earlier this week. He's also receiving interest from Boston College, Connecticut, New Hampshire, Brown and Harvard.

Kennedy said UMass is a school he'll strongly consider.

“Most definitely,” he said. “I could see myself there.”

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