Merrimack football relishes opening win over Goffstown

Season openers can be full of surprises.

For example, the Merrimack High School football team, whose coach Kip Jackson always low-keys his team’s chances in the preseason, jumped out to a 12-0 lead and never looked back, with a stunning 41-6 season-opening win over Goffstown at MHS Student Memorial Field on Friday night.

Tomahawks QB James Dowling had a great night with three touchdown passes and another score rushing. He began by hitting Devin Wood on a 12-yard score, and then ran one in from a yard out to cap an eight-play, 51-yard drive for that 12-0 ‘Hawks lead.

Dowling’s second TD pass, this one a 37-yarder to Tristan Wood, plus a two-point conversion gave Merrimack a 20-0 lead.

The Tomahawks were


Ben Eichman, expected to be one of this year’s Merrimack mainstays, scored from eight yards out and Jared Dyer added another two-point run for a 28-0 lead late in the first half.

But the Tomawhawks weren’t done before the break. Dowling and Wood connected again, this time on a 40-yard TD, and it was 34-0 Merrimack at halftime.

The ‘Hawks took it a little easier in the second half, their only score a 21-yard Eichman run.

Goffstown’s only score came on a Charlie Keith 43-yard TD pass to Sean Leahy early in the third quarter.

The 1-0 Tomahawks next host Manchester Memorial next Friday night at 7.