Panther offense purrs in 33-8 win over Cards

Staff photo by TOM KING Bishop Guertin's Jacob Schofield wraps up Nashua South back Jayllan Pacheco during Friday night's game at Stellos Stadium.

NASHUA – One thing you can always count on the Nashua High School South football team to do over the years is score points.

It’s a lesson the Bishop Guertin Cardinals learned once again as the Panthers rolled to a 33-8 win on Friday night at Stellos Stadium.

“We’re different,it’s a completely different style look,” South coach Scott Knight said after his first string unit compiled 318 total yards. “We’ll evolve into something.”

The Panthers got three touchdowns by Jaylan Pacheco – who also had an interception at linebacker – and solid play by junior quarterback Dante Young, who was 10-of 14 for 174 yards and a TD in just his second varsity start.

That’s the kind of offense the Cardinals would like to have. Their top unit managed just 117 yards, and the Cards, who lost both backs Ben Plumley and Joey DaSilva to injuries early (DaSilva on a defensive play), had virtually no running game.

“It was not a very good offensive performance as far as moving the football,” Cards coach John Trisciani said, his team now 0-2. “It was difficult to get the run game going, and when we’re not running the ball, we feel like we’ve got to throw. Just felt like a lot of three-and-outs … The defense was on the field the majority of the game. That’s a pretty good football team (South), and when they’re on offense, they’re going to score. Not a good situation.”

The big play worked for the Panthers in the first half for two of their three scores.

Young found Tyler Armeen in stride for a 70-yard pass play down to the Guertin 3, setting up Jaylan Pacheco’s 3-yard TD with nearly five minutes gone in the first quarter. Unfortunately for South, Armeen got hurt on the play and never returned.

Young later hit Tanner Plourde for a 17-yard TD with 1:26 left in the quarter. Matt Keisling’s second PAT kick made it a 14-0 game.

That’s how you figure the quarter would end, right? Guertin speedster Joey Lupo had other ideas, as his 80-yard return for a TD on the ensuing kickoff got the Cards back in it. Guertin QB Hayden Moses hit his favorite target on the night, Kyle Baker for a two-point conversion to make it 14-8.

The key, though, came when Guertin had a chance to recover Tanner Plourde’s fumble on a punt with just under four minutes to play in the half. Three Cardinal jerseys collided and Plourde was able to recover the ball at the BG 43 and six plays later, Pacheco dove in from 1 yard out with 49.7 seconds left in the half for a 20-8 lead.

Pacheco later added a 4-yard TD with 4:17 left in the third and Brendan Frost scored from 4 yards out on the first play of the fourth quarter to help make it a 33-8 game. Decision, South.

“I have to give it up to my line, they worked their butts off,” Pacheco said. “We’re starting to bring all our pieces together.”