Wood, Merrimack too much for Bishop Guertin

Staff photo by HEOR LONGO Merrimack's Ben Eichman gets some serious air, hurdling over Bishop Guertin's Thomas Ouellette for a hefty gain in the Tomahawks win on Friday night.

MERRIMACK — With each win, Merrimack High School’s football team inches closer to the Division I playoffs.

Try telling that to the Tomahawks.

“A lot of the reason we are here is because we are only looking at the next opponent,” said senior Tristan Wood, who ran for two touchdowns and added a 57-yard interception return for a third in the Tomahawks’ 41-9 victory here over Bishop Guertin.

“It doesn’t matter the record, we treated them like every other opponents. That’s on us.”

With the victory, Merrimack inched to 4-1, knotted with Nashua North atop the West Conference, a game ahead of Nashua South. Guertin fell to 1-4.

Merrimack grabbed a quick 12-0 lead on a Tristan Wood 2-yard plunge and a 9-yard hookup from James Dowling to Devin Wood.

All that came before Guertin’s first first-down.

Pat Madden’s 35-yard field goal sliced the margin to 12-3 late in the first where it stayed for much of the half.

True, BG got a bit of a hand with five first-half holding flags thrown on Merrimack, to go with a face mask, a false start and a fumble. But to their credit, the Cardinals gritted their teeth and fought.

“I don’t think we were worried,” said Tristan Wood. “We don’t really care about the scoreboard. We just played.”

The lead moved to 18-3 on Garrett Murray’s counter run from the 7, before Tristan Wood landed the knockout blow, his jaw-dropping pick six inside the final minute of the half.

While most returners talk about seeing nothing about green on plays like that, Wood saw a different color.

“I saw nothing but blue,” said Wood, who wasn’t talking about the sky, he was talking about his teammates. “I think every guy on our defense was blocking for me on that. It was huge.

“I saw the receiver on his route, and I was just doing my job. I made a play.”

At 25-3 with momentum in Merrimack’s locker-room, the Cardinals finally relented.

Wood and Ben Eichman had second-half TD runs, pushing it to 39-3 and ending the night for the starters in the third quarter.

BG’s top highlight came in the fourth when relief QB Hayden Moses connected with Joey Lupo for a 39-yard TD pass.

A late safety closed out the scoring for Merrimack, which heads to Keene on Friday night.

Dowling hit 10 of 12 passes in his abbreviated night, good for 128 yards. He spread the ball to seven different receivers with Murray, Jared Dyer and Devin Wood each collecting a pair. He also ran 10 times for 42 more yards. Tristan Wood had three runs for 42 yards and a 45-yard catch.