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Friday, September 5, 2014

Greater Nashua high school football fans challenged

George Scione
High School Pick Six

There was a time when Friday night lights meant something. It was the new, hip thing. Everybody was doing it and everybody wanted to do it.

Perhaps as I age, late night games aren’t as appealing. ...

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There was a time when Friday night lights meant something. It was the new, hip thing. Everybody was doing it and everybody wanted to do it.

Perhaps as I age, late night games aren’t as appealing.

We’re not in the Rust Belt. We’re not in the Bible Belt, either. We’re definitely not in Texas. Football isn’t all we have for Friday night entertainment. Thankfully, there’s more to life than pigskins and tailgating here in New England.

Yes, that’s right – there is more to life than football.

Entire cities and towns don’t shut everything down at 5 p.m. every Friday because everyone’s heading to the big game. And when they say big game, they mean it.

So I sit here on what is now opening night of the 2014 Granite State football season and wonder – why does everybody pretend to crave Friday night football?

I say pretend because it would seem that all the hype of 7 p.m. kickoffs is just that, nothing but hype. There were too many games last season that had nobody in the stands. OK, not nobody, but certainly smaller numbers than in the last 10 falls I have spent patrolling the sidelines of New Hampshire gridirons.

Even Nashua North and Nashua South home games at Stellos Stadium were lacking in numbers.

Maybe I’m, just caught up in the old ways, when playing in rain and mud were fun for the players and spectators alike, not frowned upon.

There was a time when waking up for a Saturday morning or afternoon game was just as exciting as preparing for a Friday night affair.

Really, there was. You know why? Because although we may not live in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Florida, Alabama or Texas, and it may not be our life – it’s still football.

Personally, I could do without every game being forced into a Friday night schedule. Why not mix in some Saturday afternoon games, or gasp, an 11 a.m. game or two?

I’ve seen it done. It actually works.

Then again, perhaps the student body and parents will prove me wrong this fall and pack the stands every Friday night this fall. I doubt it.

Challenge officially issued.

Pick six

Week 1 is always the hardest for picking winners, but I’ll give it my best shot.

Nashua South 24, Salem 14: Malik Langa jumps from Panthers starting receiver to starting quarterback. He looked pretty efficient during his one game at the position last fall, and although the Blue Devils got stronger late in the season, South’s returning group is just too strong.

Timberlane 14, Nashua North 7: This will be a grind-it-out opener that the Owls win on a last-minute touchdown run by Tyler Furey.

Bishop Guertin 21, Londonderry 14: Both BG and Londonderry are looked at as playoff teams this fall. They get a postseason-style matchup in Week 1. The Cardinals will soar on the legs of running back Kelvin Rivera, who according to reports out of camp is stronger than last fall.

Pinkerton Academy 34, Alvirne 0: Astros running back T.J. Urbanik didn’t score in the first six games of last season, then went on to find the end zone 15 times in the final six games. Expect things to carryover from the tail end of last season as Pinkerton begins its run toward the Division I title game.

Milford 34, John Stark 12: It’s deja vu for the Spartans and Generals. Max Urda will have Milford’s offense fired up and ready to roll up in Weare.

Concord 41, Goffstown 14: Concord quarterback Robbie Law, who set an individual school record for yards passing (1,623) and led the offense to a team record for points (509) in a season, will every opponents nightmare this fall.

George Scione can be reached at 594-6520 or gscione@nashuatelegraph.com. Also, follow Scione on Twitter (@Telegraph_BigG).