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Week 9 High School Football Matchups

Division I

EXETER (7-1) at NASHUA SOUTH (6-2)

WHEN: Friday, 6:30 p.m.

LAST YEAR: Did not play.

LAST WEEK: Nashua South 41, Dover 10; Exeter 27, Portsmouth 7.

FYI: The Blue Hawks pound the ball, and the Panthers have seemed to stop the run pretty well this season. This is the warmup act to a likely rematch in the quarterfinals in Exeter next week. The Panthers will try to stop back Derek Edmiston (102 yards rushing last week) and be wary on special teams of Jaedon Cliche (83 yard kick return). South’s offense right now is revolving around current QB fill-in Chris Keefe (two more rushing TDs vs. Dover) and Jason and Josh Compoh. Neither team will show the other much, though.

NASHUA NORTH (8-0)

at PORTSMOUTH (3-5)

WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m.

LAST YEAR: Did not play.

LAST WEEK: Exeter 27, Portsmouth 7; Nashua North 31, Merrimack 19.

FYI: Ah, the Curtis Harris question. Here it is: He is slated to undergo an MRI on his injured left knee Monday, and until then, everything is on hold, so he won’t play tonight. In his place could be junior Jayden Espinal or sophomore Andy Barry, but this evens the playing field a bit. Players like Barry, Espinal, Anthony Greene and Brian Mwangi will be heavily counted on. Portsmouth is well-coached and has QB Jacob Boutin and back Jack Russo as offensive keys for a team that seems better than its record.

At stake is really only an unbeaten regular season for the Titans, who have clinched the East-West playoff cluster No.1 seed. Still, North’s resiliency – the Titans have been injury riddled all season – will be put to another test.

WINNACUNNET (1-7)

at MERRIMACK (5-3)

WHEN: Friday, 6:30 p.m.

LAST YEAR: Did not play.

LAST WEEK: Nashua North 31, Merrimack 19; Keene 27, Winnacunnet 0.

FYI: The way it looks now – unofficially, of course – the Tomahawks can clinch a playoff berth with a win over a Warrior team that is clearly rebuilding. QB/running back James Dowling hurt his ankle last week so he may be out, and the ‘Hawks may end up starting Kyle Crampton at QB while relying on skill players Zach Twardosky, Jared Dyer and Devin Wood as always. Either way, they have more firepower than the Warriors.

DOVER (2-6) at BISHOP GUERTIN (5-3)

WHEN: Saturday, 6:30 p.m.

LAST YEAR: Did not play.

LAST WEEK: Nashua South 41, Dover 10; Bishop Guertin 14, Spaulding 0.

FYI: This game may or may not be critical for the Cardinals, who still have hope for the playoffs. Either way, they’ve clinched their first winning season in three years and are hoping to get speedster and two-way standout Joey Lupo back. Dover has struggled without standout QB Darian Lopez, while Guertin has gotten good play from junior QB Dylan Santosuosso. Playoffs or not, the Cards would love to finish the season on a three-game winning streak.

Division II

ALVIRNE (6-2) AT MILFORD (7-1)

WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m.

LAST YEAR: Regular Season — Alvirne 36-35; Division II Quarterfinals – Alvirne 32-19

LAST WEEK: Hollis Brookline 51, Alvirne 36; Milford 49, ConVal 14

FYI: This has rapidly grown into a great Division II rivalry and Friday night should add a chapter. So much is on the line here with two of the more athletics in the conference, Alvirne’s Kyle Gora and Milford’s Gavin Urda colliding. Neither team has covered itself in defensive glory in recent weeks. The team that can shackle the running game will most likely succeed.

HOLLIS BROOKLINE (6-2)

AT SAINT THOMAS (4-4)

WHEN: Saturday, 2 p.m.

LAST YEAR: Saint Thomas 41-37

LAST WEEK: Hollis Brookline 51, Alvirne 36; Peham 34, Saint Thomas 15

FYI: Cavs quarterback Sander Wimmer (123 of 160, 1,877 passing yards) looks to post his second straight 2,000-yard season throwing the football. Spreading the football around has been the key of late as teams rotate coverages toward Quinten Wimmer, who has 28 catches for 464 yards since coming back in Week 4. Blake Bergerson has been a huge deep threat, averaging 19.5 yards a catch with seven TDs. Cam Paquette, who has thrown for 16 Saints’ TDs, looks to lead his team to an above-.500 season. He’s got Hunter Lessard in his backfield for a Saint Thomas team that outgunned the Cavs and cost them a playoff spot a year ago.

SOUHEGAN (5-3) AT BOW (8-0)

WHEN: Saturday, 2 p.m.

LAST YEAR: Regular Season — Souhegan 38-21; Division II quarterfinals — Souhegan 34-13

LAST WEEK: Souhegan 35, Manchester West 14; Bow 41, Kennett 0

FYI: QB Austin Jain and the Sabers put themselves in the playoff driver’s seat by taking care of business against West. Back on a solid track, the Sabers will be looking toward guys like Mike Maroun and Alex Karpawich to create a little havoc on the defensive side. Bow has dominated Division II North to the tune of 304-27. Now, we see how QB Sebastian Beaulieu and the Falcons handle a solid team from the South. Steven Guerrette, who has run for 872 yards on 100 carries, looks to eclipse the 1,000-yard barrier at Souhegan’s expense.

Division III

CAMPBELL (7-1) AT LEBANON (8-0)

WHEN: Friday, 7 p.m.

LAST YEAR: Lebanon 17-16

LAST WEEK: Campbell 40, Monadnock 27; Lebanon 45, Inter-Lakes/Moultonborough 0

FYI: Two of the power teams in the division collide with the Raiders looking to lock down the regular season title and the top seed overall. Lebanon QB Jon Willeman has been the mark of consistency with 14 TD passes and just one interception. Wade Rainey is the top Lebanon rusher at 856 yards on the year with a dozen TDs. Keegan Mills’ special senior season continued with a fistful of TDs a week ago, raising his totals to 1,586 yards and 23 touchdowns on the year.