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Football Finals: Division I at Bedford, Divison II at Souhegan

By Tom King - Staff Writer | Nov 16, 2020

Telegraph photo by TOM KING Nashua North's Jayden Espinal gets ready to dive into the end zone for a two-point conversion duirng Saturday's semifinal win at Stellos Stadium. It turns out that is the last game at Stellos this fall season.

We now know where and when.

The times and more important, the locations, are set for Saturday’s Division I and II NHIAA football championship games. The two local teams involved, Nashua North and Souhegan, won’t be going far.

How about Bedford for Division I at 1 p.m. and Souhegan High School in Amherst for Division II, also at 1? That’s the deal.

In Division I, Goffstown was considered the higher seed vs. Nashua North but the two schools agreed, thanks to an offer from Bedford High School, to play the game at Bulldog Stadium.

That way fans of both teams can attend. Division I was not allowing visiting fans at athletic contests this fall, and in Nashua it is a city rule or recommendation by local health officials. Had Nashua been given the top seed, the game was going to go to Bedford, regardless.

“I think that’s fair,” North coach Dante Laurendi said after Saturday’s 33-28 semifinal at Stellos Stadium, when there was talk but nothing completely official about having Bedford serve as a neutral site.

It’s not unprecedented this fall. Bedford was the site of the Division I field hockey semifinals for Bishop Guertin and Windham, as the Cardinals, being the higher seed (by blind draw), agreed to move the game to Bedford so Windham fans could also attend. The finals were there as well.

In Division II, location was even more important due to the distance between the two schools. Souhegan and Plymouth were both unbeaten, but the Sabers won a coin flip, which gives them an advantage to start. In Division II, visiting fans had been allowed all fall, limited to two per athlete.

“Yeah, absolutely,” Sabers coach Robin Bowkett said on Sunday, as his team advanced to the finals with a31-7 semifinal win at home Saturday over Timberlane. “It was certainly excited hearing that we had won the coin toss.

“I don’t care where we play, Plymouth or where we play, it’s going to be a great game either way. But it certainly makes things a lot more enjoyable when they’re at your place.”

In both situations, the game will be played on field turf rather than grass. Both Goffstown and Plymouth have grass fields.

“As you play on turf, you get used to being on turf, and you kind of get spoiled on turf,” Bowkett said. “But these kids will play in the parking lot, they wouldn’t care.”

Normally these games are played at one neutral site, lately the University of New Hampshire’s Wildcat Stadium, but that’s not possible this fall due to virus concerns and restrictions.

Also, this means Saturday’s North win over Salem was the final game for the 2020 fall season at Stellos, as there is no Turkey Eve Bowl this year due to the pandemic.


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