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High School Football: Titans settling all family business

By Tom King - Staff Writer | Sep 26, 2022

Nashua North's Amaury Almonte (2) and Jordyn Raisanen-Andino knocke the ball away from Nashua South;s Jake O'Connor during Friday night's 47-0 Titans win in the Battle of the Bridge game at Stellos Stadium. (Telegraph photo by TOM KING)

The Nashua North High School football is one of four unbeaten teams in the area.

But right now they and Souhegan are the ones settling all family business.

That’s really been the deal the last two weeks for the Titans, who beat Keene in Week 3, a team that drubbed them 33-0 a year ago.

And then came this past Friday night’s Battle of the Bridge, and at some point this week they remembered an 0-3 South team handing them their first loss,43-42 a year ago. Yes, a 47-0 win might put a checkmark in that

“Last year was the same, we came in here 3-0, they were 0-3, and they turned our whole season around,” North quarterback Derek Finlay, who ran for three scores and threw for another, said. “They killed us. It was a tough game … from there we didn’t do great.”

No, they won just one more game, upsetting Pinkerton. So Finlay said the Titans right now are “just reimbursing last year.”

North at 4-0 is rolling. If you want to look ahead – we can see Titans coach Chad Zibolis cringe if he reads this — they could very easily be 6-0 in the next couple of weeks with struggling teams Goffstown (home, next Friday) and Alvirne (road Oct. 7).

“Experience,” Zibolis said. “You’ve got 17 seniors. The kids are coming out of, the immaturity level a little bit last year was down there, we’re starting to get more mature.”

Zibolis was happy the players didn’t really get caught up in the rivalry, looking at the crowd, getting all worked up. Instead, they focused on football.

“That’s what we’re kind of harping on,” Zibolis said. “And this group is buying into that. Putting on the pads, and doing what we’re supposed to do.”

Finlay agrees, and feels he knows exactly what the difference is with North this year:

“How hard we work,” Finlay said. “During the week, we really have good practices. We come here, we really haven’t had a game when we started flat. We didn’t start great, but we weren’t flat. We came out in the second quarter, and just put it to them.”

And like the previous game at Keene, just settled family business.

Here’s a look at the other three unbeatens and what their futures may look like:

SOUHEGAN – They look to have Division II’s most explosive offense, but the competition hasn’t been as challenging. Yes, the Sabers avenged last year’s 47-20 Division II quarterfinal loss to Lebanon with a 61-0 pasting, but the Raiders are a mere shell of their former selves, a drastic change from a year ago.

But these wins are building confidence, and with standouts like sophomore QB Romy Jain and junior J.J. Bright, the Sabers will face their biggest test thus far this season at Plymouth next Saturday.

In fact, they’ll know a lot more in a month because after Plymouth they have unbeaten Hanover at home, and two weeks after that game host powerful Pelham. Should be interesting.

BISHOP GUERTIN – The Cards keep steamrolling the opposition, and have 0-4, upset minded Winnacunnet coming into Stellos on Saturday night.

On reputation alone, this would be a seen as a tough game. Maybe it will be. But the Warriors have scored 12 points all season, shut out the other three times. However, they gave their arch rivals the Exeter Blue Hawks quite a fight on Friday, losing just 3-0. Yes, 3-0.

And after that, BG takes on what could shape up to be the Division I Game of the Year when the Cards head to Londonderry on Oct. 7. The defending champion Lancers are 3-0 in-state, 3-1 overall, but certainly are seen as a power after they handled Pinkerton 31-6 in anotther rivarly game this past weekend.

Guertin is riding Matt Santosuosso’s great year, but they could use running back Charlie Bellavance to return to health.

CAMPBELL – Campbell is in the unbeaten club at 4-0, and similar to Souhegan, has been untested in Division III but will find out real quick how good they are at 4-0 Trinity on Friday night.

Trinity beat Monadnock, 28-0, on Saturday night, outgaining the Huskies 232-54. The key will be if the Pioneers can stop bruising Cougar running back Scott Hershberger, who rushed for 290 yards for the second time this season the other night vs. Inter-Lakes.

And after Trinity, Campbell hosts Monadnock the following week. So the Cougars will have a good idea about themselves pretty quickly.

There you go, four unbeatens with their unique outlooks. Check back in a month to see where they stand.

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