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FOOTBALL FRIDAY: A couple of big matchups for locals

By Tom King - Staff Writer | Sep 30, 2022

Both Nashua North's Toby Brown, Jr., left, and Nashua South's Karsten Lemire will be in action tonight, North home vs. Goffstown and South at Bedford. (Telegraph photo by TOM KING)

It’s feast or famine this weekend when it comes to top matchups. There are two solid ones involving area teams, with Campbell at Trinity on Friday and Souhegan at Plymouth on Saturday.

Otherwise, there are some haves facing some have-nots in a few games.

Here is the rundown:




WHEN: Tonight, 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Stellos Stadium

LAST WEEK; Nashua North 47, Nashua South 0; Bedford 49, Goffstown 0.

LAST YEAR: Did not play.

FYI: The Titans appear to be finally coming into their own offensively, with Derek Finlay and Jordyn Raisanen-Andino the keys. But the Grizzlies are really struggling, a proud program that was in the title game against North two years ago caught in a talent bind.

PREDICTION: North 54, Goffstown 0.

NASHUA SOUTH (0-4) at BEDFORD (3-1).

WHEN: Tonight, 6:30 p.m.

WHERE: Bedford’s Bulldog Stadium.

LAST WEEK: North 47, South 0; Bedford 49, Goffstown 0.

LAST YEAR: Did not play.

FYI: The Panthers are desperate for a win, obviously, and while offensively they’re hot and cold – QB Karsten Lemire can thread the needle but also turn the ball over – South has given up an average of nearly 39 points a game. The Bulldogs are very, very tough defensively – the Titans managed just one offensive TD against them in the opener – so the Panthers will have their hands full.

PREDICTION: Bedford 28, South 12.



WHEN: Tonight, 7 p.m.

WHERE: HB Stadium.

LAST WEEK: Pelham 51, Hollis Brookline 6; Merrimack Valley 20, John Stark 6.

LAST YEAR: HB 34, John Stark 8

FYI: The Generals are struggling, and despite taking a 6-0 lead last week ended up playing three at quarterback, and barely have any seniors. HB’s Adam York is a dependable scorer, and HB’s defense can fly around. Both teams probably consider this a winnable matchup.

PREDICTION: HB 30, John Stark 14.


WHEN: Tonight, 7 p.m.

WHERE: Manchester West HS

LAST WEEK: Bow 34, Milford 6; Sanborn 28, West 26.

LAST YEAR: Did not play.

FYI: The Spartans, after handling Stark in the opener, have had a tough time getting untracked. The Blue Knights are good enough to have pummeled Lebanon and gave up “only” 34 points to Pelham. But if Milford can win the line of scrimmage making things easier for QB Charlie Urda, good things can happen.

PREDICTION: Milford 28, West 27.


CAMPBELL (4-0) at TRINITY (4-0)

WHEN: Tonight, 7 p.m.

WHERE: Trinity/Derryfield Park, Manchester.

LAST WEEK: Campbell 32, Inter-Lakes/Moultonborough 14; Trinity 28, Monadnock 0.

LAST YEAR: Trinity 14, Campbell 0 (regular season); Trinity 33, Campbell 8 (semifinals).

FYI: Great matchup. The Cougars are older and stronger than they were a year ago, led by senior QB Jackson Kanaley who is also an exceptional blocker for tremendous sophomore running back Scott Hershberger, who has to be around the 800 yard mark. The key for the Cougars defensively: Stop Pioneers QB Jack Service, who threw for two TDs and ran for another last week. This could be a preview of the Division III final.

PREDICTION: Campbell 20, Trinity 19. Cougars finally break through on a Hershberger TD on final play.


MERRIMACK (2-1, 2-2) at KEENE (1-3)

WHEN: Saturday, 1:30 p.m.

WHERE: KHS Alumni Field.

LAST WEEK: Bishop Guertin 42, Merrimack 6; Timberlane 42, Keene 14.

LAST YEAR: Keene 42, Merrimack 35

FYI: The Blackbirds were hoping to take the next step after a breakthrough year but it hasn’t quite happened thanks to graduating some key players. Junior quarterback Aiden Tarr and juniors Wyatt Avery and Seamus Howard are in the backfield. Key word is juniors. Meanwhile, Merrimack, led by QB Trent Jackson and running back/linebacker Reimello Hyde, want to raise their game to the next level, a win in a tough place to play – the ‘Birds gave North a battle – would be a good start.

PREDICTION: MERRIMACK 28, KEENE 21. Can’t hide from Hyde.

ALVIRNE (0-4) at WINDHAM (2-2)

WHEN: Saturday, 2 p.m.

WHERE: Windham HS.

LAST WEEK: Concord 56, Alvirne 7; Windham 20, Salem 14.

LAST YEAR: Windham 7, Alvirne 6

FYI: The Broncos often get off to fast starts – heck, they led Merrimack 12-0 – but then the depth becomes a factor. They dressed just 32 vs. Concord after 28 the week before but have touchdown makers such as Colin Fay, Ryan Rocheleau and Elijah Ellis. The Jags, led by running back Tiger An, are having a competitive season, and with a favorable schedule (except Concord), they could be a playoff team. An may be tough to stop, especially if it’s wet weather.

PREDICTION: Windham 28, Alvirne 14. Broncos go down fighting in the mud.


WHEN: Saturday, 6 p.m.

WHERE: Stellos Stadium.

LAST WEEK: Bishop Guertin 42, Merrimack 6; Exeter 3, Winnacunnet 0.

LAST YEAR: Did not play.

FYI: The Warriors don’t give up many points, as witnessed by their defensive battle with Exeter last week. The most this season is 28. But they don’t score much, either, just 12 points all season, and they fumbled inside the 20 in the final seconds left last week. BG? They score, as long as Matt Santosuosso is on his game, but they have others as well. But don’t be surprised if the Warriors make it tough.

PREDICTION: BG 28, Winnacunnet 6.


SOUHEGAN (4-0) at PLYMOUTH (3-1)

WHEN: Saturday, 2 p.m.

WHERE: Plymouth HS.

LAST WEEK: Plymouth 32, Laconia 22; Souhegan 61, Lebanon 0.

LAST YEAR: Did not play.

FYI: A good challenge coming at a good time for Souhegan, the first of two as Hanover looms next week. While Souhegan’s weapons are many, orchestrated by sophomore QB Romy Jain, Plymouth has a good QB in Luke Bassingthwaite and players like Matt Cleary, Dylan Wech and Luke Diamond, who all scored against Laconia. Should be a good one.

PREDICTION: Souhegan 30, Plymouth 28. J.J. Bright scores with 10 seconds left.


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