New Hampshire Football Report

CHaD Notes: QB options

The West will be looking to end a two-game losing streak when it faces the East on Friday in the sixth annual CHaD New Hampshire East-West All-Star Game at St. Anselm College (7 p.m.). The West has a significant size advantage, and appears to have an edge at quarterback as well.

Merrimack’s Justin Grassini and Goffstown’s Nik Moquin are the West QBs. Each led their team to the playoffs last season, and Grassini set a single-season state record by throwing 43 touchdown passes.

Both QBs are used to operating out of the shotgun, but will be under center in the West’s Pro-I offense.

“A quarterback can really make a difference, and I have two good ones,” West coach Jim Schubert said. “What I did have to ask Justin and Moquin is, ‘Do you know how to take the ball from under center? They’ve been doing it. They’ve been doing a good job. It wasn’t good the first day, but it was good after that.”

The East suffered a big blow when Exeter quarterback Kyle Ball pulled out of the game to participate in a baseball event in Florida. Ball will play college baseball for Stetson University in DeLand, Fla.

Londonderry’s Jake Stevens and Portsmouth’s Christian Peete have been taking snaps for the East. Peete played running back and slot receiver for the Clippers, but was moved to QB following an injury to starter Cody Graham.

“The offense is in,” East coach Craig Kozens said. “The defense is all in. Specials are in, so now it’s a point of how clean can we be? Can we take care of the football? We’ll have to play solid, clean football. If we do that we’ll be competitive.”


Reid  Ljungholm played wide receiver for Concord High School, but that’s not where he’ll line up for the West on Friday night.

“He’s a tight end for me, and he’s good,” Schubert said. “He’s an H-back. One day I said, “Can you run with the football?” He said, ‘I can do anything coach. You just put me where you want to put me.’ That’s the type of attitude we have on this team. Maybe they know my reputation. I’m going to decide who plays and who doesn’t play based on how hard you work, and these kids are working their butts off. I’m getting tired before they are … I’m also 70 years old.”

Schubert said he’s very comfortable with his running backs (Bedford’s Nick Leahy and Lebanon’s Ryan Milliken) and wide receivers (Goffstown’s Frankie Castillo-Diaz, Bishop Guertin’s Sarveen Shafiyan-Rad, Parker Smith from Stevens and Alex Abreau from Keene), but has been most impressed with an offensive line that includes Nashua North’s Finn Littlefield (6-foot-5, 270 pounds), Manchester Memorial’s Anthony Angerami (6-foot-2, 260), Souhegan’s Luuc Gronstra (6-foot-3, 270) and Manchester Central’s Zach Minch (6-foot-5, 280).

“I’m very comfortable with the offensive line,” Schubert said. “With my type of offense, running out of the I offense, I’m very comfortable with the size we have. I’m also comfortable with the athletes on the offensive line. They’re good kids. They work hard.”


Kozens said Londonderry guard/linebacker Zac Garside is one of about six players who will likely see significant playing time on both sides of the ball. The East roster has been reduced from 40 to 35 players because of injuries and other issues.

“We like the Garside kid,” Kozens said.  “He’s a tough, tough kid from Londonderry. A bit of a thumper and real physical on both sides of the ball. It’ll be tough to keep him off the field. And the Peete kid is doing everything for us as well — quarterback, running back, defensive back.

“Our linebacker corps likes to fill and stick. They do a good job of coming up and finding the football. They’re gonna have to come up and fill because (the West) is gonna want to pound it at us. They’re big up front so we have to be able to get that second level to get a push.”


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