New Hampshire Football Report

West is best

A pair of third-quarter interceptions helped the West defeat the East 25-14 Sunday in the sixth annual CHaD New Hampshire East-West All-Star Game at Manchester Memorial High School.

Souhegan High School’s Tucker Aiello intercepted a Jake Stevens pass and returned the ball 17 yards for a touchdown with 7:49 left in the third quarter. The conversion pass from Merrimack’s Ryan Fournier to Milford’s Ryan Camirand handed the West a 22-8 lead.

It was 22-14 and the East had a first down on the West 17-yard line when Hillsboro-Deering/Hopkinton’s Henry Yianakopolos ended the threat by picking off a pass at the 10-yard line.

“The second half I thought our defense really came out strong,” West defensive coordinator Paul Lavigne said. “(Aiello’s interception) was the turning point, I thought. They were keeping the game close, and that opened it up right there.”

The West received rushing touchdowns from Bedford’s Nick Leahy (21 yards) and Lebanon’s Ryan Milliken (22 yards), and a 25-yard field goal from Yianakopolos. Milliken led all rushers with 83 yards on 10 carries, and Stevens wide receiver Parker Smith led the West with four receptions for 96 yards.

West quarterback Justin Grassini, a Merrimack graduate, was named the Bo Dickson Most Valuable Player. Grassini completed 8 of 19 passes for 145 yards, rushed for 8 yards and punted seven times for an average of 35.4 yards.

“I was shocked,” Grassini said. “I would have given it to No. 30, Milliken. He ran the ball well all day.”

Stevens, Londonderry’s starting quarterback last season, completed 23 of 47 passes for 282 yards. He threw two TD passes to Peter Navarro — his high school teammate at Londonderry — but was intercepted twice.

Kennett’s Pat Cullen (six catches, 117 yards), Navarro (six catches, 86 yards) and Laconia’s Jacob Filgate (six catches, 39 yards) were the East’s leading receivers.

Injuries and other commitments left the East with 30 healthy bodies for Sunday’s game.

“Considering what we had I thought we did a good job,” East head coach Craig Kozens said. “The kids dealt with adversity all week. They kept fighting and made it a game.”

The West now leads the series 4-2.

Game Summary/Box Score

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