New Hampshire Football Report

Grassini went out on top

When the fourth quarter of Sunday’s CHaD New Hampshire East-West All-Star Game began, there were four players in the discussion for the Bo Dickson Most Valuable Player: Merrimack quarterback Justin Grassini and Lebanon running back Ryan Milliken from the West, and Londonderry receiver Peter Navarro and Kennett receiver Pat Cullen from the East.

Grassini won the award, even though he didn’t put up gaudy statistics like he did in most games last season. Grassini completed 8 of 19 passes for 145 yards in the West’s 25-14 victory. He didn’t throw a touchdown pass, but he was not intercepted. He also gained 8 yards on four carries and punted seven times for an average of 35.4 yards per kick.

Grassini, who set a state record by tossing 43 TD passes last season, said he was surprised Millken didn’t win the award.

“I was shocked, honestly,” he said. “I would have given it to No. 30, Milliken. He had a great day running the ball.”

Milliken rushed for a game-high 83 yards on 10 carries. He scored on a 22-yard run that helped the West take a 14-0 lead in the second quarter. He also returned four punts for 47 yards.

Navarro accounted for both East touchdowns. He caught an 18-yard TD pass in the second quarter, and an 11-yard TD pass in the third. Cullen caught six passes for a game-high 117 yards.

Other Bo Dickson MVPs:

2012: Thaddeus Brown (Central)
2013: Rick Holt (Portsmouth)
2014: Marc Gaudet (Concord)
2015: Eric Fairweather (Londonderry)
2016: Jason Hughes (Timberlane)


The East offense was limited Sunday because of a depleted roster that left the team with 30 healthy bodies at Manchester Memorial. Laconia tight end Carter Doherty (injury), Portsmouth running back/receiver/quarterback  Christian Peete (work commitment) and Salem tight end Ben Emerson (out of state) were among the players who didn’t play.

“We had to scrap half of our playbook,” East coach Craig Kozens said. “Considering what we had I thought we did a good job. We showed up to the locker room down a few more guys, but they kept fighting. They’re a good group of kids and they made it a game, which is good for the game.”

The East finished the game with 26 yards rushing on 14 carries. East quarterback Jake Stevens (Londonderry) completed 23 of 47 passes for 282 yards and two touchdowns, but was intercepted twice.


According to CHaD officials, this year’s event had raised $246,000 for Children’s Hospital at Dartmouth as of Sunday. … Stevens wide receiver Parker Smith, one of two Division III players on the West roster, led his team in receptions (four) and receiving yards (96). .Monadnock’s Jacob Wood was the other Division III player on the West roster. .. Merrimack’s Dan McKillop led the West with nine tackles. Londonderry’s Zac Garside and Timberlane’s Josh Thibeault each collected a team-high nine tackles for the East. Pinkerton Academy defensive end Austin Fields had 3.5 tackles for loss. … The West offense ran 68 plays for 311 yards. The East ran 62 plays for 308. … The West victory ended the East’s two-game winning streak. The West leads the series 4-2. … There’s a possibility next year’s game could be played at the University of New Hampshire, which was the site for the first two games.

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