New Hampshire Football Report

Exeter/Central recap


Three things we learned from Exeter’s 48-20 victory over Manchester Central on Friday night:

1) The Central offense is going to be a handful.

Central quarterback Alex Hawkom, a junior, completed 21 of 33 passes for 246 yards and three touchdowns against Exeter. He’s not lacking quality receivers, either. Jeremy Chandler was his top target against the Blue Hawks. He caught seven passes for 109 yards and two TDs. Alex Guillemette was next with six catches for 73 yards.

“It (Central’s passing game) is real good. Real good,” Exeter coach Bill Ball said. “(Hawkom) has a good release. He runs well enough. I think they’re going to be a dangerous team down the road.”

Central’s problem was its running game, which was limited to 18 yards on 15 attempts. The running game should be much improved when tailback Jeremyah Rivera returns to the lineup, however. Rivera was serving the first game of a two-game suspension Friday night.

“Our offense … we did some good things, but we only put up 20 points,” Central coach Ryan Ray said. “To beat an Exeter or one of the top teams in the state you have to score a lot more than 20 points.”

2) Exeter isn’t lacking quality running backs.

Exeter’s running game has been good but not great — at least not by Exeter standards — in recent years, but the Blue Hawks have what must be the biggest offensive line in the state and a stable of capable running backs. That group is led by fullback Brayden Lowery, but includes Ryan Johnson, Zach Tucker, Reilly Romans, Adam Gray and Connor Landry.

Tucker and Lowery each scored two touchdowns against the Little Green. One of Lowery’s TDs came on an 81-yard kickoff return.

“I think we have six of them (running backs), and that’s always when we’re at our best when we can rotate them and give guys some rest.  I thought we wore them out a little bit. You could see it. That’s what we strive for.  We had fresh legs in the fourth quarter. We put up 48 in the first game with a lot of new guys out there. A lot of fresh faces.”

3) Exeter has the best high school facility in the state.

Ball Stadium has a lot of little things that distance it from many of the state’s other top venues, like no track separating the fans from the field and a scoreboard with a scroll that can provide scores from other games around the state, but it has become even more fan-friendly this year thanks to the addition of televisions at the concession stand.

There’s a TV inside the concession stand so those working can watch a live feed of the game, and there are also TVs on the front of the stand so you don’t have to miss any action while waiting in line. These things make a difference when you have crowds that number in the thousands.

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