New Hampshire Football Report

West roster had some kick

Eric Brown’s decision to use one of his roster spots on a kicker looked like a wise move after Hanover High School punter/placekicker Moises Celaya was named the MVP in Saturday’s CHaD New Hampshire East-West All-Star Game.

Celaya played a huge role in the West’s 24-20 victory, which handed the West a 5-2 advantage in the series.

Celaya averaged 53.8 yards per kick on four punts, had a 63-yard punt bounce out of bounds inside the 3-yard line, and a 54-yard kick blown dead at the 1. He also made a 33-yard field goal, each of his three point-after kicks and had two touchbacks on his five kickoffs.

The touchbacks were particularly valuable since the East used Salem running back Josh Sibanda — perhaps the team’s most dangerous offensive player — as its primary returner on kickoffs. Sibanda gained 90 yards on his two kick returns.

“He killed us,” said Craig Kozens, the East’s head coach. “He deserved MVP.”

Celaya, who also played baseball for Hanover, will kick for Colby College next season. For being selected as the game’s MVP, Celaya received $500 from the Joe Yukica Foundation he can use towards purchasing books in college.

“All week in practice I was amazed,” said the West’s Andrew Duval (Goffstown). “I’ve never seen a kicker like him before.”

Brown said Celaya’s performance may lead CHaD coaches to select kicker-only specialists in the future.

“Yeah, I think so,” he said. “He was a big difference-maker. That’s why we deferred right off the bat. Hoping to get a three-and-out. Field position was big.”


Kozens on what hurt his team the most during Saturday’s loss:

“I thought they beat us up front all day,” he said. “What we got was the running backs making something out of nothing. They were coming off blocks clean and that killed our run game tremendously. When you win in the trenches you should win the game and those kids up front did a really, really nice job for them.”

The East ran for 207 yards on 46 rushing attempts (4.5 per carry). The West ran for 206 yards on 33 attempts (6.2 per carry). Sibanda was the game’s leading rusher with 105 yards on 19 carries.

“We just didn’t have the holes we were hoping for today,” Kozens said. “I had to go to the air more than I wanted to.”


West linebacker Colby Moore (Plymouth) had a game-high 6.5 tackles. Newport defensive lineman Peter Thibeault, the only Division III player on the West roster, recorded six tackles, including 3.5 tackles behind the line of scrimmage. Timberlane’s Kyle Gleason led the East with five tackles. … The East had a 369-335 advantage in total offense, but the West averaged more yards per play (5.8 to 5.4). … The West had the game’s only two turnovers (both fumbles), but scored on three of its four red zone opportunities. … The East was 6 of 15 on third-down conversion attempts. The West was 5 of 12 on third down. … East quarterback Cody Graham completed 11 of 21 passes for 162 yards and three touchdowns. Spaulding’s Mitchell Stokes led all East receivers with four catches for 62 yards and a TD. … CHaD officials announced that this year’s game has raised $271,000 thus far, $92,000 of which came through voluntary fundraising by the players. … Saturday’s attendance was 2,088.

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