New Hampshire Football Report

Division IV championship preview

Franklin vs. Winnisquam

When and where: Saturday (7 p.m.) at Laconia High School.
Team records: Third-seeded Franklin is 6-2. Top-seeded Winnisquam is 8-0.
Regular-season result: Winnisquam won 20-0 in Tilton.
Noteworthy: Winnisquam, which first fielded a varsity football team in 2005, is attempting to finish a season unbeaten for the first time in the program’s history. A victory Saturday night would give the Bears their first championship as well. … Franklin ended the regular season with back-to-back losses against Newfound and Winnisquam and failed to score in both games, but reached the title game with a 12-6 triumph over second-seeded Newfound in last weekend’s semifinals. Winnisquam advanced by beating fourth-seeded Raymond 40-0 in the semifinals. … Winnisquam’s only other appearance in a championship game came in 2009, when it lost to Inter-Lakes, 6-0, in the Division VI title game. … Franklin’s biggest challenge will be containing a Winnisquam offense that scored 31 points or more in six of its eight games. The Golden Tornadoes did a respectable job against the Bears’ offense when the teams met during the regular season. Winnisquam prevailed 20-0, but its defense scored one of the three touchdowns in that game. … Sophomore Phil Nichols gives Winnisquam a run/pass threat from the quarterback position. Nichols has run for 531 yards and nine touchdowns on 34 attempts, and has completed 54 of 99 passes for 968 yards and 10 TDs with four interceptions. Junior Gunnar Horman is his favorite target. Gorman has 29 receptions for 570 yards and eight touchdowns. The Bears can also attack on the ground with bruising fullback Angelo Glover, who enters Saturday’s matchup with 1,056 yards rushing and 13 TDs on the ground this season. … The Franklin program won its last title in 2012 by beating Mascoma in the Division VI championship game. Franklin also won the 2008 Division VI championship with an 8-0 victory over Campbell. Franklin shared the 1964 Division IV championship with Towle High School (Newport); won the Division IV championship in 1966 and claimed the Class M-S championship in 1991. … Franklin will likely need big games from quarterback Kainan Clark and running back Taryn Laramie.

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