New Hampshire Football Report

NHIAA championship game previews


Note: Ticket prices for Saturday’s games are $6 (students and seniors) and $8. One ticket is good for all three games.

Campbell vs. Monadnock

When and where: Saturday (11 a.m.) at UNH’s Wildcat Stadium.
Team records: Top-seeded Monadnock is 11-0. Second-seeded Campbell is 9-2.
Regular-season result: Monandock won 36-14 in Swanzey.
Noteworthy: These are the same programs that met in last year’s Division III championship game. Campbell prevailed 12-8 in that game thanks to a late touchdown scored by running back Keegan Mills, who may not be able to play in this contest because of a ankle injury suffered in last week’s semifinal victory over Stevens. … No team has scored more than 16 points against Monadnock, which has limited its opponents to 67 points this season. The Huskies have allowed the fewest points among NHIAA teams this year regardless of division. “They force everything to the middle and they have some big guys in there,” Campbell coach Glen Costello said. “I’m not sure they get as much credit as they deserve for being as dominant as they’ve been the last three years. It’s a cliche, but we’ll have to win the turnover battle and minimize their possessions.” … Third-seeded Campbell advanced by beating sixth-seeded Laconia (38-18) in the quarterfinals, and seventh-seeded Stevens (8-0) in the semis. Campbell’s other loss came against Lebanon (17-16). … Monadnock has gone unbeaten during the regular season in each of the last three years. … The Huskies run a Wishbone offense and have three dangerous backs in Chandler Matson, Tim Hart and fullback Lincoln Blodgett. Matson, who is also a force at outside linebacker, was the Division III Player of the Year last season. Quarterback Tim Santaw is a dangerous runner as well. … Conor Sweeney replaced Mills last week and carried the ball on 25 of Campbell’s 32 second-half offensive snaps. He gained 162 yards and scored the game’s only touchdown. … Monadnock is seeking its first championship since it beat Somersworth for the Division V title in 2012. Campbell has won two of the last four Division III titles. The Cougars beat Newport in the 2014 Division III championship game.

Alvirne vs. Plymouth

When and where: Saturday (2:30 p.m.) at UNH’s Wildcat Stadium.
Team records: Third-seeded Alvirne is 9-2. Top-seeded Plymouth is 11-0.
Regular-season result: The teams did not meet..
Noteworthy: No NHIAA program has experienced more postseason success than Plymouth, which has won 22 state championships — the most of any school — since the NHIAA instituted a playoff format in 1972. Pinkerton is next with 11. The Bobcats have a 53-15 postseason record and have won 13 straight playoff games. … Alvirne will be playing in its first championship game. The Broncos, who dropped from Division I to Division II following the 2017 season, had not won a playoff game until this year. … Alvirne losses came against St. Thomas (26-22) and Hollis/Brookline (33-27). The Broncos beat Milford 32-19 in the quarterfinals and then avenged their loss to St. Thomas by defeating the Saints 22-19 in the semifinals. No team has outscored Alvirne in the second half of a game this season.  “There’s no quit in them,” Plymouth coach Chris Sanborn said. “Most of those kids started last year when they were in Division I, and that’s a different speed.” … Alvirne quarterback Kyle Gora has completed 73 of 165 passes for 1,143 yards and seven touchdowns. He’s been intercepted five times. Gora has also run for 516 yards and 14 TDs  on 115 carries. … Plymouth posted playoff victories over Hanover (34-0) and Souhegan (45-28). Running back Owen Brickley ran for 586 yards and eight TDs in those two games. Plymouth also received a 259-yard rushing performance from Patrick Malm last week against Souhegan … The Bobcats will carry a 26-game winning streak into this contest. “They’re a machine up there,” Alvirne coach Tarek Rothe said. “Kids go out and new kids come in. I definitely didn’t get much sleep this week.”

Pinkerton vs. Bedford

When and where: Saturday (6 p.m.) at UNH’s Wildcat Stadium.
Team records: Fourth-seeded Pinkerton (South/East) is 9-2. Top-seeded Bedford (North/West) is 11-0.
Regular-season result: The teams did not meet.
Noteworthy: Bedford was the only Division I team to finish the regular season unbeaten. The Bulldogs have outscored their opponents 497-100 this year. The 45.1 points per game Bedford is averaging is the highest of any team in the state. … Pinkerton reached the Division I championship game for the 12th time in the last 15 seasons. The Astros lost to Winnacunnet in last year’s title game. … Pinkerton is seeking its first state title since 2014, when it beat Bedford 37-0. … Bedford defeated Goffstown (41-14) in the quarterfinals and Merrimack (30-8) in the semifinals. Bedford quarterback Thomas Morgan has completed 112 of 192 passes for 1,708 yards and 22 touchdowns with four interceptions this season. His primary target has been receiver Lucien Mumpini, who has 29 receptions for 432 yards and seven TDs. Ryan Toscano leads Bedford in rushing with 835 yards and 16 TDs on 133 carries. He also has 18 catches for 293 yards and three TDs. “They’re a very good spread offensive team,” Pinkerton coach Brian O’Reilly said. “Defensively, nobody has really moved the ball on them all year. I can see whey they’re an undefeated team.” … Pinkerton is the only Division I team to reach the title game by winning two playoff games on the road. The Astros defeated Londonderry (20-14) and Salem (30-7). … Pinkerton has held nine of its 11 opponents to 15 points or less. … Halfback/linebacker Gannon Fast leads the Astros in rushing yards (1,167), touchdowns (20) and sacks (7.5). … Pinkerton quarterback Aiden Goujon is a three-year starter who holds the school record for passing yards in a game (359). … “Their defense is nothing that we haven’t seen, but their offense (Wing-T) is a little different from the style of offense you’re gonna get on our half of the bracket,” Bedford coach Derek Stank said. “Goffstown and Merrimack ran a little ground and pound against us, but Pinkerton’s offense is much more complex.”

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