New Hampshire Football Report

Plymouth prevails again

Plymouth 29, Alvirne 18

Add another game to the winning streak. Put another trophy in the trophy case.

Top-seeded Plymouth Regional overcame a three-point halftime deficit to claim its third straight Division II championship by beating third-seeded Alvirne, 29-18, in the Saturday’s Division II championship at the University of New Hampshire’s Wildcat Stadium.

The victory extended Plymouth’s winning streak to 27 games.

“I’m just proud of those kids that hadn’t had a shot until this year,” Plymouth coach Chris Sanborn said. “Everybody said ‘You can’t do anything with everyone graduated.’ These guys came in and did it. You kind of have hopes for kids and what they can do. They far exceeded expectations.”

The Bobcats blocked a punt and recovered the ball on the Alvirne 7-yard line on the Broncos’ opening possession of the second half. The Bobcats capitalized on Owen Brickley’s 7-yard TD run with 10:18 remaining in the third quarter.

Plymouth’s Cody Bannon, a sophomore quarterback, scored the game’s final TD on a 3-yard run with 2:30 left. Peter Wingsted’s third point-after kick capped the scoring.

It was the first time Alvirne has been outscored in the second half of a game this season.

“We gave them a short field (on the blocked punt) to score that touchdown,” Alvirne coach Tarek Rothe said. “Kudos to them. It’s a machine over there. That was a break that they got that we couldn’t afford to give up. They’re too good.

“At the half I felt like we had a really, really good chance, they’ve won all those game for a reason. We made too many mistakes to recover from.”

Brickley rushed for a game-high 132 yards and two touchdowns on 25 attempts. He ran for 718 yards and scored 10 touchdowns in Plymouth’s three playoff games.

“We had high hopes for Owen Brickley and he ended up better than we thought he’d be,” Sanborn said. “That’s amazing to say, but he was a stud. Dominated all through the playoffs.”

It was Plymouth’s 23rd state championship overall, which is the most of any school since the NHIAA instituted a playoff format in 1972. The Bobcats (12-0) have a 54-15 record in the postseason and have won a record 14 straight playoff games.

Alvirne quarterback Kyle Gora had a rushing TD, a passing TD and caught a TD pass in the first half. He completed 15-of-32 passes for 167 yards and one touchdown.

Alvirne’s James Bertrand ran for 116 yards on four carries and caught eight passes for 75 yards.

The Broncos led 12-8 after one quarter and 18-15 at halftime.

After Gora tossed a 12-yard TD pass to Jack Regan, Plymouth took an 8-6 lead on Brickley’s 9-yard TD run and Patrick Malm’s run on the conversion.

The Broncos regained the lead on Gora’s 1-yard run with 2:01 left in the first, but Plymouth answered on Malm’s 6-yard run. Wingsted’s point-after kick put the Bobcats up 15-12.

Alvinre scored the final touchdown of the first half on a 6-yard pass from Regan to Gora with 3:41 left in the second quarter. Regan got the ball on a reverse before tossing the TD pass.

Alvirne hadn’t won a playoff game until this season.

“Our kids were ready,” Rothe said. “Our kids fought hard until the end.”

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