New Hampshire Football Report

Top 10 Games from 2021: No. 7

No. 7: Keene 42, Merrimack 35

Defensive stops were hard to come by in this Division I matchup — especially in the first half.

The teams scored seven touchdowns in the first half — four by Merrimack and three by Keene — and the Tomahawks led 28-20 entering the third quarter. That’s when the Keene defense stiffened.

After surrendering TDs on four of Merrimack first five possessions, the Blackbirds didn’t allow the Tomahawks to score on any of their three third-quarter possessions and hung on for a 42-35 victory.

It looked like Merrimack would add to its lead in the third when quarterback Kyle Crampton (272 yards passing, four touchdowns) connected with Shea Goodwin (140 receiving yards, four TDs) for a 58-yard pass play that put the ball on the Keene 1-yard line. Two sacks and a penalty helped Keene force a turnover on downs, however, and Merrimack’s other two possessions in the quarter ended with a fumble and an interception. Keene had a 34-28 lead entering the fourth.

Senior running backs Austin Morris and Jarrod Rokes each turned in big offensive performances for Keene. Rokes finished with 208 yards rushing and three touchdowns, and Morris ran for 156 yards and two touchdowns. The Blackbirds rushed for 384 yards in the game, and five of their six touchdowns came on the ground. 

Although it was porous in the first half, the Keene defense held Merrimack to 119 yards in the final two quarters.


Those who would like to help New Hampshire Football Report promote football in the Granite State can do so by purchasing an NHFR XTRA Membership or by making a donation below. Your support is greatly appreciated.

You must be logged in to post a comment Login