Folks, I'm just living the dream. Working for three different area radio stations, covering games, I'm having a blast. This weekend I saw three football games in three days, then saw five Fall League basketball games at the RAC on Sunday. Here are the three games that I saw, and what I took from those games.
Game 1: Exeter @ Alvirne (Thursday)
I called this one for 1540 AM WXEX. Great night for football, albeit in a very crowded Alvirne press box. Throughout the first half, it actually looked like the Broncos had a legit shot at pulling the upset. It was scoreless through two quarters, but Alvirne came the closest to scoring, had more total yards, and seemed like the hungier team. That changed in the second half though, in a big way. Exeter showed why they're one of the top 5-6 teams in the state with a dominating 21-0 second half showing. Jason Monroe had two rushing TD's and now has five TD's through three games. QB Carson Cross showed great speed on a 55 yard TD run of his own. Senior Zach Kelleher had his best rushing game of the season, and it looks like the Blue Hawks have a formidable 1-2 punch with he and Monroe. Up until this game, the most yardage Kelleher got came on defense, when he returned an interception 55 yards for a touchdown week 1 vs. Central. Meanwhile, kicker James Holler, who played for Exeter in their soccer game at home vs. Nashua North, somehow made it to Hudson in time for kickoff of the game. So he played both a soccer and football game not only in the same day, but in a span of 6 hours...then he played for Exeter's basketball team in their Fall League game on Sunday! He has the ability to hit a FG from 48 yards, and he's the starting PG on the basketball team. But soccer is actually his best sport. His father told me James has a chance to make all-state in three sports this year. In this day and age, where the multi-sport athlete is a dying breed, that would be quite a feat - and oh yes, that pun was intended!
Game 2: Campbell @ Pelham (Friday)
I was covering this one for WGAM Friday Night Lights. And when I cover games for them, I like to watch the games from the sidelines rather than sitting in the press box. So I was a little concerned when I was driving on 111-West in Hampstead, Salem and Windham and it was POURING out. But, as if the football gods were smiling down, as soon as I got into Pelham it stopped raining. One of the Pelham coaches told me it didn't even rain there at all. The Pythons took advantage of the good weather and aired it out the entire first half en route to a 39-0 halftime lead. Indeed, it was the Joe D'Angelo show, as he went 15-17, for 338 yards, 5 TD passes, and 1 rushing TD. This was my first look at him, and I was very impressed, he has all the tools; and some very good playmakers to throw to, especially Josh Luciano and freshman Kevin Cheam. Sweeney and Lombard led a very good Pelham defense as well. I don't know how this team lost to Trinity 22-0 week 1, that's why the Pioneers are in my top 10 right now though. Trinity/Pelham in the D-V title game will be a GREAT football game. I know it's only week 3, but I'm already looking forward to it. As for Campbell, their senior QB Kiel Canada is the best player in Division VI, but he does not have much help. The Cougars have a bad defense, and the line does not give Canada any time to throw. It would be very interesting to see how he would do on a better team.
Game 3: Manchester Central @ Nashua North (Saturday)
I chose this game to go to, because I figured it would be the best game of the day. I thought it could go either way, and if anything, Central would be a slight favorite, especially with Kevin Rosenberg still out of the lineup for North. But, just like every decision I made during my first marriage, I was wrong. I was very impressed by North, and I was very disappointed in Central. North came out ready to play right from the get-go. The very first possession of the game, the Titans ran the ball right down the throat of Central, driving over 70 yards, over 9 plays with only one of them being a pass, ending with a 6 yard touchdown run by the kid who did most of the damage on the drive, Andre Williams. North just kept the momentum going from there, end led 17-0 at the half. Central wasn't ready to play, most of them looked like they didn't even want to be there. One kid who left it all out on the field for the Little Green was the QB, sophomore Jared Chandler. He had 3 interceptions, and 1 fumble. Chandler isn't the most talented player, and he's only 5'7". He threw three interceptions, and had one fumble. But it wasn't all his fault, his receivers dropped a lot of passes, and one of those drops led to one of the interceptions. Not only that, but Chandler didn't even practice with the first team offense until right before the season started. Nick Laferriere, who was supposed to be Central's starting QB this season, and practiced with the first string offense all summer, quit the team right before the season started; this is according to a very reliable source. So I give Chandler a lot of credit, for coming into a bad situation and still giving it his all. When Central was down 24-0 on Saturday, and pretty much all of his teammates had mailed it in, it would have been easy for him to do the same. But he was still out there, busting his tail, trying to get his team on the the scoreboard. And I'm sure he would have done it, if only his teammates had the same "No quit" attitude that he did.