People are always debating who the best team in the state is. Well right now at least, there is absolutely NO debate about who the best football team in the state of New Hampshire is.
Going into Saturday afternoon's game in Derry between Pinkerton and Nashua South this was a match-up of the state's 2 best teams (in my opinion). But after the Astros had 3 different players rush for over 100 yards (Emmitt Smith with a career-high 200, Kevin Davies with a career-high 160 and Manny Latimore with 107) and Pinkerton dismantled South 56-14 there is no question that the defending Division I champion Pinkerton Astros are the best team in NH.
It was tied 14-14 in the 2nd quarter. Then Coach O'Reilly's team scored the game's next 42 points, unanswered. Smith had 247 total yards and 4 touchdowns to lead the way.
Also playing well for Pinkerton was senior Ryan Coombs. Coombs does it all for the Astros - he kicks field goals, extra points and kickoffs, he returns punts, plays wide receiver on offense and on defense he plays defensive back. In this game Coombs made a fumble recovery and caught 4 passes for 53 yards, including a spectacular diving catch near midfield.
"It was a hot day, and we have a lot of 2-way players" lamented Nashua South head coach Scott Knight. "Our conditioning wasn't up to par. If it was an October night and 50 degrees out maybe it's a different game, maybe not."
South senior Armond McRae had 108 total yards and a touchdown in the loss. What makes the loss even tougher is that the Purple Panthers had 3 key players go down with injuries in the 2nd half. Sophomore quarterback Trevor Knight, senior RB/DB Derek Paradis and senior lineman Julier Rivera all had to leave the game early.
"We're not sure how serious those injuries are yet" Coach Knight explained. "We'll have to wait and find out in the next couple days how those guys look."
Right now it looks like it's Pinkerton at the top, and then everyone else.