Friday night in Concord matched up 2 new teams in the Division VI playoff hunt. Bishop Brady Giants are new to the division, playing in D-V for the last several years. They played the Mascoma Royals who have only been playing varsity football for a couple years and have taken their lumps in their early existence.
Mascoma has come out of the blocks at 2-0 with impressive wins over Franklin and Gilford. Bishop Brady came in at 1-1 losing a one point battle with Newfound and winning big against Raymond. It is still early but the winner of this game puts themselves in a good position for the playoffs and possible tie breaking scenarios.
Mascoma who has been one of the early season surprises in 2012 and it didn't take them very long to get on the scoreboard. On their 3rd play from scrimmage on a 3rd and 3 the Royals in their double wing formation run a super power left and it appeared that Brady had the running back stopped from getting the yardage needed for a first down. With his knee almost on the ground the back alertly pitched the ball to the quarterback #12 Zach Warner which caught the Brady defense by surprise and Zach was off to the races 62 yards and a touchdown. The Royals take the early lead 7-0.
Brady can get nothing going on their 2nd possesion and are forced to return the ball to Mascoma. With the ball on Brady's 25 #48 Spencer Pierce gets around the right side and down the sideline for 75 yards another Mascoma score. This game has the makings of a 1st round knock out! Half way through the 1st quarter and Mascoma is up 15-0. What we didn't know at the time was the the Giants were hit hard and they were staggered but this game was far from being over. Brady finally gets things settled down and on a 10 play drive highlighted by a 24 yard run by #44 Evan Hall they score from 2 yards out. The score after one quarter is Mascoma 15 and Brady 6.
Things settle down in the 2nd quarter. Brady's defense is starting to keep the Mascoma running game from breaking anymore big plays. With 1:14 to go in the half and the ball on the 48 it takes only 3 plays to get into the end zone. The big play on the drive was a 32 yard touchdown pass from back up quarterback #18 Jonah Moser to Brady's all purpose running back #27 Matt Tetu. Brady misses the 2 point conversation and goes to halftime down 15-12 but momentum is turning in their direction.
After the game I asked Brady coach Greg Roberts what did you tell the boys at halftime he said "let's stick with our original game plan. We took their best shots and now let's go out and play Brady football"!
Brady went out in the 3rd quarter and just dominated every phase of the game. Mascoma ran a total of 4 plays in the 3rd quarter. Brady's offensive line took control of the game. Center #65 Hunter Migneault, Guards #59 Evan Fillion, #60 Duncan O'Reilly and Tackles #72 Zac Hemeon and #77 John Kelly along with ends #34 Anthony Johnson and #80 Nate Daneault opened the way with 2 long scoring drives. Brady uses several running backs but their 2 big horses who both went over 100 yards are #44 fullback Evan Hall and #27 Matt Tetu.
Blake Whitcomb #30 is another back that is used effectively, he scored Brady's 3rd touchdown to put them into the lead for good 20-15. In the fourth quarter Brady pushed the lead to 36-15 and in the closing seconds #11 Kyle Koisiorek of Mascoma returned a kick off 70 yards to end the scoring at 36-21.
The better team Friday night was definitely the Bishop Brady Giants. Mascoma is a team that has playoff potential and hopefully they have learned a few hard lessons from the outcome. What hurt this young team the most is they lost their composure as the game got away from them in the 2nd half. Football is a great metaphor for life. Sometimes things don't go your way. How you deal with and respond to adversity is a more valuable lesson learned than winning. Nobody goes through life undefeated. You can't lose your cool, it's not the officials fault. Mascoma lost their discipline in the 2nd half of this game. They racked up several personal fouls and had players ejected from the game. This behavior looks bad on you and hurts your team. These players have to sit out next weeks game. Learn from this and next time you are in this situation keep your cool. Ray Kershaw, Mascoma's head coach is a good friend of mine and he is a man of great character - players don't let your coach down or your school!
Division VI after 3 weeks is taking shape. Campbell and Newfound sit at the top - both at 3-0. They don't play each other until the last game of the season. Five teams are fighting for 2 spots - Brady, Mascoma, Winnisquam, Franklin, and Farmington-Nute. Yes, Farmington-Nute can and will make some noise before this season is over!