By: Ross Laorenza
Nashua South clinched the top spot in the West with their 51-28 win over Winnacunnet, improving their record to 8-1. Trevor Knight put on an impressive performance leading the Panthers to victory.
On South’s second play from scrimmage Knight rushed for a 48 yard score. On their next drive he connected with Robbie Smyth for a 30 yard touchdown reception. South lead early 14-0.
Winnacunnet would answer, however. IngHaoVeasna connected with Collin Witt for a 59 yard touchdown to cut the lead to 7 with 5:15 remaining in the 1st quarter. After a South three and out, Veasna scored with his legs, rushing for a 14 yard touchdown. At the end of the first quarter the game is tied 14-14.
South would take over with 10:30 left in the half. The drove 80 yards in five plays capped by a 51 yard touchdown pass from Trevor Knight to Robbie Smyth. They would miss the PAT, so with 8:47 remaining South’s lead was just 6 points.
On the ensuing possession Veasna was picked off by Knight at midfield, but the Panther drive would stall inside the 30. After driving deep inside Panther territory, the Warrior offense turned the ball over again with a fumble. At the half South leads 20-14.
Both teams came out ready in the second half and put together a very entertaining 3rd quarter. Winnacunnet received the second half kickoff to start the action. Clint Felch and Jon Flagg proved to be a versatile running duo. The Warrior’s ran a variety of sweeps dive and the occasional option pitch throughout the contest. There would be no costly turnover on this drive. Veasna connected with Collin Witt for his second touchdown reception of the game from 27 yard out. PAT good and Winnacunnet takes their first lead of the game 21-20 with 7:08 remaining in the 3rd quarter.
South responded with a talented running back duo of their own tonight. Andrew DeCarteret and Josh Perry were excellent for the Panthers. But the most dominant performance on the ground came from South’s quarterback Trevor Knight. He would score again from 1 yard out pull South back into the lead 27-21.
On the first play on the next drive IngHaoVeasna launched a 56 yard pass to wide out Alex Boucher bringing the ball inside the Panther’s 20 yard line. Three plays later it was Veasna with a 1 yard touchdown of his own to put Winnacunnet back on top 28-27.
They surprised everyone with a successful onside kick play an momentum seemed to be shifting in the Warrior’s favor, but another costly fumble gave South possession and killed the drive just three plays in. The 3rd quarter would end with Winnacunnet leading South 28-27.
Trevor Knight took over the fourth quarter. He added three more rushing touchdowns from 4, 49 and 72 yards out to seal the victory for the Panthers. Nashua’s defense shut down the Warrior’s offensive attack, not allowing a point in the 4th quarter. They added an interception and strip sack to their turnover total for the game. Final score Panthers: 51, Warriors: 28. With the victory South clinches the Division I West title.
From Stellos Stadium in Nashua, New Hampshire. Ross Laorenza: New Hampshire Notebook.