Here's how I voted in this week's ESPN NH Friday Night Lights football poll.
10. Manchester Memorial
A few notes...
Salem and Londonderry. It's a tossup for that #3 spot. Who really deserves it? We'll finally find out on Friday night when the 2 teams square off. The winner solidifies their spot in the top 3, but more importantly they clinch a playoff berth while the loser will watch the playoffs from the sidelines. Expect a packed house and a great game in this one.
Windham deserves the #5 spot, ahead of Concord and Exeter. Windham is unbeaten, hard to justify putting a 2 loss team ahead of them., especially considering both Concord and Exeter have lost to a team below them in the rankings (Concord fell to Memorial and Exeter lost to Goffstown). Windham will play either ilford or Trinity in the first round of the playoffs yet they easily beat both of those teams in the regular season. Their toughest game in the playoffs will likely come from either St. Thomas or Kennett.
Concord gets the slight nod over Exeter for the #6 spot since they took unbeaten Bedford to OT and they crushed Portsmouth 41-7 last week. Plus Exeter lost by 2 TDs to a now un-ranked Goffstown team.
Kennett is deserving of the #8 spot. I have them 3 notches below Windham, because even though both are unbeaten in D-II Windham has played a tougher schedule and still had a higher margin of victory.
Portsmouth gets the nod over Memorial. Both have identical 5-3 records, but Portsmouth beat Memorial head-to-head.
As big a game as Salem vs. Londonderry is, also keep your eye on Goffstown vs. Memorial Saturday and Concord vs. Exeter on Friday. Concord makes the playoffs with a win OR a Memorial loss. Memorial makes the playoffs with a win AND a Concord loss. Whoever makes it travels to Bedford in the playoffs next weekend.