Saturday, September 5, 2015

Goffstown Rolls Past Concord

Goffstown was hyped up in the preseason as one of the top teams in the state. On Saturday afternoon they showed why. In a dominating performance on both sides of the football, Goffstown led Concord 28-0 at halftime, less than 3 minutes into the 3rd quarter it was 35-0 and the rest of the game was played with running time.

The Grizzlies looked good. The only concern if how many penalties they had. If Goffstown can limit their penalties they will be very tough for anyone to beat this season.

Goffstown has play makers and hard hitters at seemingly every position. Plus they have good size up front. Leading the way was senior QB Casey Gervais. The 6-foot-4, 228 lbs. signal caller was 10/15 passing for 203 yards and 2 touchdowns. He also rushed for 185 yards and 1 TD on just 8 carries. Teammate Connor Bourque meanwhile rushed for 96 yards and 2 TDs, plus caught 3 passes for 52 yards and 1 TD. Junior WR/DB Tyler Small had 2 receptions for 60 yards and 1 TD, plus played solid defense. The defense was led by Tim Comeau, Christian Melanson, Damian Jackson and Joey Poisson.

"We were well prepared, we knew what we had to do" said Gervais, arguably the top QB in the NHIAA. "We know how good we can be. We just went out there and played ball."

It sounds simple. But for most of the game vs. Concord that's exactly how the Grizzlies made it look. Like in the 1st quarter when Goffstown started a drive way back on their own 16 yard line, but in the blink of an eye they got a TD. Gervais zipped a 14 yard pass over to Andrew Duval. Then Gervais rushed up the middle for a 16 yard gain. Bourque capped the drive with a 65 yard TD run. He was nearly down right at the line of scrimmage but slipped away from a pair of defenders. As soon as Bourque reached the second level of the Crimson Tide defense you just knew he was taking it to the house. Or how about in the 3rd quarter on the TD that made it 35-0? Gervais connects with Bourque on a screen pass. Bourque takes it 47 yards for the score. It was almost too easy. A combination of great running and vision to see the holes by Bourque and poor tackling by Concord.

"It's Connor being Connor" said Goffstown head coach Justin Huft. "When he makes plays like that it doesn't surprise me anymore. I actually thought he was going to take the opening kickoff for the touchdown, but I guess the kid had a good angle on him. He's a great kid, too. Casey would still be a good QB even if he was 5-foot-9. But being 6-foot-4 definitely helps."

While Goffstown made it look easy at times, some of their bigger plays took a great deal of effort. Perhaps the play of the game came on a 30 yard pass from Gervais to Small. Gervais threw it deep, and it was a jump ball between Small and the Concord DB. Both plays went up for it and both plays had their hands on the football - Small made an incredible play showing terrific concentration and determination to come down with it.

"I trust Small, I know he has good hands" said Gervais. "I just put it up there, and he made an insane catch. We have great receivers."

"Pound for pound, Small is one of our toughest players" added Coach Huft.

Huft also has to be happy with how his defense bottled up Concord High star RB Leo Sudieh. Sudieh is one of the top backs in the state, but the Grizzlies never let him get in a groove. He rushed for just 52 yards and 25 of them came on a run which occurred in the 2nd half after the outcome of the game had been decided. Poisson really stood out to help lead the defense, delivering some bone jarring hits from his OLB position. Even more impressive is that he's only a sophomore. Small and Zach Comeau were strong in pass coverage. Melanson, Tim Comeau and Peyton Bickford all teamed up to sack Concord QB Jacob Lewis. In the 2nd quarter Jack Nordin sacked Lewis and later in the 2nd quarter Tim Comeau and Melanson sacked Lewis. Poisson and Ethan Houle both had fumble recoveries. Jackson and Ian Routhier were also flying around hitting people.

The chink in the armor for Goffstown today though was undoubtedly the penalties. Time and time again they were getting whistled for penalties, especially in the 1st half. They were getting called for holding, blocks in the back, late hits, unsportsmanlike conduct - you name it.

"We'll have to look at the film and see what we were called for and try to correct it" said Coach Huft.

Lewis, in his first varsity start after taking over for Robert Law who graduated, started the game off strong by connecting on his first 7 pass attempts.

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