(Concord NH) No one in the announced crowd of 5,684 could have imagined it.
Pinkerton Academy 14
It was the October 11th regular-season game between the two schools that threw everyone off. Pinkerton had a 14-6 lead with four minutes left in that game and ended up losing in overtime, 21-14. A rematch figured to be close.
But six week later that game was indeed a distant memory although after a quarter, on this sunny, windy Saturday, the team from Derry led, 7-6.
But oh that second quarter! The Crimson Tide put up twenty-two unanswered points to gain a 28-7 halftime bulge. More than a few folks during the twenty minute halftime session wondered what had happened.
What happened, in my view, was that Concord unleashed an arsenal of offensive weapons that the Astros (9-3) never figured out how to stop. This will not be a game where people from Derry will say in recall, “If we had only stopped so-and-so we would have won.” On this day, and in that second quarter, they couldn’t stop anyone!
Concord (12-0) showed a passing game as well as a running game. Wally Ndi and Leo Sudieh (missed the first game) both rushed into the end zone and often carried tacklers with them.
The Number One star may well have been junior Will Scharlotte. Will was in the middle of several key plays for Concord. I have pictures of him; keeping Manny Latimore from scoring, deflecting a punt that set up a late second quarter score, and recovering an onsides kick to start the second half.
Pinkerton was hurt by three Matt Madden fumbles. One of them thwarted an early drive and the other set up Concord in great field position in the second quarter.
I started to suspect that it might be Concord’s day late in the first period. Tide QB Rob Law threw a pass intended for Nick Comeau. The ball bounded off Nick’s handed into teammate Walter Szulc’s hands for a long gain into PA territory.
The point separation between the two teams caused “running time” to be used about midway through the third quarter. That may be football’s version of softball’s mercy rule.
The crowd was huge and quite a few of them spent some, if not all, of the first quarter trying to get into the game. You snooze……..you stand in line!
The bands were terrific. I was intrigued by them playing back and forth during the second half. And the trombone player on the unicycle?
So Concord gets their first ever undefeated, untied, Division 1 championship. They were awesome on this afternoon.
Pinkerton has now been to the championship game nine of the last ten years.
I did not see CHS grads Matt Bonner (San Antonio Spurs) or Brian Sabean (GM of SF Giants) in the house although they’re sure to be pleased when they hear the result.
Astros? Named after Pinkerton Academy grad Alan Shepard (Class of 1940).
(All of the pictures above and below enlarge considerably if you click on them.)