High schools: Stark makes the plays when they count in 14-13 win over Pembroke
Pembroke Academy players pile on John Stark quarterback, Gage Huard, for a sack during the game on Saturday afternoon, September 14, 2013.
(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
John Stark's Carson Dunn, right, tries to break a tackle before being brought down by Pembroke Academy's Dean Dustin during the football game on Saturday afternoon, September 14, 2013.
(JOHN TULLY / Monitor staff)
After two Pembroke first downs on the game’s opening possession, John Stark defensive end Jacob Sawyer and defensive tackle Zack Feudner came up with key sacks on second and third downs, respectively, and Terry Zervos intercepted a fourth-down pass, foreshadowing opportune stops by the Generals defense throughout the game and leading them to a 14-13 victory.
Pembroke (1-1) got on the board first when Vinny Dustin ran a sweep for a 17-yard touchdown with 8:48 remaining in the second quarter, but John Stark Coach Jim O’Rourke knew his team wouldn’t back down.
“It’s not about getting knocked down,” O’Rourke said, “it’s about getting back up.”
The Generals (1-1) bounced back and tied the game later in the quarter when Carson Dunn scored on a 3-yard run up the middle. Dunn finished with 49 yards on 18 carries and also caught three passes for 52 yards. Leading the John Stark offense was quarterback Gage Huard, who was 5-for-9 for 70 yards.
“He’s just a leader,” O’Rourke said of Huard. “He was a leader by example, he was a leader by being tough. It’s fun when your quarterback is out there firing everybody up, and that’s what he was doing.”
At the end of the third quarter, Huard led a superb offensive series that included a 35-yard pass to Dunn, and Dunn capped the drive off with an 8-yard touchdown run to give John Stark a 14-7 lead with 2:23 left in the third.
Pembroke answered with a scoring drive of its own just minutes later, ending with a 5-yard touchdown run by Dustin (18 carries for 86 yards) to pull the Spartans to within one point. Pembroke Coach Brian Gridley then made a gutsy call to attempt a two-point conversion, but the Generals defense answered, as defensive tackle Steven Wuebbolt stifled Dustin’s rushing attempt, and the Spartans’ attempt to take the lead.
“That was me,” Gridley said, regarding to the decision to go for two. “I challenged the team that we were just going to punch it in. I had no doubt. That was 100 percent my decision.”
With 10:21 remaining in the game after their second touchdown, the Spartans forced John Stark to go three-and-out and regained possession. Faced with a fourth-and-5 at midfield, they attempted a fake punt with a direct snap to Dustin, but once again the Generals defense stepped up, forcing a fumble that was recovered by Zervos.
“Boy, was that huge,” O’Rourke said of the fumble recovery. “Turnovers are the name of the game. You look at any stat that means something at any level of football, and whoever wins the turnover battle usually wins the game.”
Pembroke would get one more possession, which ended in an interception by Huard near midfield with 2:15 remaining, and John Stark was eventually able to kneel down and savor the victory.
Zach Wiggin (13 carries, 68 yards) and Dean Dustin (seven carries, 38 yards) also made big contributions to the Pembroke offense. Defensively, Troy Wallace made a key play in the third quarter, knocking down a deep pass attempt by the Generals.
“I was impressed with our team’s character when we hit adversity,” Gridley said. “We as a coaching staff told the kids, ‘Let’s take control of what we can take control of, and anything we have no control over let’s not focus on that, let’s avoid that noise.’ ”
When asked what his team will be focusing on in practice this week, Gridley had a one-word answer.
“Finishing,” he said.
Both teams have games on Saturday: Pembroke travels to Sanborn, while John Stark looks to capitalize on its momentum with a road game against St. Thomas.
Gilford 46, Winnisquam 21
The Golden Eagles scored on the opening drives of both halves and led 20-6 at halftime and racked up a 34-7 lead en route to a decisive victory over Division III North Conference rival Winnisquam.
“We were dominated for the most part. We didn’t play the way we are capable of,” Bears Coach Pat Riberdy said.
Gilford scored a touchdown on its opening drive to take a quick 6-0 lead, but Winnisquam put together a nice drive of its own, culminating in a 48-yard touchdown run from Andrew Serrano. A successful PAT put the Bears up 7-6 for their only lead of the afternoon.
A pair of passing touchdowns from the Golden Eagles closed out the scoring in the first half.
Already up 20-7, Gilford returned the opening kickoff for a touchdown and successfully completed a two-point conversion for a 28-7 lead. A rushing TD on the next series padded the lead even more.
The Bears ended the game with a strong effort, however, with a pair of rushing touchdowns from Jake Snow (15 yards) and Dominic Lamanuzzi (10 yards) in the fourth quarter. The running game was a highlight for Winnisquam with Andrew Serrano running for 76 yards on 15 carries. Christian Serrano ran for 74 yards on 12 carries, and Snow made the most of his three carries, finishing with 51 yards and the touchdown.
Both teams are now 1-1 and are in a four-way tie for first-place in the North Conference with Newfound and Inter-Lakes/Moultonborough. Winnisquam next faces a non-conference opponent at home against Farmington-Nute (0-1).
Windham 4, Merrimack Valley 1
The Jaguars controlled the game, peppering Pride goaltender Maggie Carey (22 saves) with 26 shots while holding MV (2-2) to five and keeping the Pride off the board until Lily Davis scored with six minutes remaining in the game.
“Windham was the better team. They controlled (the game),” said Coach Kim Kenney, who added that undefeated Windham (3-0) looks to be one of the best teams in Division II this year.
MV hopes to snap a two-game skid when it hosts Lebanon on Tuesday.
Coe-Brown 1, John Stark 1
Josh Morin scored a goal at 41:20 to tie the game at one and help John Stark (1-3-1) avenge a 4-0 loss to Coe-Brown (2-2-1) earlier this season.
Spencer Nowland put the Bears on the board first with a goal in the 20th minute. The Bears outshot the Generals, but John Stark keeper Mike Prendiville stood firm in net with 12 saves.
For John Stark, Ethan Rousch was credited with the assist on Morin’s goal and Adam Carr had his best game of the season at midfield. Cam Williams and Brandon Dugay anchored the defense.
Stevens 5, Hillsboro-Deering 3
The Hillcats (2-2-1) came out flat, allowing undefeated Stevens (4-0) to grab a 2-0 lead after just eight minutes, then rallied for a 3-2 lead only to give up three goals in an eight-minute span in the second half on Friday.
The wet field made for many mistakes and kept both goalkeepers busy. H-D goalie Brett Bennett (10 saves) faced a lot of pressure early in the first half, but Jonas Hofstetter halved the deficit to 2-1 at halftime with a goal in the 34th minute assisted by Troy Girard.
Momentum was in H-D’s favor at the start of the second half, with goals by Girard (assisted by Josh Gould) and Max Parenteau in the first 13 minutes, but the Hillcats gave away the lead.
Coe-Brown 2, John Stark 2, 2ot
Kianna Daudelin scored a goal early in the second half to put Coe-Brown up 2-1, but Jordan Shatney’s strike with eight minutes left in the game forced overtime as the Bears (2-1-1) and Generals (2-1-1) battled to a draw in double overtime. This was Coe-Brown’s fourth double overtime game in four games played this season.
Coe-Brown’s Christen Gallant, who tied the score in the first half at 1-1 with a goal, nearly broke the deadlock halfway through the first overtime but her attempt on goal hit the post. Hailey Serino assisted on Gallant’s goal and Ashley LeBlanc and Jelasa Nelson assisted on Daudelin’s.
Kendall Keim scored the opening goal of the match for the Generals in the fourth minute. Nicole Beeso, Liz Brandt, Chloe Loos and Kelsey Johnstone played well in the midfield. Maddie Janelle had many key saves in goal.
Merrimack Valley 4,
The Pride (3-1) defended its home turf with four goals in the second half to claim a homecoming weekend victory over Pembroke (0-3). Asia Hazeltine, Meredith Ramsey, Brooke Ellis and Emily Mulleavey each had a goal and Mason Kimball added an assist. Mary Mullen made nine saves for the shutout.
“The entire team played extremely well together,” MV Coach Kyle Reed said.
The Pride next plays at Lebanon on Tuesday.
Concord Christian 0
The Lady Kingsmen (0-5) had a strong second half, but it was not enough to overcome a 2-0 halftime deficit as Concord Christian fell to Wilton (2-1) on Friday.
The Lady Kingsmen finished strong, with multiple shots on net, and goalkeeper Morgan Draus kept the Warriors off the board in the second half. Freshman Becca Johnson had a huge impact on the defense for the Kingsmen, along with Mahala Pincine.
Captain Sarah Ingram played well in the midfield, helping her team maintain possession.
BOYS’ CROSS COUNTRY
Mv, Pembroke at Bobcat Invite
Carter Saltmarsh was the fastest local runner at the Bobcat Invite, finishing in 12th with a time of 17:36.7 to lead Merrimack Valley to a solid fifth-place finish with 187 points in a competitive 21-team meet. Souhegan (49 points) slightly beat out host Oyster River (56) for the team title, with Winnacunnet (91) and Lebanon (150) rounding out the top five teams. Pembroke finished in 13th.
MV’s Walker John ran the course in 18:12, beating his personal-record by 20 seconds to finish in 30th, ahead of teammates Keegan Hanks (33rd, 18:19) and Brandon Richardson (36th, 18:24). Hanks also ran in personal-record time, and Saltmarsh and Richardson ran season bests. Damon Perron (76th, 19:50) rounded out the Pride scoring. Brendan Polichronopoulos, the team’s top runner, did not race because of an injury, but is due to run at the next meet.
John Sanborn (39th, 18:32) was the top runner for the Spartans, with Kam Anderson (48th, 18:51), Steven Abbott (75th, 19:46), Drew Harrison (93rd, 20:31) and Jason Schoeller (113th, 21:11) also scoring.
Bishop Brady fourth
Warren Bartlett and Jake Boesch finished fourth and fifth, respectively, to lead the Green Giants to fourth-place at the Laconia Invite, which also featured Gilford, Newfound, Inter-Lakes, Moultonborough and Plymouth. Inter-Lakes won the team title and Laker Cam Daly claimed the individual crown.
Stephen Weinmann (15th) and Aaron Svendsen (37th) also ran well for Bishop Brady.
GIRLS’ CROSS COUNTRY
MV, Pembroke at Bobcat Invite
Merrimack Valley (13th) finished in the middle of pack while Pembroke finished 17th out of 18 teams in a competitive Bobcat Invite meet held at Oyster River. Winnacunnet (48 points) was the victor, while Hollis/Brookline (71), Souhegan (89), Oyster River (99) and St. Thomas (174) rounded out the top five.
Raquel Gelinas (30th, 22:03) and Cassie Owens (47th, 22:41) were the top finishers for the Pride, while Cindy Fanny (73rd, 23:57), Madison Irving (100th) and Miranda Crane (101st) also scored for MV.
Pembroke was led by Mariah Mitchell (75th, 24:07), Jayla Decker (79th, 24:12) and Allison Fischer (98th, 25:54). Brianna Walsh and Katie Duhaime rounded out the scoring for the Spartans.
Bishop Brady third
Devyn Saucier finished in third place and Bishop Brady finished in the same place as a team at the Laconia Invite. Moultonborough won the seven-team meet and Newfound’s Andrea Shinn won the individual title.
Lauren Lamberger (15th), Julia Jones (18th) and Emma Logue (19th) also ran well for the Green Giants.
Somersworth 3, Coe-Brown 2
The Bears (1-1) won the second and fourth games to take their home match with Somersworth (3-1) to the distance, but the Hilltoppers prevailed, 25-19, 16-25, 26-24, 19-25, 15-8.
Emma Easler led Coe-Brown with 14 kills, while Lacey Locke had 15 digs and 13 assists.
“We can play a lot better,” Bears Coach Rick Veno said, “and we’ll step it up.”