High school football: Bow travels to Kennett on Friday for a D-II North showdown

  • Bow’s Steven Guerrette (left) throws a stiff arm against Hanover on Oct. 19 during Bow’s 44-0 win. Guerrette has rushed for 687 yards and 10 touchdowns this season despite missing time with an injury. He is fully healthy for Friday night’s game against Kennett. RICH MIYARA/ NH Sports Photography

  • Winnisquam quarterback Philip Nichols looks for running room during an Oct. 9 game against Bishop Brady, a 35-0 win for Winnisquam that saw Nichols rush for 112 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries and go 9-for-14 passing for 102 yards and three touchdowns. Nichols and the defending Division IV champion Bears are 6-0 this year and will face rival Franklin on Saturday at 2 p.m. TIM O’SULLIVAN file / Monitor staff

Monitor staff
Published: 10/24/2019 10:40:50 PM

After a grinding, emotional 8-7 season-opening win against three-time defending-champion Plymouth, the Bow High football team hasn’t truly been tested. That’s going to change on Friday night in North Conway when the 7-0 Falcons meet 6-1 Kennett in a Division II North showdown.

“We have to execute better than we’ve executed in the past if we want to win on Friday,” Bow coach Paul Cohen said. “We must perfect every aspect of our game as best we can and expect that they are going to come ready for us. They are definitely going to be prepared.

“This is not going to be like some of our games over the past few weeks where the outcome has been predetermined by the end of the first quarter or the end of the first half. That’s not going to be the case this time.”

Bow has scored 264 points in its seven games and allowed just 27. Kennett’s numbers are also impressive – 219 points for, 91 against – and the Eagles have their own win against Plymouth this year, 14-8 on Sept. 27. Their only blemish is a 42-21 loss against D-II South opponent Milford (6-1) on Oct. 11. Other than that, they’ve rolled through the D-II North, just like Bow.

Offensively, the Eagles like to move the ball through the air with quarterback Parker Coleman. But Cohen knows his team can’t only focus on the pass.

“They do like to throw, but they also have some very good running backs who are veterans and they have a pretty solid offensive line,” Cohen said.

The Falcons have a solid line of their own, led by senior captains Andrew Berube (6-foot-3, 305 pounds) and Chris Wheeler (5-10, 220). They also have some very good backs to run behind that line, led by senior Steven Guerrette, who has rushed for 687 yards and 10 touchdowns despite missing time with an injury. Senior Tommy Rolla (26 carries, 206 yards, seven touchdowns) helped fill the void when Guerrette was hurt, allowing him to get fully healthy for Friday night and beyond.

“We are 100 percent healthy, which is an awesome thing and doesn’t’ happen often this late in the season,” Cohen said. “We had the depth and we also had the confidence in our depth that we could spell those guys when we needed to and give them the time and rest they needed to heal so they are ready for the challenges that await.”

Bow is definitely a run-first offense, but when the Falcons need to throw, quarterback Sebastian Beaulieu has been on the money. The senior is 18-for-21 this year for 309 yards, six touchdowns and no interceptions. His favorite target is junior tight end Cooper Larrabee (eight catches, 138 yards, three touchdowns), who is also a standout defensive end for Bow’s lockdown defense. The Falcons have posted four shutouts, are only allowing opponents 1.2 yards per rush and have given up a total of 672 yards.

Route 3 rivalry

The Winnisquam football team (6-0) will try and complete its second straight perfect regular season on Saturday against rival Franklin. The defending D-IV champion Bears are riding a 15-game winning streak and have destroyed everyone in their path this year, scoring 42.5 points per game and giving up 12.2. And the Golden Tornadoes are just 1-5, but Winnisquam isn’t looking past this one.

“It’s Franklin-Winnisquam. It’s playing for bragging rights,” Bears coach Derek Hunt said. “That’s what I told my team. Franklin doesn’t care that you’re 6-0. They’re playing Winnisquam and they’re going to bring it to you. … They’re playing better than their record shows. I know they’re low on numbers and they’re young, but they’ve been playing good football.”

The Tornadoes have given up 244 points this season (40.7 per game), but they’ve also been able to put up 152 points (25.3 per game), thanks in large part to running back Jakob Beaupre. The junior has rushed for 1,370 yards, more than anyone in the state according to nhsportspage.com, regardless of division.

“Jakob Beaupre is an unbelievable runner, so that’s going to be our thing this week, trying to contain him,” Hunt said. “He’s just been great.”

The Bears have their own great junior, quarterback Phil Nichols. He’s thrown for 1,149 yards this year and is also a threat on the ground, like he showed in last week when he ran for 112 yards and a touchdown on 11 carries in a 35-0 win against Bishop Brady.

That win clinched first place and home field advantage in the playoffs for Winnisquam, but the Bears want one more win before the postseason starts.

“It’s a rivalry game and we want to finish the season off strong even though we've got that clinched,” Nichols said. “It’s at Franklin, too, so it should be a good one.”

(Tim O’Sullivan can be reached at 369-3341 or tosullivan@cmonitor.com or on Twitter @timosullivan20)



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