Josh Luciano breaks off on a 28 yard run.
Bruce Vieira rushed the ball 16 times for 151 yards and three touchdowns, all in the first half last Saturday afternoon as the Pelham Pythons closed out their Division V regular season with a 43-0 thumping of the Epping Blue Devils. The win ups the Pythons’ 2008 season record to 9-0, and the defending Division V champs have now won 20 games in a row dating back to the 2007 season. Another highlight on this day was Bruce Vieira going over the 1,000 yard mark for the third straight season and his three touchdowns and two point conversion against Epping now give him 17 touchdowns, eight extra points, and 110 points on the season which is third in the Merrimack Valley area. While Vieira had another one of his many offensive gems, he also spent half of the day in the Blue Devils backfield hitting everything that moved.
Pelham coach Tom Babaian had just about everybody back and healthy for last Saturday’s game, which meant that Pelham had 28 players dressed for this game, and they all got to see plenty of action as they built up a 37-0 halftime lead and watched their J.V. team score the last touchdown in the third quarter and play most of the second half in shutting down Epping’s first string offense. Epping probably knew it was going to be a long afternoon after they received the opening kickoff and started off on their own 20-yard line. On first down, Pelham’s senior tackle, Bill Helliwell sacked the quarterback for a six-yard loss. A second down run was stuffed for a two-yard loss by Mike Lombard, and linebacker Conor McColgan stopped the runner for no gain on third down. Epping’s punt went out at their own 32-yard line, and Bruce Vieira took over from there. Bruce carried the ball for nine yards to the Blue Devils 23-yard line on first down, and then sprinted past everyone for the 23-yard touchdown on the next play. Bruce then swept in for the two point conversion and Pelham had a quick 8-0 lead with 9:10 still left in the first quarter. Pelham’s defense held Epping to minus yardage again on this series, and when they went back to punt, it was blocked by senior Davey Wesson at the Blue Devils 15-yard line. It was the third punt that Wesson has blocked this fall. Three carries by Bruce Vieira sent the scoreboard climbing to 16-0 after Wayne Parisi pulled in a two-point pass from Joe DeAngelo with 6:46 left in the first quarter. Epping finally got over the midfield mark and then Pelham was called for holding, but the blue Devil quarterback tried to go deep, and all that he found was Pelham junior back Joe DeAngelo there to pick it off at the 14-yard line. Vieira and Josh Luciano ran the ball well for a couple of first downs, but a Pelham penalty forced Wayne Parisi’s first punt of the day. The Python defense was still giving Epping fits and Pelham got the ball back and saw Vieira carry it three times for 40 yards, with his last carry going for a 15-yard touchdown run. Parisi nailed the extra point and Pelham now led 23-0 with 9:47 left in the first half. Pelham got the ball back around midfield four plays later and Vieira ran for 13 yards, and Cam Robidoux had a nice 113yard catch of a Joe DeAngelo pass, before DeAngelo dropped back and fired a pin-point 22-yard touchdown pass to Sean Sweeney. Parisi’s second extra point of the day with 5:43 left in the first half gave Pelham a 30-0 cushion. Late in the second quarter Pelham got the ball back and DeAngelo completed two passes to Josh Luciano for 28 yards before Epping came up with an interception at their own three yard line, but two plays later. Mike Lombard and Conor McColgan completely crushed an Epping back and he fumbled, with McColgan scooping it up and dancing into the end zone from five yards out. Parisi’s third extra point of the game gave the Pythons a 37-0 lead that they would hold onto at halftime. Pelham junior Corey Peterson returned to the Python line-up, but was switched from fullback to the offensive line where he played last season and it certainly turned out to be a great move as Pelham ran for over 300 yards on the day. Pelham sophomore running back, Warren Greenhalgh got most of the carries in the second half and he scored on a three-yard run midway through the third quarter to make it a 43-0 game. Freshman quarterback Johnny Bourk once again moved the offense on every series he was out there and he connected with Matt McCarty on a super 25-yard completion. Pelham junior Chris Salaczar had his best game of the season on offense and defensive line, and Ryan Zinnone was all over the field with big hits for the Pythons in that second half.
Python Cheer Squad perfoms at Epping, the ladies placed sixth at the classI state meet.
There were 16 teams competing for the Class I title last Sunday afternoon at Southern New Hampshire University and the Bedford Bulldogs were able to win their second competition in as many weeks after winning the Capital City Competition the Sunday before. Bedford compiled 163 points to breeze by Plymouth, who had 155 points, and third place Con-Val. The Python’s cheerleading squad was coached by Jo-Ann Dodge and came in sixth place out of 16 teams, as they compiled 144 points. The fifth place team had 144.5 points and the fourth place team had 145.5 points. This means they missed fourth place by one stinking point and a half.
Coach Dodge said following the competition, “I don’t know if we had the jitters there because we had Caity Doherty performing with us this week to make up for the girl we lost last week, and every time we practiced our routine we were hitting it right on, but we missed a twist down on one of our stunts and had a near fall on another. Our dance routine was great but I think we were just a little nervous on our stunts and it cost us up there. Seniors Leah Frasca, Caity Doherty, Shannon Gallant, Sarah Levi, Shannon O’Brien and Alyssa Santangelo all performed well on the day, as did juniors Briana Bianchi, Kerry Cabral, Morgan Mosson, and Tiana Perone, sophomore Candace Witkowski, and freshman Nicole Paquette. All these girls will have two more playoff football games to perform for as the Pythons will host the Kearsarge Cougars this Saturday, November 15 beginning at 1 p.m. and they’ll be hosting the Division V championship game the following Saturday, November 22 at 1 p.m. against the winner of the Trinity/Saint Thomas game. Nice job coach Dodge and to all the Python cheerleaders!
On Saturday, November 8, Windham’s two undefeated recreational soccer teams — Portugal and Australia — finished the season with a championship game.
Each team played diligently, struggling between the continually tied-up score. By halftime, the score rested at 6-5, with Portugal in the lead. Portugal player Tyler Kellogg, the coach’s son, and Brandon Swifty scored most goals for the leading team.
At one point, Kellogg had been kicking and aiming so well that the Australian team coach had to say, “Get on him, you know he’s not going to pass!”
Fighting for the win, Portugal won the game with Australia’s great players just a goal behind. The final score for the championship win was 9-8.
“When the referee blew that whistle, my heart started jumping at the excitement of winning the championship,” said Portugal member Mehwish Hussain.
Team players (Australia in blue and Portugal in green) work hard for the win.
New England Gymnastics Training Center of Hudson hosted the second local qualifier of the season. Gymnasts need a 31.00 or higher to compete in the upcoming State Sectional #2.
The girls scored are as follows:
Level 4, 6-8 division
Dakota Cummings, Pelham, placed first with an all around score of 36.200. She received a 9.7 on vault (second place), 9.2 on bars (first place), 8.2 on beam (third place tie) and 9.1 on floor (third place tie).
Cloverlyn Willis, Pelham, placed ninth with an all around score of 33.800. She received a 9.2 on vault (fifth place tie), 8.4on bars (fifth place tie), 8.3 on beam (second place) and 7.9 on floor (11th place).
Level 6, 13-plus age division
Ali Otis, Windham, placed first with an all around score of 35.100. She received a 9.25 on vault (first place), 8.2 on bars (first place), 8.5 on beam (first place tie) and 9.15 on floor (first place).
Grace Vaillancourt, Pelham, placed sixth with an all around score of 34.275. She received a 9.15 on vault (second place), 8.95 on bars (sixth place), 8.0 on beam (sixth place) and 8.175 on floor (seventh place).
The Pelham-Windham Razorback Junior Pee Wee (Green) team capped a 10-0 season with a win over Hudson to clinch the Division 1 New Hampshire State Football Championship. This was an exciting game with both teams battling for rights to the state championship and the Green trying to hold onto a perfect season. For much of the first and second quarters, the Razorback offense pounded the Bears, but costly penalties on several possessions pushed the Green back and a few turnovers coupled with the Bears defensive play kept the typically high scoring home team out of the end zone. Fortunately, the Green defense was stellar giving up very little yardage to keep the Bears to just one first down in the first half. In the final minutes of the second quarter, it looked like the Razorbacks were going to get on the scoring board when a pass from Brendan McInnis to Joe Frake moved the ball to the 3-yard line as time expired.
In the second half, the offense began to click with pounding runs and counter plays up the middle by Kurtis Jolicoeur and Kellin Bail. Again penalties and some long punts caused the Green to be in poor field position and the game remained scoreless after three quarters of play. Finally, a couple of long marches, including a 40-yard pass play from McInnis to Frake, moved the ball up field and into scoring position. McInnis then scored on a cutting run off tackle and Michael Goglia added the extra point. That was all that was needed because the defense that has only allowed four touchdowns all season took over the game. Nick DeCarolis shut down outside runs on one side of the field and Frake closed down the other side. Goglia could not be blocked at defensive tackle and he spent much of the fourth quarter in the Hudson backfield. Linebackers Zach Masiello, Jack Harrington and Shane Lafond closed the inside gaps to shut down the run game while Josh Gallagher and Kevin Anderson applied serious pressure during pass attempts resulting in several quarterback sacks. Safety Bail stayed in close coverage of the Bear receivers all day and he made a great tackle in the closing minutes of play. As time expired, the triumphant Green celebrated their amazing Championship season. The team will now travel to the New England Regional finals on Saturday, November 22 at Bryant College in Rhode Island to face the state champion from either Massachusetts or Connecticut.
Zenon Konopka’s goal with 1:19 left in regulation gave the Norfolk Admirals a 4-3 decision over the Lowell Devils on Tuesday night at the Tsongas Arena. The loss extended Lowell’s winless streak to six games (0-5-1-0), while Norfolk made it three wins in a row.
Down 3-2 in the third period, the Devils battled back to knot the game when Vladimir Zharkov spun off a defender in front and whacked a loose puck under the leg of goalie Karri Ramo at 8:17.
Though the Admirals would not be able to convert on a late power play, they would notch the go-ahead goal just as the Devils got back to full-strength. From behind the net, Steve Downie found a passing lane to the top of the crease, where Konopka banged the puck through the five-hole of goaltender Dave Caruso.
After a scoreless first frame, the Devils were able to grab a 1-0 lead on the man-advantage when Chad Wiseman flicked a wrist shot from the point that deflected past Ramo at 4:07 into the second period. Norfolk answered immediately with a power play goal of its own just 58 seconds after Wiseman’s marker. Stationed at the blueline, defenseman Jamie Heward threw a shot past a screened Caruso to tie the score, 1-1.
Lowell in turn needed only 36 ticks of the clock to regain their edge. Zharkov’s pressure in the Admirals’ zone led to a turnover in the corner for Michael Swift, who sent a pass to the slot that John DiSalvatore chipped inside the far post.
Another flurry of goals later in the second period would give the Admirals their first lead of the game. Heward’s second power play goal of the night evened it up at 10:56 and Paul Szczechura’s wrister from the far circle 16 seconds later made the score 3-2.
Lowell hosts the Albany River Rats on Saturday, November 15 at 7 p.m. Listen to all of the action live on ahllive.com as Ryan Johnston brings you all of the play-by-play. Individual tickets are on sale now for the 2008-2009 season. Contact the Devils at (978) 458-PUCK (7825) for more information or log on to www.lowelldevilshockey.com.
11-0 Pythons Win State Title over Gilford - 2007 State Division V Football Champions
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