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Sat, Nov 19, 2011 12:00 PM @ Pinkerton
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Playoff Game
Exeter 3 7 3 10 23
Pinkerton 0 13 0 0 13

Heartbroken Pinkerton sets eyes on 2011

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Sunday, November, 20 By David Willis
Staff writer

DERRY — After striking the ground with his helmet multiple times, emotional linebacker Matt Madden made a promise to his teammates and anyone who was listening.

“This should not have happened,” said Madden. “And we’re going to work so hard every day to make sure this does not happen again next season.”

Emotions were running high following Pinkerton’s upset loss to Exeter in the Division 1 title game yesterday afternoon. But, through the tears, there was a touch of optimism when looking towards the 2012 football season.

“Every year is a championship year at Pinkerton,” said running back Manny Latimore. “That is our expectation. We can very well win the title next season.”

It won’t be easy next year. The Astros lose six starters from the offense and seven on defense, including Eagle-Tribune All-Stars running back Emmitt Smith (1,466 yards, 17 TDs), fullback/linebacker Kevin Davies (1,321, 19 TDs) and lineman Jesse Trottier along with dynamic receiver/defensive back Ryan Coombs.

But the cupboard is far from bare for Pinkerton, which will have a number of key names back from this season’s 10-2 squad.

“I think this team will be really good next season,” said Davies. “This is going to sting for them through the whole offseason, and it will motivate them to come back and train that much harder. They also have some talent.”

With Smith and Davies gone, the offense will likely be in the hands of blazing fast running back Latimore. As a sophomore this season, he rushed for 535 yards on just 69 carries (7.7 yards a carry) as the other starting back in Pinkerton’s wing-T attack. He added four touchdowns, including the game-changing 76-yarder in the state semifinals against Salem.

And he will not be alone.

Also back is starting quarterback Chris St. Onge (637 passing yards, 7 TDs), who was also under center for the 2010 title team and starting offensive linemen Jake Bernaiche and David Hansen

“They have varsity experience and some really good guys,” said Smith. “I’ll be rooting for them. I absolutely think they can do it with the help of coach (Brian) O’Reilly and his staff.”

Despite the losses on defense, few teams will return a linebacker pair as experienced as junior Matt St. Onge and sophomore Madden, both in their second season as starters. Yesterday, St. Onge was one off the team-high with 10 tackles and Madden added nine stops of his own.

Both also play offense, with Madden a tight end and St. Onge a fullback. The latter rushed for the opening touchdown against Salem last week. The other starter back is safety Sean Conroy, who had three tackles yesterday.

“We are a senior-based team,” said O’Reilly. “We’ll be doing some rebuilding next year. But I’m not crying poverty. We have a good program, we have some talent, and our freshman team has been undefeated six straight seasons.”

One common theme throughout the team was that there would be no down time before the players would return to the weight room.

“It starts now,” said Matt St. Onge. “We couldn’t get it done this year, but we have to start thinking about next year now. I hate to lose the guys, but next week we’ll be right at work again.

Latimore echoed that sentiment, “We have to move on. We have to pull together and plan for next year. It starts Monday.”

When they do start on their quest for a title in 2012, they will be doing it with the outgoing seniors as an inspiration.

“There are a lot of seniors here that took me under their wing and taught me a lot,” said Latimore. “We will do everything we can to make it back here and win it for them.”

Game Statistics:

Division 1 championship

First Quarter

E — Logan Laurent FG 35, 0:00

Second Quarter

P — Emmitt Smith 78 run (Ryan Coombs kick), 11:09

P — Smith 78 run (kick failed), 7:14

E — Lucas Gajewski 15 pass from Jamieson Tymann (Laurent kick), 3:42

Third Quarter

E — Laurent FG 40, 0:04

Fourth Quarter

E — Conor Carrier 37 run (Laurent kick), 7:10

E — Laurent FG 23, 2:02

 


INDIVIDUAL LEADERS

RUSHING: Exeter (59-227) — Tyler Grant 31-119, Conor Carrier 9-71; Pinkerton (27-238) — Emmitt Smith 12-189, Kevin Davies 8-36, Chris St. Onge 4-15, Manny Latimore 3-(-2)

PASSING: Exeter — Jamieson Tymann 2-6-0, 20; Pinkerton — St. Onge 4-10-0, 35

RECEIVING: Exeter — Lucas Gajewski 1-15, Grant 1-5; Pinkerton — Ryan Coombs 1-22, David Andrews 1-14, Latimore 1-6, Smith 1-(-7)

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