Pinkerton Astros Football '15

Pinkerton shut out for the first time in 140 games, eliminated from tournament

DERRY — Pinkerton coach Brian O’Reilly struggled for an explanation as he began to walk off the dimming, wind-swept field just yards away from where Exeter was celebrating a trip to the state title game.

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Football, 11/14/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Pinkerton ousts Owls

DERRY — As much as the regular season home loss to Timberlane Regional stung, it was the 31 Owls points that night three weeks ago that stuck with Pinkerton Academy all the way through the final whistle in Saturday afternoon’s Division 1 State Quarterfinals. “They moved it on us last time, but this is all about the fight,” said Astros linebacker James Tulley, who again played an heroic role in the Astros win. “We had to contain (Owls QB Jason Hughes) — he’s great inside or on the scramble, and we did that. We had to. It’s the playoffs. You’re playing for your life.” Tulley and the Astros forced a pair of turnovers, allowing only a 41-yard Hughes field goal in the second half, to close out Timberlane, 23-17, and avenge one of just two blemishes on the Astros’ regular-season slate. Saturday at 1 p.m., top-seeded Pinkerton will host East Conference champion Exeter High for a shot to play in the Division 1 state title game. “That was two really good football teams on the field today,” said Timberlane coach Kevin Fitzgerald. They made a few more plays than we did, that was the difference today. We had trouble finding things consistently on offense. It just was not enough today.” It certainly looked like two evenly-matched squads that saw Pinkerton leap to a 13-0 lead early, only to have Hughes turn the corner on a scramble and race to the pylon for a TD on the final play at the half, slicing the margin to 20-14. Timberlane had the ball coming out of halftime, too, with all kinds of momentum. But neither defense wanted to budge after the break. Timberlane’s Hall Twins, Austin and Travis, stood tall against the rush, while the name, Zach Thibeault echoed repeatedly from the announcer’s booth, after nearly every thunderous collision. Pinkerton had its answer guys, too. Joe Lydick (11 tackles, 1 interception) and Mike Curley were all around the football, chasing, harassing and forcing ill-timed cutbacks smack-dab into the heart of the Astro pursuit. Each team surrendered a field goal, leaving the margin at six points late when Timberlane, one of the surprise teams in the state all season, took its final shot. Hughes authored one miracle with about a minute left, heaving a 38-yard bomb that Brendan Frezza (3 catches, 99 yards) corralled on his knees at the Astros’ 29. That came on a 4th and 26. But that’s where the end came. After killing the clock on first down, Hughes couldn’t connect on the next three throws, sealing the deal for the Astros, who are looking to repeat as state champs. The key on the whole day was the attention Pinkerton paid to Hughes, who was held to 12 carries for 12 yards after riddling the Astros in the regular season (20 carries, 103 yards). “He’s quite an athlete, the most difficult quarterback we’ve had to deal with all year,” said Pinkerton coach Brian O’Reilly. “He just keeps making plays with his feet. They’ve got a lot of good players, he’s the difference maker.” Pinkerton 23, Timberlane 17 Division 1 Quarterfinals Timberlane (7-3):      0 14 0 3 — 17 Pinkerton (8-2):     13  7 0 3 — 23 First Quarter  Pink — Brett Dattilo 15 run (kick blocked) 8:26  Pink — James Tulley 13 pass from Ryan Albrecht (Kyle Cantalupo kick) 2:50 Second Quarter  Timb — Tyler Furey 2 run (Jason Hughes kick) 11:54  Pink — Nico Buccieri 8 run (Cantalupo kick) 1:39  Timb — Hughes 3 run (Hughes kick) :00 Fourth Quarter  Pink — Cantalupo 19 field goal, 8:38  Timb — Jason Hughes 41 field goal, 6:57 INDIVIDUAL LEADERS RUSHING: Timberlane (41-181) — Jake Post 8-57, Tyler Furey 18-80, Jason Hughes 12-12, Kyle Faucher 3-32; Pinkerton (40-146) — James Tulley 13-45, Brett Dattilo 12-50, Nico Buccieri 5-9, Mike Curley 4-14, Ryan Albrecht 6-28 PASSING: Timberlane, Hughes 5-17-1, 113; Pinkerton, Albrecht 6-9-0, 142 RECEIVING: Timberlane, Brendan Frezza 3-99, Furey 1-7, Elijah Sorenson 1-7; Pinkerton, Tulley 4-72, Dattilo 1-21, Kayden Baillargeon 1-49

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Football, 11/08/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Tulley does it!

EXETER — Pinkerton Academy’s football pulse was faint at the very best. Exeter High needed to move the chains one more time with its meat-grinder of an offense — 10 yards — and the Astros’ season, once so promising at 6-0, would be put on ice without a trip to the playoffs for the first time since 2002. Did they know? “Of course they did — I told them!” said Pinkerton coach Brian O’Reilly, who took one of the few breaks once-beaten Exeter would offer on this night and piloted Pinkerton to victory, 13-12, and right into next week’s Division 1 playoffs. “It’s hard to stop that offense. For that defense to come up with that fumble, you just don’t see that against Exeter.” Exeter, nursing a 12-7 lead deep into the fourth, had just moved the chains for its fourth straight first-down with three minutes to go. Just keep rolling. One more and lights out, right? “That didn’t happen,” said Pinkerton senior linebacker James Tulley, who was everywhere in the fourth on both offense and defense to keep Pinkerton afloat. “We never gave up on each other. All I saw was great attack by my linemen and linebackers. And once I saw that ball loose, there was no way anyone else out there was going to get it.” Tulley pounced on the ball at the 38 with Pinkerton needing to traverse 62 yards in the final 2:56. The son of Central Catholic and UMass linebacking legend Matt Tulley caught passes of 18 and 13 passes, plus the biggest of them all, an 8-yarder from Ryan Albrecht (10 of 15, 113 yards) on fourth and-2 to put the Astros in business, first and goal from the Exeter 6. Tulley got his nose dirty again on the next play, springing Nico Buccieri around right end for the game-winning touchdown on a rarely-used fullback sweep with 33 seconds left. Buccieri hadn’t touched the football till the fourth quarter, but the second-stringer proved to be the difference. “He’s faster (than starter Mike Curley); Mike’s our inside guy, he gets the tough yards. But we just couldn’t run inside against them,” said O’Reilly. “They told me upstairs they thought the fullback toss was there. Tulley was the guy making the block, and Nico has got some speed.” Having ousted Winnacunnet, one of the two teams to beat them in the regular season, with the win, the Astros get the opportunity to pay back the other in their playoff opener vs. Timberlane Regional, a game tentatively slated for 1 p.m. Saturday at Pinkerton. “Two minutes to play, you’ve just got to suck it up for the last two minutes, and do all you can,” explained Tulley about his team’s reaction to nearly being eliminated. “Pinkerton needed that ball, and I’d do anything for Pinkerton.” Pinkerton’s defense held that monotonous Exeter straight-T to just the 12 points, despite yielding 254 yards. Along with the Tulley recovery, Kaelan Queiros denied Exeter earlier in the fourth quarter with a 10-yard strip-sack on fourth down.

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Football, 10/31/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Dattilo goes over 1,000 yards

DOVER — Plagued by mistakes in the first half, Pinkerton used a punishing ground attack to pull away from Dover, 48-21, Friday night. With the win, the Astros improved to 6-2 with a must-win situation at Exeter left next week to assure they’ll advance to the playoffs. Tied up 14-14 at halftime, Pinkerton went ahead 21-14 in the third quarter when Mike Curley followed a 79-yard run with a one-yard plunge, and the Astros then scored three straight TDs in the fourth quarter to pull away. The first TD of the final frame came on a 79-yard pass play from Ryan Albrecht to James Tulley but, other than that, the Astros stuck to the ground and finished with 473 yards rushing. Brett Dattilo led the way with 152 yards and three touchdowns on nine carries to surpass 1,000 yards on the season. Curley finished with 112 yards on nine attempts and Nick Coombs had 61 yards and a touchdown on just three carries Sophomore Matt Newman had an 80-yard TD run and 91 yards on the day

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Football, 10/24/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Hughes, Owls stun Pinkerton

DERRY — With its football team trailing, 21-17, deep in the fourth quarter of an absolute war with defending state champion Pinkerton Academy, the Timberlane Regional band rose as one and boldly belted out the “I believe that we will win!” chant. Talk about a statement … not to mention the prediction. About 10 minutes later, that same unwavering band broke into celebration — together in the end zone with the Owls – as Timberlane fulfilled the melodic prophecy with a pulsating 31-28 decision. “What a huge win! Massive!” said Timberlane quarterback Jason Hughes, an absolute stud all night moving the chains on third and fourth downs. “But to us this is not an upset. They’re a great team. We just believed in ourselves and knew that we could play with them.” The victory inserts 5-2 Timberlane right into the thick of the chaotic Division 1 South/East playoff hunt, one which could leave the Astros, losers of two straight for the first time since 2009, on the outside looking in. “Looking realistically, with no real upsets, it’s pretty clear for us,” said Astros’ coach Brian O’Reilly. “We need to win our last two (at Dover, at unbeaten Exeter) or we’re not going to be in the playoffs.” Pinkerton appeared a bit angry over last week’s 17-7 loss here to Winnacunnet. The Astros busted out to a 14-0 lead. “We expected a playoff type atmosphere, and we got that kind of effort from our players,” said O’Reilly. Junior QB Ryan Albrecht hit his first five passes of the night, loosening up the Astros and finding a dangerous threat in senior James Tulley (4 catches, 158 yards). Tulley’s first-quarter TD grabs of 21 and 56 yards had the Astros in gear. “I’m so proud of the way our kids reacted,” said Timberlane coach Kevin Fitzgerald, his team closing in on the first playoff appearance for the Owls since 2011. “They came out and punched us in the face. We took it and just bounced right back. “Jay (Hughes) made plays, (Jake Post) made plays and (Tyler Furey) made plays for us. The kids really responded.” Hughes and the Timberlane offense simply owned the last three quarters. Over the last 37:28, the Astros would run just 19 plays, compared to the Owls 50. “We just couldn’t make stops on defense and get off the field,” said O’Reilly. “We couldn’t get the ball back in our hands, it seemed like the whole second half.” Down 21-17 at the intermission, Timberlane dominated the third quarter with a 14-play march that wilted in the red zone. A tough stop — aided by what O’Reilly termed a questionable holding call on what would have been the Astros’ biggest play of the night — put Timberlane in business at its own 21 to start the fourth quarter. Just about the same time, the sophomore Post found his high gear. “The kid is a trooper, a weapon,” said Hughes. Hughes-to-Post moved the chains on 3rd-and-12. The two clicked for 14 more and then 18, the latter coming on a 3rd-and-9. Finally, on 3rd-and-goal from the 5, it was Post pounding in off tackle, making it 24-21 Owls with 4:46 left. “He wants the ball in his hands,” said Fitzgerald. “He showed what he can be out there.” And that’s where this one turned wild. Pinkerton responded brilliantly when Albrecht (7 of 10 for 228 yards) hit Tulley again, this one for 60 down to the Timberlane 13. But a 15-yard sideline penalty backed the Astros up to the 28 and Timberlane pounced on a fumble into the end zone to deny Pinkerton’s bid to take the lead. “The penalty was on me. I was in the way as the ref bumped me on the way by,” said O’Reilly. Pinkerton forced a punt, and Albrecht’s lone mistake, a throw into coverage that Travis Hall picked off and ran back 27 yards for a TD seemed to ice it. The Astros, down 31-21, found one last gasp of breath on the ensuing squib kick. Nico Buccieri motored 70 yards through the crowd to again slice the margin to 3 at 31-28. The onside kick that followed was swooped on by Owl Elijah Sorenson and Timberlane ran out the remaining clock.

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Football, 10/17/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Astros get off the mat to down upset-minded Merrimack

MERRIMACK — Upset-minded Merrimack threw a major scare into unbeaten Pinkerton, but the Astros proved onced again why they are the top-ranked team in the state.

The Astros, who at one point trailed 19-7, stormed back to take a hard-fought win, 42-32. It was their 17th straight win and hiked their record this fall to 5-0.

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Football, 10/02/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Pinkerton beats Londonderry for 18th straight time

DERRY  — The Lancers from Londonderry arrived unfashionably late — waiting until just before the school bands hooked up for the Star Spangled Banner before showing up on the Pinkerton Field.

The Astros controlled the early going then ran away with a 35-20 win. It was Pinkerton's 18th consecutive victory over its border rival. The Lancers' last win in the rivalry was in 2001.

"I'm proud that we answered the bell against a team that really, truly wanted to take it to us," Pinkerton coach Brian O'Reilly said after his Astros won their fourth consecutive game to open the season. "Waiting until just before the game to show up and then fake punts, on-side kicks, hook-and-ladder (passes) ... they gave us everything we had, and we needed to be able to answer to that type of situation.

"I'm not going to quibble over a 35-20 game, but I would have liked to have stopped them on that last score and not let them drive down the field."

Spending the entire first quarter on the Londonderry side of the 50, the undefeated Astros first shook off a stout Lancer defense that stymied their first two possessions before opening a 21-point lead midway through the second quarter.

James Tulley sparked the offense with a 5-yard run late in the opening stanza before Ryan Albrecht hooked up with sophomore receiver Kayden Baillargeon on a 49-yard pass. Brett Dattilo followed with a 73-yard burst for the 21-0 lead with 5:57 left untill halftime.

Baillargeon's catch came one play after the Astros stopped Londonderry on a fourth-and-1, and Dattilo's run came three plays after a fourth-and-7 stop at the Pinkerton 14.

"It's our rivalry game, but we try to take it game by game," said Albrecht, who had his second straight strong outing, completing three of his six passes for 96 yards. "I thought (Londonderry showing up late) was disrespectful not to warmup before playing our team. It provided a little fire."

Londonderry (1-3) cut the deficit with a 31-yard Jake Stevens' run before intermission, but the Astros reclaimed a 21-point lead when Baillargeon recovered a Tulley fumble in the end zone.

"I'm proud we took care of the offensive line of scrimmage in the second half," O'Reilly said. The Lancers received touchdowns from Cam Reddy on an 8-yard pass from David Wiedenfeld and Nick Donnelly hauled in a 15-yarder from Stevens in the fourth. But those scores were offset by a 28-yard Nick Coombs run for Pinkerton with 10 minutes left in the fourth.

"I just didn't want my guys to look over and see Pinkerton," Londonderry's second-year coach Jimmy Lauzon said of performing pregame warm-ups at home before the bus trip. "Sometimes (the Astros) win games just because of the jerseys they wear. We wanted to focus on how we do things. They have a mental hold on us at this point, and have for the past (17) years."

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Football, 09/25/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Dattilo runs wild, Pinkerton finishes off Salem

SALEM — Brett Dattilo and his Pinkerton teammates heard the doubters and read the stories picking Salem to score the upset over the defending champions and take control of the New Hampshire Division 1 standings. Their reaction?

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Football, 09/19/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars