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Merrimack Tomahawks Football '15

Hughes powers Timberlane past Merrimack

MERRIMACK — Jason Hughes had a heck of a day for Timberlane, scoring on offense, defense and special teams to lead the Owls to a 24-0 win over Merrimack and clinch a spot in the playoffs. Hughes scored on a 1-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, and in the third he kicked a 26-yard field goal and returned an interception 45-yards for a touchdown. He also kicked extra points on all three of Timberlane's touchdowns, went 5 for 13 with 56 yards passing and added 44 yards rushing on 10 carries. While Hughes scored most of the points, Tyler Furey carried most of the load, rushing for 179 yards on 34 carries while scoring Timberlane's last touchdown from 8-yards out in the fourth. Jacob Post also had 46 yards rushing and 56 yards receiving, Travis Hall recovered a fumble and Josh Thibeault had an interception. Overall it was a great day for the Owls, who had it tougher than the score would indicate, according to coach Kevin Fitzgerald. "We had to work, they're a good team," Fitzgerald said of Merrimack. "We played extremely well defensively all night, and we were able to keep some momentum going into the playoffs." Timberlane is now 7-2 and will face Pinkerton in the first round of the state tournament next Saturday.

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Football, 10/30/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Sibanda runs wild, leads Salem past Merrimack

SALEM — Between the backbreaking penalties early and the big touchdown run that was called back for an inadvertent whistle, it looked for a while like it wouldn't be Salem's day, but the Blue Devils fought back and came away with the 37-26 win over Merrimack on Friday night. The difference for Salem was Charles Sibanda, who exploded for 193 yards and two touchdowns on 20 carries after being held to just 26 yards rushing in the first half. Sibanda's second half performance was critical for a team that just couldn't seem to catch a break. Down by one early in the second half, Salem saw a great scoring chance undone by an unsportsmanlike conduct penalty, which sent the Devils all the way back into their own red zone. Within three plays, Merrimack forced a turnover on downs and then scored on its very first play to make it 13-6. Salem was able to recover going into halftime, with Nick Shumski tying the game on a 15-yard touchdown and Matt Ayotte preserving the 13-13 tie at halftime with an interception with 3.2 left in the half, and early in the third quarter, Sibanda broke free for a 61-yard touchdown run that came on a play fake so good that it even fooled the referee. Unfortunately, the ref blew the play dead when the player he thought had the ball was tackled, costing Salem the score. "It was an inadvertent whistle, so by rule the ball has to come back," said Salem coach Rob Pike. "It's an unfortunate thing to happen on a misdirection play." Salem wound up throwing an interception two plays later, and just like before, Merrimack only needed one play to capitalize, scoring on an 18-yard touchdown pass from Justin Grassini to Tyler DeNeill to make it 20-13. The game could have gone either way from that point, but from that point on, it was all Salem. The Devils marched down the field on their next drive, chipping away at the lead thanks to a 21-yard field goal by Jacob Bosworth, and after forcing a three-and-out, they ran the ball right down right down Merrimack's throat, taking the lead on a 3-yard run by senior captain Sean Nartiff. Sibanda carried the Devils down the field on the team's next drive, breaking loose for a 62-yard gain to set up a 3-yard score midway through the fourth. Merrimack scored once more with 3:24 to play, but Salem picked up the first downs it needed to run out the clock, and then scored one more time anyway on a 31-yard Nick Shumski run, his second of the day. Salem improves to 5-2 with the win and is at Portsmouth next Friday at 7 p.m.

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Football, 10/16/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Eichman (4 TDs), Merrimack sink Londonderry

LONDONDERRY — Sophomore Joe Eichman rushed for four touchdowns and Merrimack whipped Londonderry 41-7.

The Tomahawks (4-2) threw a scare into Pinkerton last week and Friday night they showed it wasn't a fluke.

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Football, 10/09/15 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Eichman (4 TDs), Merrimack sink Londonderry

LONDONDERRY — Sophomore Joe Eichman rushed for four touchdowns and Merrimack whipped Londonderry 41-7.

The Tomahawks (4-2) threw a scare into Pinkerton last week and Friday night they showed it wasn't a fluke.

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Football, 10/09/15 » 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