Pinkerton Astros Football '18

Pinkerton falls to Bedford in Division 1 title game

DURHAM, N.H. — For most of the second half, it seemed Pinkerton was on the verge of striking.
The Astros caused a pair of turnovers in the third quarter, turned them both into touchdowns and were trailing by just one score heading into the forth quarter.
But Pinkerton turned the ball over twice inside the Bedford 30 yard line in the final 10 minutes, and fell to the top-seeded Bulldogs 28-14 in the Division 1 state championship game on Saturday at the University of New Hampshire’s Wildcat Field.
“Our kids played hard,” said Astros coach Brian O’Reilly. “But, in a championship game, you can’t waste opportunities. We missed a few and that really hurt us. And you can’t do that against a team as good as Bedford.”
It was the second straight season Pinkerton fell short in the title game. The Astros lost to Winnacunnet last fall on the same UNH field.
“Our kids did everything we asked them to do,” said O’Reilly, whose Astros beat Bedford for their last state title in 2014. “There are no regrets. You just have to tip your hat to Bedford. They played a very good game, and they are the state champion.” 
The Bulldogs started quick. They held Pinkerton to a three-and-out to start the game, then marched 75 yards on 15 plays to take a 7-0 lead.
The Astros responded with a drive to the Bedford 19, before a pass was intercepted on fourth down. After another Bedford touchdown, Pinkerton drove to the Bulldog 20, but turned the ball over on downs.
“Those two blown opportunities in the first half hurt a lot,” said O’Reilly. “You just don’t want to miss chances. Then they kept the ball away from us.”
The Astros, however, came out in the second half and began to turn the tide.
On the opening kickoff of the third, an Astro knocked the ball loose and Evan Wilson pounced on it for a turnover. Four plays later — on fourth and goal — Gannon Fast plunged in for a 1-yard touchdown to make it 14-7.
Bedford responded with a score, but on the Bulldogs’ next possession Pinkerton’s Robbie Fahey knocked the ball out of the QB’s hands and Fast recovered the fumble. Two plays after that, Fast scored his second 1-yard touchdown and the score was 21-14.
Unbeaten Bedford, however, was able to respond with a touchdown early in the fourth.
“That drive really gave us the boost we needed to finish the game,” said Bedford running back Harrison LeGoullon (2 TDs). “Pinkerton is a really good team with a very deceptive offense and a lot of good athletes. They also have a very good defense, but this was our game.”
Pinkerton then drove the ball to the Bedford 30 again, but the drive ended with an interception.
After a defensive stop, the Astros drove to the Bulldog 18-yard line with 1:24 to play, but turned the ball over on downs again. Bedford then ran the clock out.
“We did what we could,” said O’Reilly. “They ran the ball so well. They have power runners. We have a very good defense, but we could not get them off the field.”
Astros linebacker Jackson Clark — the transfer from Central Catholic — was all over the field with 16 tackles. Fellow linebacker Jake MacInnis added 11 tackles and a forced fumble and Brady Day had 10 stops. 
Leading the Pinkerton offense was running back Gennaro Marra, who ran for 103 yards on 12 carries. Fast ran for the two touchdowns.
“We only moved the ball sporadically,” said O’Reilly. “They really moved the ball. We had a few big plays, then would get nothing. We went through every aspect of our playbook, but they were able to hold us to minimum gains.
“I tell our kids all the time that, when the game is over and you can say, ‘I did everything I could, I didn’t take a play off and I left everything on the field,’ then you just have to tip your hard to the other team. They were the better team today.”

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Football, 11/17/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Pinkerton rolls past Salem, into state title game

SALEM — Covered from head to toe in mud for the second straight week, Pinkerton’s Gannon Fast raised his arms and let out a shout of excitement as he walked towards the screaming crowd.
“There’s nothing better than winning a game like this,” said Fast. “We went to the state title game last year and lost, so there is nothing better than earning another shot. And we have it now.”
Leading by just six points at halftime, No. 4 Pinkerton scored on its first four possessions of the second half and rolled to a 30-7 victory over No. 3 Salem in the New Hampshire Division 1 semifinal.
The victory sends Pinkerton back to the Division 1 state championship game, on Saturday at the University of New Hampshire (6 p.m.) The Astros (9-2) will face Bedford (11-0), the No. 1-ranked team in New Hampshire.
“It feels so good!” said senior Gennaro Marra. “Our goal all year was to go back to the title game. We want to earn some redemption after last year. But we have a lot of work to do.”
Pinkerton returns to the Division 1 title game after falling to Winnacunnet last season at UNH. It’s the Astros’ 10 trip to the championship game in the last 12 years. They last won the title in 2014.
“What we’ve wanted all season was another chance at a state championship and a championship jacked,” said senior Nick Lombard. “Most of this team were starters last year, and we have grown a lot. Now we are going to see what we need to do to win.”
Saturday’s win also marked the second straight season that Pinkerton beat Salem in the semifinals after falling to the Blue Devils in the regular season. The Blue Devils won a 15-14 thriller on Sept. 28.
“When we played Salem earlier in the year it was hands down our worst game of the season,” said Fast. “Going into this game, the amount of anger and preparedness was indescribable. We were hungry for this win.”
Fast looked hungry to start the game. On Pinkerton’s fourth play from scrimmage he broke free for a 40-yard touchdown run.
But Salem’s defense responded after that and kept the score 6-0 at halftime. The Blue Devils delivered a huge defensive stand right before the break, stopping Pinkerton four times inside their 3-yard line. Owen Gormley, Will Michaud and Beau Dillon each made a stop on the stand.
“We said to each other that at halftime it was either step up now or go home,” said Lombard. “And all we wanted was another shot at a state title. So put left it all out there and got it done.”
The Astros wasted no time taking control after the break.
Four plays into the third, Lombard broke a 48-yard touchdown run. After forcing Salem into a turnover on downs, Pinkerton went on a 14-play drive that ended with a Marra 12-yard score.
Salem was then forced to punt from its 1-yard line, and Pinkerton’s Allen Gault blocked the punt in the end zone and Fast recovered it for a touchdown. 
Fast then capped the scoring a possession later with a 16-yard TD run. He finished with 163 yards rushing on 22 carries. Lombard added 92 yards on 12 rushes.
Meanwhile, the Pinkerton defense dominated. 
The Astros allowed Salem just 168 yards for the game, 62 of those — and the Blue Devils’ touchdown — coming on the final two possessions after the Pinkerton starters had left the game.
Jackson Clark led the Astros with eight tackles, Fast and Evan Wilson each had six tackles and Marcus Terrio knocked down two passes.
“Our linemen really stepped up,” said Lombard. “And our linebackers were all over the place making plays. We did what we needed to do.”
Pinkerton will now look to earn an upset at UNH.
“Bedford is a great team,” said Fast. “They’re undefeated and haven’t played a close game. But I’m excited for a shot at a great team, and another shot at a state championship.”

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Football, 11/10/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Lombard, Pinkerton deliver goal line stand in final moments, earn trip to Division 1 semis

LONDONDERRY — With the game on the line, Pinkerton’s Nick Lombard saw the play develop, and he reacted.
“We knew it was going to come down to that last play,” said Lombard. “We didn’t panic. I saw No. 12 (Jeff Wiedenfeld), who was ripping us apart, get the ball and I immediately came down and made the tackle.”
With 1:31 left in the game and Londonderry facing a fourth-and-goal, the Lancers set up a screen play that seemed to have space. 
But Lombard surged in to wrap the ballcarrier up and bring him down for a loss and a turnover on downs.
No. 4 Pinkerton ran the clock out from there, closing out a thrilling 20-14 victory over top-seeded archrival Londonderry in the New Hampshire Division 1 quarterfinals on Saturday.
“This feels amazing,” said fullback/defensive end Gannon Fast. “People doubt us every week, but we come out and play football. We did exactly what we needed to do. I couldn’t be happier with my boys today. Nothing feels better than this.”
The Astros (8-2) dealt Londonderry (8-2) their only two losses this fall, and extended a winning streak against the Lancers that began in 2002. 
The win sends Pinkerton to the Division 1 semifinals, where it will face No. 3 Salem, which rolled over defending Division 1 champ Winnacunnet 33-14 on Saturday.
The Blue Devils beat the Astros 15-14 in their regular season matchup on Sept. 29. Pinkerton beat Salem 45-28 in last year’s Division 1 semis. 
“As good as this win feels, it will feel even better if we get a win next week,” said running back/defensive back Gennaro Marra. “Salem came to our field earlier this season and embarrassed us. So we have to be ready to play. We can’t wait to face them.”
For a few moments on Saturday, however, Londonderry seemed poised for a dramatic victory.
Fast gave Pinkerton the lead with 8:06 left when he plunged in for a 1-yard touchdown, his second of the game. But the extra point was blocked, making the Astros’ lead just six.
Londonderry then took over at its 35, and embarked on a methodical 15-play drive that advanced to Astro 8-yard line with 2:26 left on the clock.
But Pinkerton’s Robbie Fahey stuffed a run on first down, and Jackson Clark made a tackle for a short gain on second down. Londonderry went to the air on third down, but Johan Rosario knocked the ball away.
That left the Lancers with one play to decide the game.
“They had been running that screen for most of the game,” said Marra. “So we saw it coming. Nick is a really smart player, so he was able to get up there and make the tackle. It was a great play.”
Lombard was then mobbed by his teammates.
“I think I blacked out on that play,” Fast said with a laugh. “It was crazy. Great play by Nick.”
Londonderry threatened to take control throughout the contest, but Pinkerton was able to find the answer each time.
The Lancers scored just before halftime to make it 7-7, then opened the second half with a drive to the Astro 29-yard line.
But Pinkerton linebacker Jake MacInnis jumped a pass route, intercepted a pass and sprinted 73 yards for a touchdown to give the Astros the lead.
Londonderry tied it up with a 13-play, 80-yard drive. But Pinkerton struck right back with its own 80-yard drive, and Fast made it 20-14, setting up the final stand.
“I didn’t have the chance to play Londonderry in the regular season,” said Lombard, who was then battling an ankle injury. “So it was really nice to go out and get the big win. On offense, we just needed to protect the ball and not let turnovers beat us. And then we needed to take care of business on that last drive.”
Marra led the Astros with 110 yards on just nine carries. Fast added 89 yards on 16 rushes. Pinkerton threw the ball just three times, but one was a crucial 31-yard completion from QB Aiden Goujon to Trent Leduc that set up the team’s first score.
Clark and Lombard each led the Astros with eight tackles, while Fahey added six stops and Leduc had four tackles.
The Astros now set their focus on Salem, and earning a return trip to the state title game.
“We have a huge game next week,” said Lombard. “We lost to them by one point earlier this season, and it hurt. We are excited for a second chance.”
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Football, 11/03/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Pinkerton goes Fast


HAMPTON — Gannon Fast rushed for 146 yards and three touchdowns and even threw for a TD as Pinkerton punched its ticket to the Division 1 playoffs with a 40-14 romp over Winnacunnet.

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Football, 10/26/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Windham runs past Pinkerton to keep playoff hopes alive

DERRY - Ever since the calendar flipped to October, Windham has had a job to do.

After a rocky 2-3 start, the Jaguars pretty much knew they needed to win out to make the playoffs. And that's what they've done.

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Football, 10/19/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Pinkerton rolls over Portsmouth

PORTSMOUTH — The Pinkerton football team had little issue with Portsmouth Friday night, rolling to a convincing 36-7 win.

Gennaro Marra gave the Astros (6-1) the lead for good with a 4-yard touchdown run in the first quarter. Then in the second quarter, Gannon Fast, Nick Lombard each scored on TD runs and Brandon Roy nailed a 21-yard field goals to make it 22-0 at halftime.

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Football, 10/12/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Complete Pinkerton routs Timberlane

PLAISTOW — There wasn't a single aspect of the game that Pinkerton failed to execute Friday night.

The Astros scored on offense, defense and on special teams to earn an easy 44-10 win over Timberlane. 

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Football, 10/05/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Pinkerton still the team to beat after statement win over Londonderry

LONDONDERRY - Pinkerton was mad. Pinkerton was fired up. Pinkerton felt disrespected.

And that's never good for its opponent.

The storyline heading into Friday night was simple.

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Football, 09/21/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Pinkerton holds Fast, clips Exeter

DERRY — Yes, Pinkerton senior Gannon Fast has good speed, fitting for his name, and he’s shown over the last two years that he’s a more than solid running back.

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Football, 09/17/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars

Pinkerton rolls to dominant season-opening win

DERRY — The season could not have started any more perfectly for Pinkerton, even if QB Aiden Goujon was feeling a bit shaky on his team’s opening play.
“I honestly thought I was going to mess up the first play,” said Goujon with a laugh. “First game jitters were getting to me. But I just put the ball out there and (Ryan) Auger caught it and took off.”
On Pinkerton’s first offensive play of the season, Goujon tossed a perfectly-placed pass to Auger, and the receiver easily cruised in for a 33-yard touchdown.
It was all Astros from there, as the defending Division 1 finalists easily handled Spaulding 48-0 in the season-opener for both teams.
“We are feeling good,” said running back/defensive lineman Gannon Fast. “We were really excited and came out feeling ready to play. You could tell early on things were going our way, and everyone did a great job.”
Pinkerton ran just 13 offensive plays in the first half, accumulating 270 yards and scoring touchdowns on all six possessions. 
On their third play from scrimmage, Nick Lombard broke an 8-yard score. 
The Astros’ only first-half possession that lasted more than three plays came next, a six-play, 91-yard drive that ended with an Evan Wilson 41-yard score. 
Gennaro Marra then added a 39-yard score, Fast broke an untouched 79-yard touchdown and Jon Cooper picked up a fumble and ran it 35 yards for a score to make it 41-0 at halftime. 
The Pinkerton backups started the second half, and needed just four plays to add another score on a Brady Day 14-yard score.
“It was hard to control our excitement for the game all day,” said Goujon, who completed both of his passes for 57 yards. “I couldn’t sleep last night, and I know a lot of guys felt the same way. After that first (touchdown) pass everything calmed down. We were back playing football. Everything was working well on offense and it was a good win.” 
The Astros defense allowed just 43 rushing yards on 28 Spaulding carries in the first half. 
The Red Raiders did complete two passes for 67 yards to advance to the Pinkerton 9 yard line on their second possession. But Wilson and Jackson Davis each made a tackle and Auger knocked down a pass on fourth down to end Spaulding’s lone scoring threat in the game.
“The defense did everything so well,” said Fast, who made five tackles. “We had trouble in the flats on a couple of passes, but we locked it down. The line was great, the linebackers did well and our defensive backs had a great day.”
The Astros will next travel next Friday to face a Dover team that beat Timberlane 34-14 on Friday.
“We’re a senior-laded team and Spaulding was a young team,” said Pinkerton coach Brian O’Reilly. “We can throw the ball, run outside and inside and we played some pretty good defense. We have to work hard to improve, but this was a very good way to start the season.”
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Football, 08/31/18 » 0 Comments & 0.0 Stars