Pinkerton Astros Football '18

Sat, Nov 10, 2018 01:00 PM @ Salem
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Pinkerton 6 0 12 12 30
Salem 0 0 0 7 7

Pinkerton rolls past Salem, into state title game

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Saturday, November, 10 By David Willis
Staff writer

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.”

Game Statistics:

First Quarter

P — Gannon Fast 40 run (kick failed), 9:16

Third Quarter

P — Nick Lombard 48 run (kick failed), 10:13

P — Gennaro Marra 12 run (rush failed), 4:57 

Fourth Quarter

P — Gannon Fast punt block recover in end zone (kick failed), 11:14

P — Fast 16 run (kick failed), 8:32

S — Donovan Abraham 30 pass from Kyle Poulin (Zach Gibbons kick), 3:20 



RUSHING: Pinkerton (49-309) — Gannon Fast 22-163, Nick Lombard 12-92, Gennaro Marra 11-48, Aiden Goujon 2-4, Robert Leake 1-1, Andrew Guillmette 1-1; Salem (26-74) — Will Michaud 12-36, Brandon Wall 3-15, Riley Mulvey 6-19, Kyle Poulin 4-1, Daniel Johnston 1-2

PASSING: Pinkerton — Aiden Goujon 1-2-0, 13; Salem — Kyle Poulin 6-15-0, 94

RECEIVING: Pinkerton — Marra 1-13; Salem — Michael Ference 2-64, Riley Mulvey 3-0, Donovan Abraham 1-30

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