Pelham Pythons Football '08

Sat, Nov 15, 2008 01:00 PM @ Pelham
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Playoff Game
Kearsarge 0 0 6 0 6
Pelham 0 7 14 7 28

Pelham to defend Div. 5 title

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Saturday, November, 15 By Chuck Frye
Sports editor

PELHAM, N.H. — “We got one more. We got one more.”

Right after the post-game handshake following a convincing 28-6 victory over fourth-seeded Kearsarge yesterday, Pelham standout Bruce Vieira reminded his teammates there was more work to be done. Not really a surprise from someone who backed up his amped-up behavior on the field with visions of success both on a short- and long-term basis.

“Bruce is one of the hardest workers I’ve ever had,” said Python head coach Tom Babaian. “He wants to win more than anybody else, and that’s important. As a high school kid, he has a focus others don’t have.”

And that focus lets Pelham (10-0) defend its Division 5 title Saturday, hosting a No. 3 St. Thomas Aquinas team that upset second seed Trinity 21-15. The Pythons defeated St. Thomas (7-3) — like Kearsarge a Division 4 program until realignment this season, 17-3 on the road Oct. 25.

Vieira was a force in every way, starting with special teams. After receiving an illegal hit that negated a 48-yard Kearsarge punt via a personal foul flag, the senior saw a shanked re-kick spinning to rest at the Cougar 32. While Kearsarge waited for a whistle, Vieira zoomed in and grabbed the ball. Weaving down the left sideline, sophomore Mike Lombard and senior Bill Helliwell cleared his path to the end zone early in the second quarter.

Wayne Parisi drilled his first of four point-after kicks for a 7-0 advantage.

As the Python offense produced behind Josh Luciano (56 yards) and quarterback Joe DeAngelo (97 total yards), the return squad again put the Cougars behind the 8-ball. Opening the second half, junior Cam Robidoux took a line-drive kickoff at his own 27 and went straight down the left side untouched in 13 seconds for the shockingly speedy score.

“That was huge,” Babaian said. “The (blocking) wedge was in the middle but he took it outside, hit the seam and took off. He made a nice play individually.”

Linebacker Corey Peterson blew up a fourth-and-1 for a loss on Kearsarge’s next drive and DeAngelo rewarded the stop with authority seven plays later, rifling a perfect 40-yard throw to classmate Josh Luciano in stride for a commanding 21-0 lead with 4:43 left in the third quarter.

Now under the gun, Kearsarge took to the air after not throwing a first-half pass. Quarterback Jack Morgan did well (8 of 12, 70 yards with a touchdown) but suffered a deflected pass by safety Vieira (seven tackles) followed on the next play by an interception from DeAngelo at his own 20.

Changing his role to offensive workhorse, Vieira (24 carries, 99 yards) got 11 of his squad’s last 20 touches including a 2-yard off-tackle touchdown tote with 4:15 left in the game.

Of his squad’s return to the title contest, Babaian concluded, “This is what you play the games for, why you coach, why the players come out for football. It’s going to take a great effort by the whole team (to repeat), but we’ll enjoy (yesterday’s win) and get back to work tomorrow.”

Game Statistics:

Second Quarter

P — Bruce Vieira 32 punt return (Wayne Parisi kick), 10:47

Third Quarter

P — Cam Robidoux 73 kickoff return (Parisi kick), 11:49

P — Josh Luciano 40 pass from Joe DeAngelo (Parisi kick), 4:43

K — Doug Gregory 15 pass from Jack Morgan (kick failed), 2:42 

Fourth Quarter

P — Vieira 2 run (Parisi kick), 4:15



RUSHING: Kearsarge (26-81) — Ryan Jenkins 10-65, Dan Hodgdon 5-20, Doug Gregory 3-13, Cody Anderson 4-8, Jack Morgan 4-(-25); Pelham (47-187) — Bruce Vieira 24-99, Josh Luciano 11-56, Joe DeAngelo 7-22, Cam Robidoux 4-7, Tim Schaffer 1-3

PASSING: Kearsarge — Morgan 8-12-1, 70; Pelham — DeAngelo 3-6-1, 75

RECEIVING: Kearsarge — Matt Carroll 3-27, Tom Prohl 2-11, Gregory 1-15, Anderson 1-12, Jenkins 1-5; Pelham — Luciano 2-50, Wayne Parisi 1-25

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