Nashua North Titans Football '07

Fri, Oct 26, 2007 07:00 PM @ Methuen
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Nashua North 6 14 0 6 26
Methuen 10 0 0 7 17

Methuen will remember the Titans

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Saturday, October, 27 By Mike McMahon
Staff writer

METHUEN | After last night's game with Nashua North, Methuen coach Pat Graham couldn't help but scratch his head. He had just watched his injury-plagued Rangers get run over by a Titan offense that rushed for 288 yards on 35 carries. Nashua North's John-Leon Gosselin, a 5-foot-11, 215-pound fullback, had just smashed Graham's defense in the mouth, continually running up the gut, daring the Rangers to stop him to the tune of 170 yards on 24 carries.

Rob Miller added an alternate attack to his much larger teammate, using his speed to bounce to the outside and outrun the Rangers. He picked up 97 yards on five carries, with touchdown sprints of 45 and 25 yards to help the Titans improve to 2-7.

"That's what we prepared for," Graham said of the Titans' running attack. "We had the defenses to stop it, too, we just didn't execute.

"I don't know, I can't say it's back to the drawing board. We practice hard all week and I think we are getting better, and we come out here tonight and don't show it. It's a shame, I want to see these kids get a win. It's just fundamental stuff, making tackles, we had to have missed 20 tackles tonight."

"I think he's going to Army, or Air Force, one of the service academies. He's the type of guy that you would love to coach," Graham said of Gosselin. "He plays on the defensive line, he smashes you in the mouth at fullback, and he's out there for every special team the entire game. We need that.

"We are playing with a lot of guys that we didn't think we would be playing with, but that's no excuse. The guys we are plugging in are juniors and seniors. They may not have played in a lot of varsity games, but they need to step up and play."

As poorly as the Rangers had played for three-plus quarters, they still had a chance late in the fourth. Trailing 20-10, they forced a Gosselin fumble on the Titans' 21-yard line. Matt Bartlett connected on consecutive passes to Dan Higgins, the latter a 15-yard touchdown that cut the Titans' lead to 20-17.

After holding North to three-and-out, Bartlett tossed three-straight incomplete passes on the next series, forcing the Rangers to punt the ball back. On the Titans' second play after the punt, Gosselin powered his way 32 yards into the end zone, driving the stake in the heart of the Rangers.

"We're still working on the same stuff we have been for weeks," Graham said. "Tackling, blocking, holding blocks, I don't know."

The Rangers got off to a quick start. Giuliano Pizzo boomed a 40-yard field goal, which may be a school record, and Mike Bartlett returned a kickoff 87 yards for a 10-6 lead late in the first quarter.

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