Pelham Pythons Football '07

Fri, Nov 02, 2007 07:00 PM @ Pelham
Team Final
Gilford 12
Pelham 13
Pelham's Bruce Vieira, center, pulls down Gilford's Zachary Blake on Friday night during the game at Pelham. » Allegra Boverman, Staff PhotographerMore photos

Defense delivers as Pelham wins 'Battle for No. 1'

  • Currently 0.0 with 0 votes.
  • 1
  • 2
  • 3
  • 4
  • 5

Saturday, November, 03 By Tim Donovan
Staff writer

PELHAM, N.H. | The Gilford Eagles gave Bruce Vieira

reverence fitting only the Almighty. Hushed voices from the Gilford sideline could be heard saying, "There He goes," and "Watch him, He's going out."

Considering the attention being drawn by the mighty Bruce, it came as no surprise that the Almighty himself made an appearance early in the first quarter. Fortunately, He was wearing Python blue.

Gilford ganged up on Bruce Almighty but his teammates picked up the slack as Pelham shaded Gilford, 13-12, in a battle of unbeatens. The win clinched the top seed in the Division 5 playoffs.

With six minutes remaining in the first quarter, Pelham was at its breaking point with the tough Eagles defense. Forced to punt from their own 19 after a quick three-and-out, the Pythons' Wayne Parisi took the long snap and sent a flubbed punt high in the air, but only 20 yards deep. The ball bounced once, and the field went black.

The loss of power to the field lights and subsequent wait in the dark as the lights powered back up gave the deflated Pythons time to revamp their own game.

"Right now they own you. You get it back!" commanded coach Tom Babaian.

His boys in blue took the words to heart and Tyler Gantt went 63 yards to the game's first score early in the second quarter. The Eagles reciprocated, and the game entered the half knotted at six.

The second half of the game billed as "The Battle for Number One" was certainly not disappointing.

On Pelham's first play, quarterback Joe DeAngelo (9-14-0, 108 yards, 10-110 rushing) took a keeper 66 yards to the end zone. Dan Trainor nailed the follow-up, and Pelham was once again in the lead.

"The spark was that play," Babaian said.

After the score, both teams ramped up the intensity and so began a defensive third quarter when the teams punted a combined five times, four of those on three-and-outs.

The sophomore QB DeAngelo played very well for the Pythons over the season despite his youth, and stood out again last night.

"We had a senior starter last season and Joe did his freshman duty," stated Babaian. "We had high expectations for him and he's lived up to those. He's a good player."

The Pythons' pass rushing was on, making life difficult for Gilford signal-caller Colby Athanas. Max Roth and Dave Wesson got into the backfield and mixed things up, and the Eagles' passing game quickly deteriorated.

Athanas threw five incomplete passes on the quarter thanks to an ever-improving Pythons defense, which took him apart in the fourth quarter with three interceptions to stifle any chance of a comeback.

"Our defense has been much maligned this season, but we really rose to the occasion today," said Babaian, whose team has been thumping opponents all year.

0 Story Comments