Pinkerton Astros Football '07

Sat, Nov 10, 2007 01:00 PM @ Pinkerton
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Manchester West 0 0 0 7 7
Pinkerton 7 27 0 0 34
Jan Seeger, Staff PhotographerMore photos

Physical Astros roll to title game

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

DERRY | A few changes made on the field worked wonders for the Pinkerton football team yesterday afternoon in the Division 1 semifinals against Manchester West.

But the biggest change took place earlier in the week in the wake of the Astros' shocking 30-7 loss to Nashua South in the final game of the regular season.

"We needed an attitude adjustment," said Pinkerton co-captain lineman Josh Lane. "We had to get back to being tough and playing football. We fixed our problem."

If it was a problem, the Astros (8-2) indeed fixed it big time as they routed West 34-7 to advance to Saturday's Division 1 state final at Nashua South, which held off Londonderry 35-31 in yesterday's other semifinal.

The Astros survived a 16-14 victory over the Blue Knights in the regular season, but this game was over by halftime, by which time Pinkerton had scored all 34 of its points while holding West to no points, one first down and -8 yards rushing.

"I did expect this," admitted Pinkerton coach Brian O'Reilly. "We made several changes from the last time we played them, which is the advantage we have in New Hampshire. We assumed, since they played well against us last time, they wouldn't make any changes and it didn't look like they did.

"The main change we made on defense was switching from a four-man to a five-man line. Their quarterback (Lyle Smith) and fullback (Steve Gibson) hurt us last time and we didn't want that to happen again."

In fact, Smith rushed five times for -10 yards in the first half and didn't play after intermission while most of Gibson's 44 yards came late in the game against Pinkerton's reserves.

More than the x's and o's, however, the attitude adjustment referred to by Lane was evident.

"Last week was one of the most embarrassing games we've ever had at Pinkerton," said O'Reilly. "We were very soft last week and we challenged our kids to be physical. We wanted them to be tough on the line, which is why we didn't throw a pass all game, and be as physical as we used to be. I'd say it was mission accomplished."

Pinkerton showed it meant business from the start, scoring on its first three possessions, the second two following a sack on fourth down and a fumble recovery, both by Justin Demers.

Hard-running Mike Crupi scored first on an 18-yard run, quarterback Peter Mazzola followed with a 6-yard quarterback sneak right up the middle and Bobby Dattilo made it 20-0 with a 10-yard scoring run with 9:06 still left to play in the second quarter.

The Astros' next TD came with 1:32 remaining when sophomore Eric Guinto followed a brilliant 24-yard run, that included three changes of direction, with a 33-yard TD scamper. Guinto rushed for 130 yards on only eight carries in the first half.

"Guinto is something special," said Lane. "He's got a lot of speed and has some really good moves."

Lane and offensive linemates Chris Carney, Mike Rottler, Matt Crow and Ryan Raymond pushed West around for the entire half enabling the Astros to rush for 188 yards before the intermission.

But Pinkerton's last touchdown came from the defense when Peter Mazzola recovered a fumble and returned it 30 yards to the end zone, making it 34-0 with just 31 seconds left in the first half.

Defensively, there were a number of standouts for the Astros. Tom Olivier and Steve Eurieck had interceptions, Demers and Langlois were tough up front and linebackers Crupi, Fred Larson and George were all over the field.

"We have to be physical again next week in order to be successful," said O'Reilly. "And we're not going to the championship game just to be there. We want to win it again."

0 Story Comments