Pinkerton Astros Football '07

Sat, Nov 17, 2007 12:30 PM @ Nashua South
Team Q1 Q2 Q3 Q4 Final
Playoff Game
Pinkerton 7 7 0 0 14
Nashua South 0 0 0 2 2
Pinkerton 14 Nashua South 2 » Roger Darrigrand, Staff PhotographerMore photos

The third is as sweet as the first

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Saturday, November, 17 By David Willis and Ryan Lambert
Staff writer

Pinkerton quarterback/defensive back Pete Mazzola could hardly put his excitement into words.

"This is unbelievable," said the senior. "So many people don't have the chance to get one championship, and we've been here four times and won three straight. That's amazing."

The win was Pinkerton's third straight state title, having beaten Salem in the finals the past two seasons.

"It doesn't get better than this," said senior Mike Crupi. "When I was growing up, I never would have thought I could win three straight state championships. If this is my last game, I'll be happy with the way it ended."

Pinkerton is no stranger to consecutive state titles. The Astros won four in a row from 1991-94, and have won nine titles in head coach Brian O'Reilly's 30 years at the helm. But yesterday, the Astros enjoyed it like it was their first.

"Three titles in a row is a heck of a way to end it," said senior lineman Josh Lane, whose brother was on the previous two state title teams. "It's a great way to leave the team, and hopefully they'll win it next year."

One near miss Disaster very nearly struck Pinkerton midway through the first quarter.

On Nashua's second possession, the Astros forced a three-and-out. But, while attempting to play the punt on a bounce, the ball bounced off Steve Eurieck's chest and went right into the hands of Nashua's Nick Fredricksen at the Pinkerton 27-yard line.

But, like they did all night, the Astros held their ground. The Purple Panthers managed negative-9 yards on the drive. Josh Lane made a tackle for a five-yard loss, Mike Crupi buried David Zocco for a loss of 2 yards on a screen pass, and Fred Larson stopped Nick Haskell for another two-yard loss. Quarterback Billy Ferriter threw an incomplete pass to mercifully kill the possession.

Back and kicking Pinkerton sophomore Shawn Clukey returned to action for the first time since breaking his kicking leg against

Londonderry on Sept. 29. He was back on the practice field Wednesday and worked on kicking field goals for the first time since the injury. But, during the game, he handled only kickoff duties as Crupi kicked extra points. He was 2-for-2 in on the day.

Faces in the crowd Plenty of players from Pinkerton's last two state championships were in attendance, including 2006 Eagle-Tribune Defensive Player of the Year Jeff Ragoza and 2006 Eagle-Tribune All-Star defensive lineman Jason Lane. Lane signed a scholarship with Northeastern while Ragoza spent a prep year at the Taft School in Watertown, Conn. Not championship form

It was very disappointing to see that host Nashua South did not supply programs for yesterday's game.

It was a state championship, after all. It is unacceptable for any regular season football game to go off without rosters, let alone a state title game. Most every high school sport has rosters, and many fans were annoyed by their absence yesterday.

It makes you long for the days of championship games in Derry.

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