Saturday’s NHIAA Division I championship game provided something no one expected to see: running time.
NHIAA rules require running time on the game clock once a team builds a lead of 35 points or more, and that’s what happened during top-seeded Concord’s 42-14 triumph over third-seeded Pinkerton Academy.
Concord led 42-7 after Robbie Law connected with Nicholas Comeau for a 5-yard touchdown pass with 6:28 left in the third quarter. Law completed 8 of 11 passes for 219 yards and three touchdowns in the victory, which improved Concord’s record to 12-0.
“Our goal has always been to be the best team in New Hampshire and we achieved that today,” Concord running back/linebacker Marc Gaudet said. “We definitely had the confidence coming in that we would be able to handle them, but not like this. Four or five touchdowns? We couldn’t have pictured that. We were playing on a different level today.”
Law also threw a 21-yard touchdown pass to Gaudet, and a 27-yard score to Seimou Smith. Top-seeded Concord received two rushing touchdowns from tailback Walters Ndi and a 27-yard touchdown run from Leo Sudeih.
Third-seeded Pinkerton (9-3) committed three turnovers (two fumbles) and had a punt blocked, and Concord turned each miscue into a touchdown.
T.J. Urbanik (5-yard run) and Manny Latimore (11-yard run) scored for Pinkerton, which has lost each of the last three Division I title games. Latimore finished the game with 91 yards on 16 carries.
“They earned it today, obviously,” Pinkerton coach Brian O’Reilly said. “Having the clock run on us in the second half? I’m not sure that’s happened to us before. That’s a credit to them. They did whatever they wanted to today. They’re undefeated for a reason.”
Plymouth 21, Portsmouth 14 (OT)
Chuck Lenahan won his final game as Plymouth’s head coach when his Bobcats scored in overtime and then kept Portsmouth out of the end zone on its overtime possession.
Plymouth (11-1) took the lead for good when quarterback Collin Sullivan scored on a 13-yard run in overtime. Sullivan also had a 1-yard touchdown run earlier in the game.
Top-seeded Plymouth’s other touchdown came on a 29-yard run by John Thomas.
Second-seeded Portsmouth received a 10-yard touchdown pass from Donovan Phanor to Loden Formachelli, and 19-yard touchdown run from Phanor. Portsmouth (10-2) beat Plymouth, 27-22, during the regular season.
It was Plymouth’s 20th state championship in Lenahan’s 43 years as the program’s head coach. Lenahan, who announced his plans to retire earlier this year, improved his coaching record to 356-70-1.
Bow 20, Stevens 6
Top-seeded Bow turned in another dominating defensive performance and won its first state championship since 2004.
Bow allowed 12 points in its three playoff games, and held eight opponents to seven points or less this season. The Falcons posted four shutouts.
Chris Robbins ran for 87 yards and two touchdowns for Bow, which raised its record to 10-1 and ended the season on a 10-game winning streak. Robbins scored on runs of 1 and 10 yards. The Falcons also received 123 yards rushing on 20 carries from Matt Ehrenberg, who set a school record with 1,503 yards rushing this season.
Bow’s other touchdown came on a 1-yard run from Gavin Lacourciere.
Second-seeded Stevens (8-3) scored on a 5-yard pass from quarterback Ryan Tanguay to Brandon Bell. Donald Pellerin led the Cardinals with 127 yards rushing on 23 carries.
Roger Brown is a staff writer for the New Hampshire Union Leader and publishes the New Hampshire Football Report. Follow him on Twitter: @603sportsmedia.