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Local roundup: Lebanon, Hanover to stage football rematch in NHIAA playoffs

  • Jackson Stone

  • Seamus Murphy

Staff Reports
Published: 10/25/2020 7:38:52 PM
Modified: 10/25/2020 7:38:48 PM

CONCORD — First and 10, do it again.

The Lebanon High and Hanover High football teams will meet for the second time in a week when they open play in the NHIAA Division II tournament next weekend. The next-door neighbors were drawn together when the NHIAA football committee finally released the fields for its four-division postseason on Sunday.

Five schools each from Division II’s East and West conferences were chosen to play in the tournament, with matchups arranged geographically as other NHIAA sports have done this fall. Lebanon was installed as the second seed and Hanover third, with a quarterfinal date between the two tentatively set for Saturday at 1 p.m. at Lebanon’s Henry Emerton Field.

The Raiders (4-0) routed Hanover (4-1) on Friday night at Merriman-Branch Field, 41-0, in the schools’ first meeting in three years. Lebanon scored two touchdowns in the game’s first 6½ minutes, ultimately amassing a 349-101 advantage in total offensive yards on the Marauders.

Lebanon has played stingy defense all season, shutting out its last two foes and not allowing an offensive touchdown in more than 14 quarters of play. Quarterback Jackson Stone has been the Raiders’ top offensive threat with four TD runs and four scoring passes, but he has enough talent in the backfield that he doesn’t have to do the job alone.

Now that they know how quick the Raiders can be, the Marauders will be in better position to counter in the rematch. Seamus Murphy has been the Upper Valley’s top running back this coronavirus-shortened season, rushing 94 times for 564 yards and seven TDs.

The D-II tourney officially started on Saturday with Hillsboro-Deering/Hopkinton beating John Stark, 36-7, and Merrimack Valley eliminating Kingswood, 34-14. HD/Hopkinton will visit Bow, Gilford-Belmont will travel to Kennett and Plymouth will entertain MV in the other quarterfinals.

Stevens (1-3) drew a second seed in its half of the seven-team Division III tournament. The Cardinals will host No. 3 Laconia in a quarterfinal game at Barnes Park, with the winner traveling to No. 1 Winnisquam the following weekend. Defending D-III champ Trinity will go to Monadnock and Campbell will visit Pelham in next weekend’s other contests.

After routing Newfound, 45-8, on Saturday in a play-in game, No. 4 Mascoma (1-3) will head to No. 1 Newport (4-1) in a Division IV quarterfinal. The Royals lost to the Tigers, 53-10, to open the season on Sept. 26. Newport enters the tournament fresh off a 53-6 defeat of Stevens.

Nine D-IV teams have opted into the postseason. Bishop Brady visits Raymond, Epping-Newmarket goes to Somersworth and Fall Mountain travels to Franklin in the other quarterfinal contests.

All games are tentatively scheduled for Saturday at 1 p.m., but schools can notify the NHIAA by Monday if they wish to play on a different date or at a different time. With UNH’s Wildcat Stadium unavailable due to the pandemic, all football tournament games will be hosted by the higher seed in any matchup.

GOLFStevens duo in top five at NHIAA finals

CONCORD — Stevens High’s Finn Allen and Dylan Adamovich capped the most successful season in recent Cardinal golf history by placing fourth and fifth at the NHIAA Division III individual state championship at Concord Country Club on Sunday.

Allen followed a 7-over-par 77 from Tuesday’s team states at Manchester’s Derryfield Country Club with a 10-over 80 at Concord. Allen produced birdies on the seventh and ninth holes and had six pars on the back side. His two-day tally of 157 left him just a stroke behind Bow’s Hunter Duncan for third.

Adamovich finished at 21-over 161 for two days with an 11-over 81 at Concord. Like his teammate, Adamovich warmed up as the round progressed, playing 4 over golf on Concord’s back nine.

The third member of the Cardinals to qualify, Reeve Wilkinson, tied for 14th at 179 after a Sunday 95. The three seniors led Stevens to second place at team states last week, just the second time in program history a Cardinal golf team had done so well.

Lebanon High junior Zach Bitler, the lone member of the Raiders to advance to individuals, was 20th at 205 after struggling to a round of 117 at Concord on Sunday. Bitler (88) had Lebanon’s best round at team states on Tuesday, leading the Raiders to an eighth-place finish out of 19 teams.

Fall Mountain’s Mitchell Cormier won the D-III individual title with a two-day 146, capped by a 5-over 75 on Sunday.

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