Two teams that appear to be headed in different directions in New Hampshire Division I high school football met up in Londonderry Friday night, Oct. 9. And unfortunately for the local host squad, the outcome was a lopsided one in its opponent’s favor.
The Londonderry High Lancers suffered the fourth loss in their last five games and slid to 2-4 in the D-I Southern Division with a 41-7 drubbing at the hands of a Merrimack Tomahawk contingent, which advanced to 4-2 in that same division with its third win in its last four contests.
The Tomahawks gave the defending Division I champions from Pinkerton Academy a scare in Merrimack a week earlier before losing by 10 points. But there would be no losing for the T-Hawks in sloppy weather conditions on their road trip to LHS.
The visitors tallied the first 27 points of the damp night, held the Lancers scoreless until late in the third quarter, and collected over 450 yards worth of offense in placing an exclamation mark on their fourth win of the fall.
“None of us saw the result of that coming,” said LHS coach Jimmy Lauzon. “I anticipated a good game, but we knew they were an explosive team. We clearly have a lot of work to do. We just make too many mistakes right now. Every play matters, and we just haven’t realized that yet.”
The Tomahawks led 7-0 after one quarter, 20-0 at the halftime break, and 27-0 rolling into the last minute of the third period. And after allowing Londonderry a touchdown on a long pass play during that last minute of the third, the Merrimack side notched two unanswered touchdowns in the fourth quarter.
T-Hawks’ quarterback Justin Grassini completed 19 of the 35 passes he attempted for 284 yards and a touchdown, and Merrimack sophomore running back Joe Eichman sprinted the ball into the end zone four times.
Londonderry quarterback Jake Stevens completed 10 out of 28 pass attempts for 150 yards, and he and standout running back Dave Wiedenfeld connected on a 44-yard toss for the Lancers’ lone score.
Wiedenfeld received three Stevens passes for 91 yards, and signal-caller Stevens paced the LHS ground game by sprinting for 49 yards on 14 carries.
The Lancers’ defense was led by Gary Richard, who notched 10 solo tackles as well as an assist.
The LHS bunch travels to Rochester this Friday night to take on the winless Spaulding High Red Raiders (0-6), who lost to Salem 27-20 last week.