Lancers Heading to Division Title Game in Exeter on Saturday

By Chris Paul

The Londonderry High School Football team dispatched of the only team that had beaten them this season, winning 28-21 at Lancer Park on Saturday afternoon, and the team is now headed to the Division I Championship game against the Winnacunnet Warriors.

Lancer senior Anthony Salcito runs the ball up the field on a kick-off return in the second half during the Semifinals win. Photo by Chris Paul

The Lancers were able to keep the Blue Devils off the scoreboard until the end of the third quarter, but Salem mounted a comeback charge, and ended up one possession short of tying the game.

Two early turnovers, due to fumbles, by SHS helped solidify a strong start for the Lancers and they managed to maintain a significant lead throughout the most of the contest.

Both teams were close were close in total offense, with Londonderry getting to 355-yards, while Salem amassed 333-yard.

For the second week in a row, Londonderry had trouble with penalties, being called for nine of them, totaling 80-yards.

Much of the LHS offense was on the ground, with 388-yards, while Salem got most of their yards through the air, totaling 259-yards in 13 pass completions.

Salem got off to a good start with their first possession, making it all the way to the 20-yard line where they fumbled the ball and Lancer sophomore Ty Miles grabbed the ball and gave his team the first turnover of the game, senior Riley Boles delivered the hit that knocked the ball loose.

That first possession for the Lancers resulted in a long drive with a result of senior Matthew Perron getting a 31-yard run for the first touchdown of the game. Dylan Wrisley’s first kick of the day was wide of his target for the 6-0 lead.

In the second quarter, Salem had their second fumble of the game on their own 25-yard line after another hard hit by the LHS defense with junior Connor Howe recovering.

In the drive that followed, Salem stopped the home squad near the 30-yard line and ended with the second score of the game, a 31-yard field-goal by Wrisley for a 9-0 Lancer lead.

The Londonderry defense forced a punt by Salem in the following drive, giving them the ball at their 39-yard line with four minutes left in the half.

Salem once again stopped the Lancers from getting to the endzone, but Wrisley had another successful 31-yard field-goal for the 12-0 lead to end the half.

The first possession for the Lancers in the second half had the team march down the field with a ten-minute drive but finished with an unsuccessful pass attempt on forth down, giving Salem the ball at their 19-yard line.

Two plays into the following Blue Devil’s drive, quarterback Noah Mustapha completed a pass to Thomas Ahlers resulting in an 85-yard touchdown bringing Salem to within five points.

Londonderry answered that touchdown with one of their own, Lancer junior quarterback Drew Heenan ran for 53-yards to pay dirt with 15 seconds left in the quarter. Londonderry added a two-point conversion run by sophomore Jake Schena for the 20-7 Lancer lead.

Perron helped to add another nine points on two runs for insurance. Seven points from a four-yard run for a touchdown and then two points on another conversion attempt for the 28-7 Lancer lead with four minutes left in the third period.

Salem mounted their comeback late the fourth quarter, getting touchdowns at 1:29 and with 18 seconds left in the game.

Lancer junior Quarterback Drew Hennan was the lead rusher for his team, picking up 193-yards in 24 rushing attempts.

Perron had 63-yards in 11 attempts, and Jake Schena had 51-yards in four rushing attempts. Anthony Salcito had one reception to lead the Lancers with a six-yard pass.

With the win, the Lancers will try to add another Division I state title to the Londonderry High School resume. The team recently won the championship in 2019 against Exeter and before that had wins in 1996 and 98. Before that the team had four Division II titles from 1985 to 1994.

The DI Championship game is scheduled to take place in the Bill Ball Stadium at Exeter High School against the Winnacunnet Warriors, starting at 1 p.m.

The Warriors finished the regular season undefeated, going 9-0 while Londonderry suffered just one loss this season, a 35-21 defeat to the Salem Blue Devils on Oct. 22.

Newsletter Updates

Enter your email address below and subscribe to our newsletter