Surprise! Windham wins big
Notes, quotes and observations after Week 1 of the New Hampshire high school football season:
SCOREBOARD WATCHING: The most surprising score from last weekend? There were at least a handful to consider:
- Keene 62, Salem 27
- Con-Val 24, Merrimack 6
- Winnacunnet 41, Souhegan 7
- Bedford 48, Milford 7
- Windham 52, Laconia 6
While each of the five had a certain amount of shock value, the Windham/Laconia score came as the biggest surprise here, primarily because Laconia was being touted as a contender for the Division IV championship.
Windham, which lost to St. Thomas in the Division V championship game last year, led 49-0 at hafltime. The 52 points the Jaguars scored were the second most in the program's short history. Windham scored 58 in a victory over Stevens last year.
Running back Dan Cannone, who played tight end last season, ran for a game-high 167 yards and five touchdowns on 11 carries.
Senior fullback Kevin Cooney, who ran for a team-high 1,173 yards last year, added 113 yards rushing on nine attempts. As a team, Windham finished with 369 yards rushing on 39 carries (6.9 yards per rush).
"I guess you could say it was a good start for us," Windham coach Bill Raycraft said.
HELMET STICKER: This year's first sticker goes to Gofffstown quarterback Connor Benjamin, who rushed for 278 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries, and completed 15 of 27 pass attempts for 229 yards and another TD in a 33-32 loss to Manchester Memorial on Friday.
"I pulled him out of the [handshake] line and said, 'If you're not the best quarterback in the state of New Hampshire you're one of the top two, Memorial coach Peter Colcord said. "He was phenomenal."
Goffstown coach Justin Hufft wondered if Benjamin's 507 yards of offense was a state record, especially since -- as Hufft pointed out -- most New Hampshire high school teams didn't start to throw the ball consistently until about 10 years ago.
"He's developing into a complete quarterback," Hufft said. "He had a 200-200 game against Hollis at the end of last year, so he's doing his part."
GAME OF EMOTION: Have to recognize the effort turned in by Stevens during its 21-16 victory over Monadnock on Friday night.
Stevens was playing one week after assistant coach Aaron Robar was killed when he was hit by a car that crossed the yellow line and hit Robar while he was riding his motorcycle.
Robar's wake began hours before Friday's game began, and his funeral was attended by the team Saturday.
FOOTNOTES: Division I schools went 3-1 against Division III opponents, and 4-1 against Division II opponents last weekend. Division III Portsmouth posted a 22-10 victory over Division I Londonderry, and Division II Keene beat Division I Salem 62-27. ... Hanover coach Mike Ivanoski collected his 100th career coaching victory when Hanover defeated John Stark 35-0 Friday night. John Stark's Carson Dunn gained 125 yards on 13 carries in the loss. ... Sanborn's 27-12 victory over Pelham on Saturday marked the first time Sanborn has opened the season with a victory since the program was revived in 2008. ... Despite running only 11 offensive plays in the first half of its 35-20 triumph over Spaulding, Nashua South led 21-14 at the half. South's first-half TDs included a 90-yard kickoff return by Zavier Williams, and a 30-yard interception return by Pat Goff.