The State of Football: Week 2
Keene High School coach John Luopa probably throught he was reliving a nightmare. Well, maybe not a nightmare, but definitely an undesirable situation.
When John's son Lucas -- who happens to be Keene's starting quarterback -- went down with an ankle injury during last Friday's non-league victory over Salem, it brought back memories of Keene's 2011 opener, when the Blackbirds lost tailback Jimmy Boulay for the year to a torn ACL during a loss to Salem.
"That was the first thing that went through Lucas' mind when his ankle was in some serious pain," Luopa said.
Lucas completed 13 of 22 pass attempts for 279 yards and four touchdowns last Friday. He added 168 yards on the ground before leaving the game late in the third quarter because of the ankle injury. Earlier this week Lucas' status for Friday night's game against Merrimack was uncertain, but it now looks like Lucas will be in the starting lineup.
"He's gonna play," Luopa said. "Today I had him test it and he's hardly limping at all. He rehabbed it all week and he's close to 100 percent."
That's good news for the Blackbirds.
At any rate, with the utmost confidence ... this week's selections:
Manchester Central 21
A Concord victory would certainly shake up the power poll.
Not a lot of scoring from either of these teams last week.
Nashua South 25
Salem gave up so many points last week that the Keene cheerleaders had to stop doing a pushup for every point the Blackbirds scored
Toss out Exeter-Pinkerton, and this may be the best game on the board this weekend.
King Philip (Mass.) 28
King Philip returned quarterback John Dillon and nine starters on defense.
Luopa puts up big numbers again this week.
Each team is coming off a non-league loss to a Division I opponent.
Merrimack Valley 19
Cavaliers were in way too deep against Concord last weekend.
Pembroke Academy 13
Spartans will win this one. No doubt about it.
Clippers should win, but it won't be easy. Welcome back Mike.
Not sure what to make of Laconia's performance against Windham. Hanover is better than most people think,
John Stark 13
How is Trinity no in the power poll?
Not sure Kennett's young offense will be able to keep pace with the Bobcats.
St. Thomas 36
Expect a much better offensive performance from Monette and Co. this week.
Not picking against Windham. Not after the performance the Jaguars turned in last weekend.
Not expecting the Huskies to start 0-2.
May not pick against the Toppers all year.
Just about everyone outside of Monadnock was pulling for Stevens last week. Cardinals got it done for their coach.
Bishop Brady 27
Green Giants nearly stunned Newfound with late comeback last week. This one won't be that close.
As we learned last year, the result of this game will mean very little in the big picture.
Manchester Memorial 27
Nashua North 20
Crusaders have a bunch of playmakers on offense. Need to tighten up on D.
Bishop Guertin 26
Manchester West 6
Clean up the turnovers, and there was a lot to like about BG's loss to Pinkerton last Saturday.
Goffstown quarterback Connor Benajmin accounted for more than 500 yards of offense in last Friday's loss to Memorial. Has any other high school QB in New Hampshire done that?
Lakers open with a victory, extend winning streak.
Cougars would be a good team in Division V, but they may be something special in Division VI.
Didn't expect either of these teams to enter this contest 0-1, but each will be looking for its first victory.
Mascoma plays four of its next five on the road.
Winnisquam at Newfound? Is that a misprint. Welcome home Bears, welcome home.
Last week: 20-7
Record to date: 20-7
The State of Football, a commentary on New Hampshire high school football, appears each Friday throughout the season.