Sep 10, 2014 6:05 PM

The State of Football: Week 2

Roger Brown

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A year ago the Campbell High School football team entered the final week of the regular season with a 5-2 record and no chance to make the playoffs.

Campbell was up against a Bow team with a 6-1 record, but even if Campbell won the head-to-head matchup with Bow and each team finished 6-2 the Falcons were going to the postseason and the Cougars were not.

Bow, Campbell and Pelham were among the teams in Division III South, one of four conferences in Division III last season. Teams in the same conference didn't play uniform schedules in 2013, so the point-rating system was used to select playoff teams (two from each conference).

Because Bow played a "tougher" schedule than Campbell, the Falcons had already locked up a playoff berth before their game against Campbell. Pelham entered the regular season's final week unbeaten and had secured the other berth in Division III North.

Bow ended up beating Campbell, but, at 5-3, the Cougars still finished with a better record than three other teams that did qualify for the playoffs. Fair? Absolutely not, but nothing like that will happen this season.

As was touched on here last week, Division III reduced its number of conferences from four to two this season. Eight teams are in each conference and the top four from each conference will advance to the playoffs.

"It's way better than it was last year," Campbell coach Greg Gush said. "Now if you're not in the top four you don't go, and I'm OK with that. It was broken,.It's much better."

At any rate, with the utmost confidence ... this week's selections:
Exeter 28
Spaulding 14
The Blue Hawks fumbled the ball four times during the first half of last week's victory over Central. Some Exeter teams haven't fumbled four times in a season.

Bedford 28
Portsmouth 13
Portsmouth's move to Division I allowed these programs to get reaquainted.

Concord 28
Winnacunnet 21
Have a feeling Winnacunnet will give Concord all it can handle.

Central 17
Memorial 7
Impressed with the Central defense in last week's loss to Exeter.

Londonderry 21
Timberlane 6
No doubt that Division I South will be much tougher this season than it was a year ago.


Nashua South 13

Either Salem is really good, or South isn't nearly as good as some of us thought, We'll find out Friday night.

Nashua North 26
Alvirne 13
Didn't expect North to be the only unbeaten team from Nashua heading into Week 2.

Salem 21
Keene 0

Early returns suggest Salem may be the most improved team in the division.

Goffstown 34
Dover 14

No team was more impressive in an opening-week loss than Goffstown, which put a scare into Concord.

Merrimack 21
Bishop Guertin 14

Merrimack may challenge Salem for that most-improved-team label.


Hanover 21

Kingswood 6

Fairly certain Hanover will have a better season this year than it did in 2013.

Merrimack Valley 28
West 7

A reminder that the kickoff for this game is 5 p.m.

Kennett 20
Kearsarge 12

This Kennett team has the potential to play into late November.

Milford 35
Hollis/Brookline 7

The Cavaliers got roughed up against Windham, and had a short week to prepare.

John Stark 34
ConVal 6

The Generals collect their first victory.

St. Thomas 28
Pembroke 14
Saints were very impressive in their opener.

Plymouth 28
Lebanon 13

This will be our first look at the Bobcats minus Lenahan.

Windham 28
Trinity 14

Jaguars set the program's record for points scored in a game last week against Hollis/Brookline (59).


Inter-Lakes/Moultonborough 26
Fall Mountain 12

Lakers open the season with back-to-back games on the road.

Gilford 20

Franklin 19

It's been a long time since Franklin celebrated a victory, but that time is coming soon.

Newport 34
Mascoma 20

Guessing Newport will be one of the four playoff teams from Division III North.

Stevens 27
Newfound 12
Still lots of experience on the Stevens roster.

Epping-Newmarket 27
Bishop Brady 14

Matchup of first-year head coaches. Going with Epping-Newmarket as the darkhorse in Division III this season.

Campbell 22
Bow 20

Best game on this week's Division III menu.

Winnisquam 26

Raymond 6

South is the tougher of the two conferences in Division III.

Somersworth 36
Farmington-Nute 12

Toppers may be the best team in the division.

Last week: 13-6
Record to date: 13-6

The State of Football, a commentary on New Hampshire high school football, appears each Friday throughout the season. Follow Roger Brown on Twitter: @603sportsmedia.


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