Sep 25, 2014 6:37 AM

The State of Football: Week 4

Roger Brown

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Folks, we have a situation brewing in Division I South that bears watching. In short, it appears there may be more deserving playoff teams in that conference than there are playoff spots. In other words, one of those teams could be this year's Bedford.

You may recall that the Bulldogs finished 7-2 last season, but didn't receive a playoff berth even though a 4-5 Londonderry team did, since two -- and only two -- teams from each conference advance to the postseason.

At this point it certainly looks like Salem, Pinkerton and Londonderry are among the top eight teams in Division I. It's possible that Merrimack or Timberlane could emege as a deserving playoff team as well, but to simplify things we'll stick with the Blue Devils, Astros and Lancers for this discussion. At least one of those teams won't make the playoffs.

Pinkerton (3-0) will play at Londonderry (3-0) Friday tonight with first place on the line.

"It's possible the team that loses this game might not lose again and not get into the playoffs," Pinkerton coach Brian O'Reilly said. "We could have three teams [finish the regular season] with one loss."

Teams in Division I South play non-conference games against teams in Division I West this season. The fact that Alvirne (2-1) is at the top of the Division I West standings and lost to Pinkerton 63-20 should give you some indication of the relative strength of each conference.

It's possible that a sub-.500 team from Division I West will be in the Division I playoffs this season, and a one- or two-loss team from Division I South will not.

At any rate, with the utmost confidence ... this week's selections:

Merrimack 35
Alvirne 14
Don't be fooled by Merrimack's 43-14 loss to South. The Tomahawks are much better than that score indicates.

Bedford 21
Spaulding 7
Bedford may lost this season, but it won't be this week.

Bishop Guertin 20
Keene 7
The winner of this game will collect its first victory.

Memorial 28
Dover 14
Memorial surrendered a 14-point lead against Portsmouth last Friday, otherwise the Crusaders would be 3-1.

Portsmouth 28
Goffstown 27
Feel really bad for the Clippers and Grizzlies, since it's clear neither can compete in Division I. At least that's what some people keep telling me. Nonsense.

Pinkerton 21
Londonderry 14
Lancers haven't beaten the Astros since 2001.

Nashua South 28
Nashua North 13
Still think South could be a scary team.

Concord 27
Central 7
Concord's 1974 Division I championship team will be recognized before this contest. Yo can tailgate with those boys beginning at 10:30 a.m.

Winnacunnet 20
Exeter 14
Exeter is making the kind of mistakes Exeter teams don't usually make.

Salem 28
Timberlane 14
A couple more yards last week and Salem would be 3-0.

Laconia 27
Hanover 20
That was an impressive first half Laconia turned in last week.

Lebanon 14
Kingswood 7
A victory here would move Lebanon's record to 3-0.

Windham 36
Sanborn 14
Not sure I see a loss on Windham's regular-season schedule.

Milford 21
Pelham 12
Spartans have surrendered 34 points in three games.

Monadnock 22
John Stark 14
This looks like one of those games where one big play could determine the outcome.

Souhegan 14
Hollis/Brookline 13

This Hollis/Brookline team is a tough one to figure.Taking a chance and going with the road team.

Kearsarge 20
Merrimack Valley 14
In case you haven't heard, Merrimack Valley quarterback Ivan Niyomugabo will miss the rest of the season with a wrist injury.

Kennett 26
Pembroke 7
At some point people are going to realize that Kennett is good. Real good.

St. Thomas 21
Plymouth 14
Until now, not sure any of us has typed the following: Plymouth (0-3).


Somersworth 28
Campbell 20

Willing to give Somersworth a Mulligan, but just one.

Fall Mountain 14
Franklin 12
If Fall Mountain can tighten up on defense, it could be celebrating a home victory.

Winnisquam 34
Farmington-Nute 22

Most underrated team in Division III could be Winnisquam.

Stevens 26
Mascoma 12

Stevens will exploit a Mascoma defense that has allowed 81 points in two games.

Bow 32
Bishop Brady 14

So far, Bow is as advertised. The Falcons have outscored their two opponents 67-7.

Epping-Newmarket 20
Raymond 12

Exactly where do they keep this spotted turtle?

Newport 28
Gilford 26

Best game on this weekend's Division III menu.

IL/Mountonborough 20
Newfound 14

This starts a key stretch for Inter-Lakes/Moultonborough, which will play three of its next four games on the road.

Last week: 22-6
Record to date: 55-18

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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