MANCHESTER, N.H. – Even in a year without any hope of a winning record, there is something special about earning Queen City bragging rights.
Those rights (Turkey Bowl not withstanding) belong to Manchester Central, defeating Manchester Memorial, 42-15 on Friday night at Gill Stadium.
The Little Green capitalized on Memorial errors throughout the night, beginning with a botched snap that led to a safety early in the second quarter and continuing with a melee that saw the ejection of senior James Austin.
Memorial did manage to keep things somewhat tight at the half, down just 15-0, but the errors began to grow in the second half, highlighted by a pair of turnovers and another botched snap that Central senior Christian Dobos recovered in the end zone for a touchdown.
Although Memorial managed to capitalize on some Central errors as well, most notably a blocked red zone point that immediately turned into a three-yard touchdown run from Rob Fuller, punts on three of their five first half drives proved fatal in what was likely to be Memorial’s biggest moment of the season.
“Us as a team where we are, we need to grow up when it comes to little details. We played their game tonight, we played Central’s game,” said Memorial Head Coach Rob Sturgis. “We didn’t really wake up until halftime and then we saw a little spark. We’ve done that a few weeks in a row, we let the moment get to big for us and we’ve got to live in the moment, not let it get over our heads.”
Memorial’s other touchdown came following three straight rushes from sophomore Kai Colson late in the fourth quarter long after the game’s outcome was no longer in doubt.
Central had four quarterbacks interchange throughout the night, led by senior Tyler Gilroy for the majority of the Little Green’s snaps.
“All of our quarterbacks do something different really well, so we wanted to wanted to take advantage of what each one did well,” said Central Head Coach Ryan Ray.
Junior Joshua Jerome collected Central’s first touchdown, finding junior Shawn McGarvey for a 19-yard completion halfway through the first quarter. Jerome ran in a seven-yard score just before the half and Gilroy connected with Michael Genesee on a 14-yard strike for the Little Green’s first touchdown of the second half.
Freshman Jayden Hann provided another passing touchdown for Central, connecting with McGarvey for the third time on a six-play drive for a 39-yard passing score. Sophomore Aiden Kelley provided Central’s final touchdown, a two-yard run with just over 11 minutes in the contest.
Although he did not record a score, Central junior Joel Ayala-Casco led all rushers with 72 yards on the night, nearly eclipsing Memorial’s 90 total rushing yards.
Through the air, Central’s passers combined for 220 yards through the air while Memorial only had one completed pass on the night for 38 yards from junior Jeffrey Josefik to sophomore Braden Hafeman.
Central (2-5) faces Concord next week while Memorial (1-6) meets Londonderry at home.
Here are some other scores from elsewhere in Manchester high school sports this week.
Manchester Central 3, Manchester Memorial 2
Derryfield 1, John Stark 0
Bedford 3, Manchester Central 2
ConVal 1, Manchester West 0
Trinity 5, Newfound 0
Portsmouth 1, Manchester Memorial 0
Manchester Central 2 Bedford 0
Portsmouth 1, Manchester Memorial 0
Hanover 7, Manchester West 0
Portsmouth Christian 3, Trinity 0
Manchester Memorial 2, Salem 0
Timberlane 3, Manchester Central 0
Coe-Brown Northwood 3, Manchester West 0
Bedford 3, Manchester Central 0
Portsmouth 3, Manchester Memorial 0
Trinity 2, Laconia 0
St. Thomas Aquinas 35, Manchester West 0
Manchester West 7, Kennet 2
Manchester Central 0, Manchester Memorial 0