Titans rumble past Little Green, 48-14

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NASHUA, NH — At the end of the day, most football games are won and lost along the line of scrimmage, a sliver of real estate affectionately known as “the trenches.”

Friday night at Stellos Stadium, Nashua North dominated the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball, cruising to a 48-14 win over Manchester Central.

The Titans (2-0) settled matters early, scoring 41 unanswered points to take a 48-7 lead into halftime. The second half was played under “mercy rule” running time. Central Head Coach Ryan Ray, who team had opened the season with a 35-7 loss to Salem High, didn’t see the kind of progress he was hoping to see in Week 2.

“Our Salem game, I was very, very proud of the effort,” said Ray. “Tonight? Tonight I was very proud of the effort against Salem. They’re a much better team than we are.”

Nashua North rolled up 351 yards rushing, the vast majority of which came in the first half. Quarterback Derek Finlay led the way with 168 yards and a pair of touchdowns on just eight carries. Finely set the tone with a 56-yard touchdown run on the second play from scrimmage. The Titans also got 99 yards and three touchdowns from senior Jordyn Andino.

On the other side of the ball, Central’s running game was non-existent. The Little Green were held to minus-30 yards rushing on 18 carries.

“We had to make some adjustments. I thought we came out a little flat,” said Nashua North Coach Chad Zibolis. “But I think the biggest thing was our trenches. I thought we played really, really well in the trenches tonight. Last week (against Bedford) we didn’t. But we were

Central (0-2) did have some success through the air. Quarterbacks Cayden Salvi (8-for-14) and Joseph Ramos (5-for-15) combined for 193 yards through the air. Trailing 7-0, Ramos drove the Little Green from their own 20 inside the North 5-yard line. The drive stalled, with North taking over on downs. However, on the Titans’ first play from scrimmage, a botched handoff put the ball on the turf. Central lineman Khari Whitehead scooped it up and stumbled into the end zone for the touchdown. Oliver Jacquez tacked on the extra point to tie the game, 7-7.

Unfortunately, for the Little Green, that would be their final highlight of the first half. Andino capped a 35-yard drive with a touchdown run from a yard out, giving the Titans a 13-7 lead and they were off to the races. A brilliant 44-yard touchdown run by Andino and a 24-yard TD pass from Finlay to Nick DeGesse gave Nashua North a 27-7 lead after one quarter.

The Titans refused to let go of the momentum in the second quarter. A bad snap on a Central punt ended with a safety for the North special teams. Finley followed with an 8-yard touchdown run to push the lead to 35-7.

Matthew Hibbard and Andino added short touchdown runs just before halftime.

The Central defense showed signs of life in the second half and managed to keep North off the scoreboard.  The Little Green accounted for the only scoring after halftime when Salvi connected with Ramos on a nifty 39-yard touchdown pass in the fourth quarter.

Central will be back in action on Saturday, Sept. 17, when they travel to Concord for a 1 p.m. kickoff. North will look to stay perfect when they go on the road to face Keene High, Friday night.

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About this Author

Bill Gilman

Bill Gilman is a veteran journalist with 35 years of experience covering community news and sports in New England. He and his wife have two grown sons and two perfect granddaughters.

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