By Chuck Frye firstname.lastname@example.org
---- — NASHUA -- Most teams would hold some things back against an opponent they would be facing in the playoffs next weekend.
Not Pinkerton, which turned quarterback Sean Conroy loose last night to beat Nashua South, 40-20, finish second in Division 1 and earn a home playoff date against the third-place Panthers next Saturday.
“We wanted to play them straight up,” head coach Bryan O’Reilly said. “For one thing, we didn’t want to come back (to Stellos Stadium for the Division 1 semifinals). No. 2, you can’t do that with teenagers. you can’t take a game off because then they get complacent. We played this as hard as we possibly could.”
The biggest difference was Conroy, who showed Brady-esque mobility in the pocket and effective decision-making. The senior had nine carries for 47 yards, but, more important, hit on 7 of 10 passes for 125 yards and three TDs.
“We don’t throw the ball a lot like a lot of teams in the state, so it definitely felt good to stretch out my legs a little bit and throw it around,” said Conroy.
Conroy’s best read came on a fourth-quarter check-down to running back Manny Latimore that turned into a nifty 39-yard pitch-and-catch for a touchdown, Latimore’s second of the night.
“My prime receiver was the fullback and he went the wrong way,” Conroy explained. “I said to myself I’m going to have to eat it and run, but then I saw Manny waving his arms. I dumped it off to him and he did all the work.”
Come Monday, it’ll be alright (hopefully): The Astros saw some key contributors get hurt last night, most notably fullback/linebacker Matt St. Onge, who went out late in the first half and didn’t return. Left tackle Chris McDade was helped off the field with a right leg injury midway through the third quarter and linebacker Matt Madden was nicked up on South’s last TD with four minutes remaining.
Pinkerton 40, Nashua South 20
Pinkerton (9-1, 7-1): 0 20 6 14 — 40
Nashua South (7-3, 5-3): 0 7 7 6 — 20
P — Chris St. Onge 1 run (Kyle Cantalupo kick), 9:27
NS — Pat Goff 3 run (Ryan Guidaboni kick), 7:45
P — Andrew Ong 5 pass from Sean Conroy (pass failed), 5:46
P — Manny Latimore 12 run (Cantalupo kick), 5:20
NS — Trevor Knight 5 run (Guidaboni kick), 11:07
P — James Toohey 39 pass from Conroy (Cantalupo kick), 7:57
P — Latimore 39 pass from Conroy (Cantalupo kick), 7:57
NS — Knight 18 run (kick failed), 3:52
P — Dan Lannan 11 run (Erik Anderson kick), 0:43
RUSHING:P (57-257) — Manny Latimore 22-94, Chris St. Onge 12-59, Sean Conroy 9-47, Dan Lannan 1-24, Matt St. Onge 7-17, Jacob Burton 4-14, Jake Lisauskas 2-2; NS (39-240) — Steven Choate 5-136, Trevor Knight 25-75, Pat Goff 2-20, Dymier Hyde 5-5, Richard Leets 2-4
PASSING:P — Conroy 7-10-0, 125; NS — Knight 7-10-0, 31
RECEIVING:P — C. St. Onge 3-25, James Toohey 1-50, Latimore 1-39, Lisauskas 1-6, Andrew Ong 1-5; NS — Choate 3-13, Goff 2-8, Jesse Clauss 1-7, Joe Gouveia 1-3