EagleTribune.com, North Andover, MA

November 10, 2013

Sports in a Minute


The Eagle-Tribune

---- — LONDONDERRY’S GRIFFIN GRABS FIRST NFL TD

The Houston Texans continue to struggle this year, falling to 2-7 with a 27-24 loss to Arizona yesterday.

That couldn’t dampen the euphoria for Ryan Griffin of Londonderry. The rookie tight end out of UConn only caught one ball yesterday from backup QB Case Keenum, but the catch was good for two yards and Griffin’s first career touchdown.

Griffin, a sixth-round pick this year, now has three catches so far as a rookie.

PLAYOFFS HERE TO STAY

The new MIAA football playoffs have been digested and dissected enough already, and the sectional title weekend hasn’t been approached yet.

I have to say that so far, for the most part, I’ve liked what I’ve seen from the playoffs.

Personally, I just feel folks are going to have to get used to it. Thanksgiving games will be their own, set aside little season-ender for most, just like they have been. But the playoffs are fair, much more fair than the system has been in the past.

Interesting to note, there were complaints in the opening weekend about blowouts and teams not belonging in the playoffs. I definitely recognize that issue. But that situation is caused not by these playoffs. It is the fact that there are two many divisions. Six is too many.

Four would fit a lot better and would eliminate the 2-5 types from the equation. The “second-place” in a five-team league automatic bid is another topic for discussion as well.

But as for the playoffs, in my eyes, they are here to stay, and we’re all better for it.

BOTH NORTH TITLE GAMES SATURDAY

Remember both the Division 1 title football game with Central at Everett and the Division 4 Game with Bedford at Pentucket will be Saturday at 1:30 p.m.

VETS CAN TOUR FENWAY FREE TODAY

In honor of Veterans Day, the Red Sox will offer veterans and active duty members of the military free tours of Fenway Park today. Ballpark tours depart at the top of the hour starting at 10 a.m. The last 60-minute tour departs at 5 p.m. Tickets are available at the Gate D ticket booth, located on the corner of Yawkey Way and Van Ness Street. Veterans and active members of the military are asked to show their military identification for a free tour ticket.

O’BOYLE SHARP AT FALL BRAWL

North Reading’s Mike O’Boyle took third place at 141 pounds to lead McDaniel College at the Ursinus Fall Brawl over the weekend.

O’Boyle was 4-1 on the day with a pair of wins by fall in the consolation rounds to step up and take third.

WARRIORS BOW OUT

No. 10 Southern New Hampshire scored the only goal of the Northeast-10 Soccer Championship game and rode it to a 1-0 victory over Merrimack College yesterday.

The second-seeded Warriors, with the loss, fall to 13-4-2. Now they must hope that their accomplishments were enough to earn an at-large big in the 48-team upcoming NCAA Division 2 tourney.

SNHU moves to 18-1 on the year with the win.

PHILLIPS GOING BOWL-ING

The New England Prep School Football postseason bowl games were announced yesterday:

Phillips Academy (8-0), fresh off of Saturday’s thrilling win over rival Exeter, will pay the Brunswick School in the Jack Etter Bowl at Avon Old Farms in Connecticut.

All games are Saturday at 1 p.m. Here’s the rest of them:

Arthur Valicenti Bowl: Suffield Academy (8-0) vs. Avon Old Farms School (7-1)

Dan Rorke Bowl: New Hampton School (8-0) vs. Cheshire Academy (7-1)

Tom Flaherty Bowl: Dexter School (7-1) vs. Milton Academy (7-1) at Dexter School, Brookline, MA

Kevin Fleming Bowl: Governor’s Academy (7-1) vs. Hamden Hall School (6-2) at Tabor Academy, Marion, MA