Revenge is definitely a powerful motivation, and Pinkerton will have that on its side Saturday when the Astros (10-1) play at Exeter (10-1) in a rematch of last year’s Division 1 title game.
Not only did Pinkerton lose in last year’s championship game, but it fell to the Blue Hawks in the regular season back in September, 24-20. Thus, it’s no wonder that the Astros were all talking about revenge after crushing Nashua South 41-3 last Saturday.
Pinkerton has clearly improved markedly since September and has scored more than 40 points the last four games while Exeter seems to have stagnated a bit late in the season, needing a second-half surge to blow past Manchester Central 42-21 in the other semifinal.
Both teams feature a big-time running back, Manny Latimore for the Astros and Tyler Grant for Exeter. Grant rushed for 197 yards against Pinkerton in the regular season and gained 170 yards and scored four touchdowns against Central in the semis.
The question is this: Which team has a stronger supporting cast if their star back is shut down?
Originally, I thought Exeter had the edge in that category, but quarterback Sean Conroy and the Astros have picked up the passing attack a bit. If he can find some receivers and the Astros can get some balance, they’ll get their revenge and prevail. Thus, without a lot of confidence ...
PICK: Pinkerton 20, Exeter 17
Season record: 124-35