DERRY — The night began with a stupendous rendition of the national anthem performed by the 200-plus instruments formed in the union of two premier high school bands.
But that was just a prelude for the music a pair of quality running backs provided.
When it was over Jon Young had won the rushing battle, but Manny Latimore and his Pinkerton mates claimed the 35-14 victory over Londonderry. Not only was it the Astros’ 12th straight regular-season win in the rivalry, it also wrapped up a two-day stretch in which Pinkerton secured it’s 13th consecutive Mack Plaque Award in the all-sports matchup between the two.
“A victory is a victory,” said Latimore, who finished with 193 yards on 24 carries and scored the game’s first three touchdowns. “This was Mack Plaque, but this was any other game, and we needed to win it – Mack Plaque and all. We just want to keep it going all season.”
Latimore supplied the early charge for Pinkerton (3-1) in the battle between the Division 1 South members. His 14- and a 9-yard first-half touchdown runs were only a setup for a spectacular 95-yard kickoff return to begin the third quarter. On the kick, Latimore ran up on the ball only to see it fly over his head, forcing him to run 20 yards back.
“It was a deep ball and I just wanted to see what I could get out of it,” Latimore said. “I was not expecting a touchdown at all, but things like that happen in these type of games.”
Not to be outdone, Young answered with a sensational 74-yard scoring run on Londonderry’s next play from scrimmage to put the Lancers (2-2) on the board. Getting his most work of the season, Young finished with 197 yards on 17 carries. Six of his carries were for 10 yards or more.
After Matt Madden provided Pinkerton a 28-7 lead late in the third with a scoring run, Eric Fairweather helped Londonderry tighten the score once again on a 7-yard touchdown pass from Aaron Gaudet with 6:57 remaining.
But Pinkerton, playing under the lights at home for only the second time, secured its win on a 14-yard Jack Hanaway run that capped a nine-play drive.
“The whole atmosphere was great,” Pinkerton coach Brian O’Reilly said. “It’s Friday night football except it’s Saturday night for us. We’re getting to the field at night time, but it’s still kind of surrealistic for us. We’re just not used to the surroundings up here at night time. But it’s a progression. We’re getting better and better all the time.”
Pinkerton 35, Londonderry 14
Londonderry (2-2): 0 0 7 7 — 14
Pinkerton (3-1): 7 7 14 7 — 35
P — Manny Latimore 14 run (Kyle Cantalupo kick), 8:06
P — Latimore 9 run (Cantalupo kick), 4:25
P — Latimore 95 kickoff return (Cantalupo kick), 11:43
L — Jon Young 75 run (Justin Olin kick), 1;22
P — Matt Madden 2 run (Cantalupo kick), 3:46
L — Eric Fairweather 7 pass from Aaron Gaudet (Olin kick), 6:57
P — Hanaway 15 run (Cantalupo kick), 2:07
RUSHING: Pinkerton (41-280) — Manny Latimore 24-193, Matt Madden 3-6, Jack Hanaway 6-49, T.J. Urbanik 4-19, Jason Hansen 1-3; Londonderry (45-282) — Jon Young 17-197, Tim Jennings 3-11, Aaron Gaudet 7-8, Eric Fairweather 6-12, Dennis Bishop 12-54
PASSING: Pinkerton — Hanaway 0-2-1, 0; Londonderry — Gaudet 2-4-0, 18
RECEIVING: Fairweather 2-18