DERRY – A week after dropping its first season opener in six years, Pinkerton got back on track Friday night. But the win wasn’t without concern.
The Astros continued their early trend of sloppy offense, losing four fumbles, but still managed to run away with a 44-7 victory over Manchester Memorial, which was coming off its first win in five years.
“I’m not happy with it,” said coach Brian O’Reilly, whose squad saw a 15-point halftime lead evaporate in a loss to Goffstown last week. “That’s eight turnovers in two games. That’s how we lost last week. And we didn’t do very well in the first quarter (Friday) because of it. It’s inexcusable, and it’s something we’re going to have to spend some extra time on in practice.
“In some cases, it’s handoffs, and in other cases it’s carrying the ball. We have a lot of young kids, we have new kids, I understand that. But it’s got to stop.”
Pinkerton went 71 yards on the game’s opening possession, taking a 7-0 lead with a 34-yard scamper on Marcus Terrio’s only carry of the game. But on each of their ensuing three possessions, the Astros lost fumbles in a span of six plays.
The second fumble set up the Crusaders at the Pinkerton 13 and Memorial responded with its only score of the game.
The Astros, however, took command by scoring on each of their final three possessions of the first half. Jacob Albert first ran in from 14 yards to cap a 75-yard drive before Evan Wilson scored on a two-yard run with 1:58 remaining.
Brandon Roy connected on a 32-yard field goal as the clock expired before intermission for a 24-7 lead — a lead the Astros were reminded of during the break.
“You don’t want to go down 0 and 2,” O’Reilly said. “You go down 0 and 2 and you’ll be digging out the rest of the year. We talked about that at halftime. The score was very similar to what it was last week, so that might have been brought up at the half.”
Jake MacInnis, who led a rushing attack that gained 363 yards, scored a couple of touchdowns in the third quarter to remove all doubt. The senior fullback ran in from 16 yards for a 31-7 lead before taking a pass from Jeff Potvin of 20 yards for a 31-point lead. MacInnis, who compiled 134 yards in the opener, had six carries for at least 11 yards before finishing with a career high 164 yards on 16 attempts.
“It was great to finally get out here and get a start and show my abilities on the field,” said MacInnis, who picked up first downs on nine of his carries. “We conditioned way more this week … We just started taking the season more seriously than we did (against Goffstown). We just kind of walked in thinking we were Pinkerton. We were ready today and it showed on the scoreboard.”
Pinkerton 44, Memorial 7
Manchester Memorial (1-1): 7 0 0 0 — 7
Pinkerton (1-1): 7 17 14 6 — 44
Pinkerton — Marcus Terrio 34 run (Brandon Roy kick) 10:21
MM — Jeffrey Josefik 1 run (Jon Charbonneau kick) 1:54
Pinkerton — Jacob Albert 13 run (pass failed) 9:15
Pinkerton — Evan Wilson 2 run (Jeff Potvin run) 1:58
Pinkerton — FG Roy 32, 0:00
Pinkerton — Jake MaInnis 16 run (Roy kick) 8:21
Pinkerton — MacInnis 20 pass from Potvin (Roy kick) 5:16
Pinkerton — Will Brown 9 run (run failed) 3:50
RUSHING: Manchester Memorial (43-98) — Rob Fuller 16-62; Pinkerton (52-363) — MacInnis 16-164, David Clark 6-53, Albert 6-41, Terrio 1-34, Wilson 6-29, Brown 2-21, Andrew Guillmette 2-15, Potvin 4-5, Cole Yennaco 4-5, Hayden Shattuck 5-(-4)
PASSING: Manchester Memorial (7-26-1, 67 yards) — Josefik 6-13-1, 61; Pinkerton (5-6-0, 79) — Potvin 4-5-0, 75, Shattuck 1-1-0, 4
RECEIVING: Manchester Memorial — Collier 3-31; Pinkerton — Connor Colburn 1-29, MacInnis 1-20, Wilson 1-19, Terrio 1-7, Robert Leake 1-4