BEDFORD, N.H. — In the final scene of the Back to the Future film trilogy, the DeLorean/Time Machine goes head on with the freight train.
The freight train always wins.
Just like this Pelham High football team.
The Pythons finished off an unbeaten trilogy of their own in similar style here on Saturday afternoon, smashing through speedy Souhegan, 35-6, in the Division II state title game.
It’s the third straight state title for Pelham and ended the football careers of a senior group that will go down as legendary in the school, the area and even the state.
“To us, we haven’t lost to a New Hampshire team ever, even in our youth days, right through high school,” said senior Alex Carroll, who paced the 380-yard Pelham rushing attack with 144 yards on 13 carries in the title win. “Our grade, when we have played, we have not lost. So, losing was not an option.”
Saturday’s win was the 30th straight for Pelham, which made the jump up from Division III where the Pythons hung-back-to-back perfect seasons before handling on the D-II crowd this fall without a blemish.
“Ever since my freshman year, we lost (the 2019 state quarterfinals to Plymouth). I didn’t like that feeling, so we weren’t going to lose again,” said fullback Ethan Demmons, who played the inside complement to the speedy Carroll by brilliantly rumbling for 139 yards and three TDs on 22 rushes.
“We know we have a special group of guys. We have to cherish it. This doesn’t happen. This is once in a lifetime.”
“It’s a special group of guys. The brotherhood we have is just special.”
Unlike the first meeting between the two, a 28-21 Pelham win, this time around the Pythons forced five Souhegan turnovers — three picks and a pair of fumbles.
Carroll, Connor Travis and Dom Herrling had the interceptions.
Herrling’s came on the opening possession, and a couple plays later he cracked the ice with a 20-yard TD run.
The first of Demmons’ trio came on the next possession, and the Pythons were large and in charge at 14-0.
“I feel like we were more prepared this time. We knew a lot more stuff about them,” said Carroll. “Last time, it was a surprise to us.”
That margin grew to 21-0 when Herrling hauled in a Jake Travis 20-yard TD toss, an absolute back-breaker considering it came on a fourth-and-13.
Forget about run-pass balance in the is one. Pelham advertises the fact that it is running the football, and nobody has been able to even slow the Pythons down. Saturday, it was 54 runs (for 380 yards) to three passes (for 19).
And while the 7.0 yard/carry average is pretty gaudy, you can take out the three Jake Travis kneel downs and bump that up to 7.5 (51-383).
“Shout out to our lineman, people like Memphis Patterson, Ricky Lacoss, Derek Muise, Aiden Lynch and Russell Leonard. They’re amazing blockers,” said Carroll. “We have all the confidence in the world in ourselves, when we’re running the ball. We know we’re going to pick up the yards we need.
“We just kept putting our nose down, bringing our shoulders down, and just running through people. That’s how we roll here in Pelham.”
That attitude was evident as the Pythons went for the kill, right out of halftime.
Pelham moved 53 yards on eight plays with Demmons bull-dozing in for the 28-6 advantage, midway through the third.
“We knew coming into the game, we had the bigger kids,” said Demmons. “We just had to get that surge. We ran downhill all day.”