DERRY — It took the better part of two quarters, but Pinkerton found its winning form on Friday night.
"We had to find that mindset to fight hard for a win," said Astros star Cole Yennaco. "Coach (Brian O'Reilly) gave us a much-needed pep talk at halftime, and the coaches gave us a few adjustments. After that, we were able to really start scoring."
Leading by just one score with seconds remaining in the first half, Pinkerton notched 24 of the next 30 points on the way to defeating gritty Keene 38-19.
"The win feels good," said linebacker and tri-captain Anthony Terrenzio, who made 14 tackles from his linebacker spot, regularly stuffing Keene's old fashion wishbone offense. "It was our first home game since (last Oct. 10), and to have the fans really motivated us."
Pinkerton forced a punt and then a 42-yard Jacob Albert run set up a 1-yard Jack Mackiernan touchdown.
Keene was then able to force a turnover and tie the game. But Pinkerton struck right when Albert — who was once again brilliant with 154 yards for the game — sprinted in for an 11-yard touchdown. Astros kicker Picasso Bates added to the advantage with a 28-yard field.
The Astros opened the second half with an 85-yard drive that Yennaco finished off with his first varsity touchdown, a 2-yard score.
"To get the first touchdown of my high school career felt great," said Yennaco, who also made eight tackles. "To do that in front of the fans after not having a crowd last year felt great."
Keene drove to the Pinkerton 20-yard line, but Albert ended the possession with a leaping interception in the end zone. Five plays later, Nathan Campos ran a QB sneak in for a 1-yard touchdown.
Astors Anthony DeSalvo and Russell Patrikas each had a sack.
"We were sloppy at times," said O'Reilly. "We had too many penalties. But it's a game we can take valuable lessons from. We were able to recover from our mistakes a win the game."
Pinkerton 38, Keene 19
Keene (0-2): 0 7 0 12 — 19
Pinkerton (2-0): 7 10 14 7 — 38
P — Jack Mackiernan 1 run (Picasso Bates kick), 5:25
K — Seamus Howard 9 run (Owen Frowien kick), 11:22
P — Jacob Albert 11 run (Bates kick), 8:28
P — Bates 28 field goal, 0:07
P — Cole Yennaco 2 run (Bates kick), 6:31
P — Nathan Campos 1 run (Bates kick), 0:36
K — Jarrod Rokes 17 run (kick failed), 10:29
P — Lorenzo Milana 45 run (Bates kick), 9:17
K — Rokes 12 run (pass failed), 6:54
RUSHING: Pinkerton (53-466) — Jacob Albert 15-154, Cole Yennaco 11-92, Nathan Campos 6-34, Jack Mackiernan 9-67, Lorenzo Milana 1-45, Ryan Catineau 3-30, Matthew Morrison 3-22, Ben Quintiliani 2-14, Camden Marasco 1-3, Ryan Gordon 1-7, Jared Sag 1-(-2): Keene (30-167) — Jarrod Rokes 13-83, Seamus Howard 9-33, Tanner Payne 6-56, Tristan Bleau 1-1, Aidan Tarr 1-(-6)
PASSING: Pinkerton — Campos 2-6-1, 57; Keene — Tarr 2-7-2, 13
RECEIVING: Pinkerton — Albert 1-43, Anthony DeSalvo 1-14; Keene — Marcus Rokes 2-13