Justin's write up on the Spaulding Football Jamboree!
Hugo Bolin Field in scenic Rochester NH (I’m a native son) was the sight for the Spaulding Football Jamboree. Some bad information made me think things got underway at 6, so I missed the first period which saw Kingswood Regional (D4, Wolfeboro NH) beat Farmington/Nute (D6) 8-0.
I arrived to see Spaulding, lead by returning Senior QB Sam Oulette, march down the field and score on a Tyler Snow TD run. Spaulding’s D swarmed to the ball and never allowed the Kingswood offense to get anything going. Trey Scott had a beautiful 48 yard TD run called back for a sideline infraction, but a few plays later scored from 35 yards out. Spaulding beat Kingswood 14-0 in the 15 minute running clock period. Spaulding ran a lot of the double wing, misdirection plays we saw last season, but did experiment with some shotgun sets.
Period 3 saw Somerswoth (D5) take on Farmington/Nute. Bad news for D5 Linebackers- Josh Ream is back. The Mini-Mike Allstot of the Hilltop City looked like he was in midseason form. After scoring on a Kurtis Michaud scored on a 3 yard TD run (set up by a beautiful 30 yard completion from Seinor QB Drew Francouer to Darren Glore on a designed rollout ) , Ream rumbled for an 8 yard TD.
Farmington had some flashes from Jamen Gunnerson (including a nice 31 yard run) and Austin Healy, but they fell to Somesworth 14-0.
The Main Event was Spaulding and Somersworth in the final period. These are Thanksgiving Day rivals, and Spaulding Head Coach Claude Gagnon (always, ALWAYS wearing shorts), along with Defensive Coordinator (and AD) Kevin Hebert coached on the same staff as 2nd year Somersworth Head Coach Dan Hodsdon.
Spaulding fumbled on their first offensive play, leading to a time consuming 80 yard drive by the Hilltoppers, featuring a healthy dose of Josh Ream off right tackle. Francouer capped off the drive with an 11 yard bootleg for the TD.
Trey Scott answered with a 90 yard Kick Off return for a TD. Scott looked great as a Sophmore, and now as a Junior, is a threat to score whenever he touches the ball. He did, however, cough up the pumpkin for the Red Raiders on the Hilltopper 5 yard line on the next drive.
The two teams played an additional 15 minute period so that 2nd and 3rd string players could see some action.
Overall, I was very impressed with Somersworth. They have good Senior leadership in Tyler Kretschmar, Francouer, and Ream, just to name a few.
“Having this Senior group is really going to help” said Somersworth Coach Dan Hodsdon “There’s 13 of them, and they all contribute- hopefully they can carry us”
Spaulding showed flashes of being the team that captured the imagination of the Lilac City with a run that saw them come up just short of a State Championship berth last year, but Coach Claude Gagnon, as coaches tend to do, focused on the things his team can do better.
“I think we need to find our identity, like we did last year” Gagnon told me, after the Jamboree had concluded. “We need our Captains to step up and lead”.
We’ll see if the Red Raiders find their mojo before they take on Nashua South in their opener on 8/31, a game you can hear on WTSN AM 1270, and online at wtsnam1270.com (cheap plug).
Somersworth opens up at Epping/Newmarket on 9/1. Farmington Nute begins their campaign at Gilford on 9/1, and Kingswood kicks things off in D4 with a trip to Trinity on 8/31.