CONWAY — Kennett High is one of eight football teams in the chase for the Division II State Championship.
The No. 4 seeded Eagles (7-2) are scheduled to host fifth-seeded Hollis-Brookline (7-2) in the quarterfinals at Gary Millen Stadium this Saturday at 1 p.m.
“We’re pretty excited about it,” said Vaughn Beckwith, Eagles’ head coach. “We earned it. We’re looking forward to another opportunity to play at home.”
Admission to Saturday’s game is $7 for adults and $5 for students.
The will be broadcast live on 93.5 FM with play-by-play announcer Greg Frizzell and color commentator James “Doc” Anderson.
Valley Vision TV (Channel 1301), which also broadcast Kennett Football with play-by-play announcer Rick West and color commentator Brian Day, will be at the game but under New Hampshire Interscholastic Athletic Association rules can not broadcast playoff games live. Television stations are required to wait 48 hours before airing games.
Bill Edmunds, station manager for Valley Vision, said the game will be aired this Monday at 7 p.m.
Also, at halftime of Saturday’s game, the 27th class of inductees into the Kennett High Sports Hall of Fame — Sut Marshall, Class of 1959; Mandi Manoogian, ’01; Sarah (Martin) Keyser, ’01; Jennifer (Luoma) McCracken, ’02; Ricky Gaudreau, ’10; Allison Wagner, ’11; and coach Phil Haynes, a member of the Class of 1970, will be introduced.
They will be inducted Saturday night in a ceremony at the Red Jacket Mountain View Resort in North Conway.
The Eagles and Cavaliers did not meet during the regular season with Hollis-Brookline playing in the South and KHS in the North. Both teams did play Milford (8-1, seeded No. 2) during the fall and were on the short end of scorelines. Hollis-Brookline fell 35-21 at Milford on Sept. 6, while Kennett lost 42-21 at home to the Spartans on Oct. 11.
The Cavaliers have been one of the most high-powered offenses in the division this season, scoring over 48 points in six games. They have outscored their opponents 367-133.
“Hollis-Brookline is a very talented football team,” Beckwith said. “They’ve got a quarterback (senior Sander Wimmer) who can play — throw or run. We’ve watched five or six of their games and I think there were only three or four times where he was tackled by one guy."
He added: “We’re going to have our hands full, but we’ve got to play our game and not give up a lot of penalties. Our goal will be to try to confuse (Wimmer) at the line (of scrimmage) and put pressure on him. If we want to make him uncomfortable, we've got to bring the pressure.”
Kennett had outscored its opponents 248-146.
Hollis-Brookline closed out its regular season with a 56-14 win over St. Thomas (4-5) in Dover last Saturday.
Kennett ended its regular season campaign with a 29-14 victory over rival Kingswood (3-6) in the annual Carroll County Championship Game. The Eagles have topped the Knights 13 years in a row to keep a firm grip on the Carroll County Trophy and maintain bragging rights.
Seniors Russell Chick, Jack Wheeler, Braeden Bailey, Malik Memia, Austin Parker, Ethan Ouellette, Jackson Ogren and captains Dom Jones, Justin Olson, Will Eaton, and Trevor LaRusso were all on the field for the final snap of the game and were all smiles receiving the Carroll County Trophy.
“This senior group has been a lot of fun working with them over the past four years,” Beckwith said. “I’ve been very impressed with the growth they’ve shown. Our captains have done a great job. Trevor and Will lead by example. We knew Dom was going to be a player and a leader when he came in as a freshman. Justin has developed into a football player and has taken his leadership to another level — he talks the talk and walks the walk. The kids look up to Will, Dom, Trevor and Justin and know what it takes to be a leader."
In other playoff matchups, No. 1 Bow (9-0) will host No. 8 Souhegan (5-4); No. 2 Milford (8-1) hosts No. 7 Alvirne (6-3); and No. 3 Pelham (7-2) hosts No. 6 Plymouth (7-2, the three-time defending champs).
The semifinals are scheduled for Saturday, Nov. 16 at 1 p.m. at the site of the highest remaining seed.
The Division II finals are slated for Sunday, Nov. 24 at 2 p.m. at the University of New Hampshire.