The Derry Demons Middle School team hosted the Manchester East Cobras at Don Ball Field at Humphrey Park Sept. 12 and walked away with a hard-fought, 22-6, victory. The win improved the Demons to 3-0.
Derry was able to find the end zone through special teams when Gil Culbertson raced down the sideline on a 64-yard punt return late in the first quarter.
The relentless up-front blocking from Hayden Sturdevant, Trystan Brown and Avery Littlefield starting opening up big holes for the Demons running backs. Cam Polchlopek gave the Demons some breathing room on a 10-yard touchdown run with 2:09 remaining in the third quarter.
Demons quarterback Aidan Sullivan completed two extra point conversion passes; one to Tyler Seccareccio and the other to Jake Houston. Mike Curley also had a key fumble recovery in the third quarter to help stop a big drive.
Sixth-graders fall in rematch
The Demon sixth-grade team had a tough challenge playing the defending state champions, Pelham-Windham Razorbacks. The Razorbacks started well by scoring a touchdown on their first possession. The Demons responded by a great individual effort by Evan Rodgers on a 45-yard touchdown run. The defense, anchored by Deene Hill and Adam Morin, was able to stop the Razorbacks, but a Demon turnover gave them a short field.
The Razorbacks took the lead, 13-6. They added another touchdown, then the Demons responded with a 60-yard drive. Evan Rodgers threw a 7-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Fortier just before the half. He opened the second half with a 54-yard drive, which was completed by a 7-yard touchdown run by Sam Goudreault.
Nico Buccieri made a great cutback run on the extra point to give the Demons a 20-19 lead. The Razorbacks drove the ball near the end zone until Michael Faragi made a touchdown saving tackle on the 3 yard line. The Razorbacks were able to make a huge defensive play by sacking the QB in the end zone for a safety. The Razorbacks added another touchdown late to beat the Demons, 27-20.
Fifth-graders suffer first defeat
As the clock ran out in the fourth quarter, so did the Demons' hopes of beating a team from Pelham-Windam. The 18-6 loss was Derry's first of the season.
Ja'vall Desir's 65-yard gallop in the fourth quarter gave Derry its only tally of the day, but offensively strong performances were turned in by Mark Newman having another 100-plus-yard game, while Mark Hayward did well managing the offense.
Defensively the demons played well, but the Razorbacks just kept nipping away and picking up just enough yards to keep their offense moving down the field and Derry's offense off the field.
Fourth-graders fall to Pelham/Windham
The Demons' fourth-grade team lost their home opener to the Razorbacks, 31-0. Despite the loss, Dylan Poulin and Tyler Mackiernan played very well defensively.
Chris Coombs also had some very big hits for Derry. Hunter Ickes ran well all day, but the Demons were unable to punch it in the end zone.
Third-graders slip to 2-1
The third-grade-and-under team lost a hard fought game to the Pelham Windham Razorbacks, 25-12, dropping them to 2-1 on the season.
Offensively, Dominic Tritto was moving the chains and Brady Day scored two touchdowns for the Demons, one of which was a 70-yard kick return. Evan Hansen delivered some key blocks along the way to keep an open running lane for Day.
Despite getting down 18-0 early in the game, the Demons kept fighting back to keep themselves in the game. Defensively, Dominic Tritto led the way for the Demons, making several key tackles. Jeff Potvin, Elias Grinnell and Tommy Height all played well, keeping pressure on the Pelham-Windham offense.
Third-graders down Cobras
The third-grade-and-under team prevailed against the Manchester East Cobras to bring their record to 3-1 on the season. Once again, the Demon defense played inspired football letting up just 6 points, which paved the way for a 26-6 victory.
Elias Grinnell, Jason Vaillancourt, Jordan Tunstall, Dominic Tritto, Conor Santoro and Tommy Height all contributed to a strong defensive effort. Offensively, Brady Day set the tone, returning the opening kickoff for a touchdown and scoring three rushing touchdowns.
Tommy Height had several solid runs to keep the chains moving for the Demons. The rushing lanes were opened by the outstanding blocking of Conor Gearing, Anthony Dinardi, Evan Hansen, Asa Runge, Elias Grinell, Alex Arrell, Andrew Jung, Chris Canfield, Jeff Potvin, Jack Devanney and Kennedy Edgerly.
Fourth-graders defeat Nashua
The Demons' fourth-grade team had a great game against Nashua Pal Force on Sunday at Derry as they rolled to a 20-6 victory.
The strong Derry running attack was led by Chad Teresky, who had two touchdowns. Seth Williams also had several outstanding runs, including a touchdown scamper.
Defensively, there were some huge tackles by Jacob Ridenour, Kyle Eldredge and Robbie Fahey. Overall, it was a dominant effort on both sides of the ball that evened the Demons' record at 2-2.
Fifth-graders fight it out
In other action, the Demons fifth-graders were involved in a tight battle against Manchester East under the lights Sunday, finishing up with a 20-14 win to raise their record to 3-1.
The Derry sixth-graders are now 2-2 on the year following an impressive victory over the Cobras of Manchester East, 38-18.
The Demons middle-school team suffered its first defeat of the year, 37-0, to the undefeated Hudson Bears.