PA Gridders Cap Off Perfect Regular Season With Shutout

The Pinkerton Academy football team placed the final brush strokes on a relative masterpiece of a regular season in Derry last Friday night, Halloween evening, by throttling the scuffling Merrimack High Tomahawks by a 37-0 score.

The South Division regular season champs placed their final pre-playoff record at 9-0 by ending the 2-7 Merrimack contingent’s campaign, which began in promising fashion with wins over Keene and Bishop Guertin.

Veteran coach Brian O’Reilly’s Astros will host those cross-town rivals from Londonderry High in the conference title game this Saturday at 1 p.m. The Lancers qualified for the tourney title game with a dramatic, last-second, 23-21 win over Salem’s Blue Devils in Salem on Halloween night.

In the 37-0 mauling of Merrimack, Pinkerton got a two-touchdown performance from running back Nico Buccieri in making certain that its regular season record would end up unblemished.

The hosts tallied 14 points in the first quarter, nine more in the second, and then another 14 during quarter number four in collecting the 37-0 victory.

Buccieri got the scoring started with a 20-yard touchdown sprint just 1:17 after the opening kickoff, and six minutes later the hosts and their fans were celebrating Peter Cyr’s 4-yard scoring jaunt, which made it a 14-0 game.

The academy side went up 21-0 early in quarter two, thanks to quarterback Jack Hanaway’s 28-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Backels, and the PA defense was heard from rather loudly soon thereafter when it claimed a safety that turned the score into 23-0.

The third quarter was scoreless, but Pinkerton added a 10-yard touchdown run from Buccieri and a 30-yard scoring sprint from Nick Coombs during the fourth stanza in ending the scoring for the night.

Cyr finished the evening with 67 rushing yards on eight carries, junior star T.J. Urbanik notched 66 rushing yards on 11 carries, and quarterback Hanaway was just under 100 yards (98) passing, completing six tosses including a pair to Urbanik for 43 yards.