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Joyce Endee

Silverhawks roll to state championship

The Silverhawks won the Granite State Football League championship on Nov. 10. Courtesy Photo. (click for larger version)
November 18, 2012
GILFORD — The top-seeded Gilford Silverhawks JV football team clinched the Granite State Football League state championship Saturday, Nov. 10, trouncing the number two Hollis-Brookline 480. The two teams had faced off earlier in the season in a hard fought battle, with the Silverhawks edging out Hollis-Brookline 8-0. Saturday's game however, belonged to the Silverhawks from the moment they took their home field.

Andrew Brothers led the offensive battle, scoring three touchdowns in the first half. Brilliant play calling by the Silverhawk coaching staff and a tremendous effort by the entire Silverhawk team left the usually gritty Hollis-Brookline team almost defenseless. The Silverhawks' determination allowed them to seemingly score at will.

The Silverhawks would go on to score five touchdowns in the first half alone. Conner Shipp scored on another hard fought run, breaking free down the right sideline. The offensive play of the day came late in the first half. The play started as a Brothers sweep down the right sideline, but ended with him throwing what appeared to be a perfect 30-yard pass to a sprinting Kaleb Bartlett. Bartlett reeled in the pass through tough coverage and never looked back; neither would the team.

The Silverhawks continued their offensive domination of the game in the second half with Brothers scoring another touchdown, bringing his point total to 28 on the day. Quarterback Conner McKenna would run in the extra points on the play. Tanner Wood scored the final touchdown of the day on a scorching 50-yard run. The Silverhawks would respectfully take a knee on the extra point attempt.

Defensively, the Silverhawks were also more than Hollis-Brookline could handle. The stellar Silverhawk defense stymied everything the Cavaliers threw at them. Runs were stopped for short yardage and passes were knocked down or intercepted. Jonathan Nelson made a spectacular diving interception that exemplified the Silverhawks' defensive tone for the day.

The game ended with the roar of the crowd of hundreds of supporters, the Silverhawks appearing almost stunned at what they had accomplished. In the history of the Granite State Football League, no team has ever gone undefeated and won the state championship. The Silverhawks rewrote history. A group of Lakes Region boys came together in August. Through hard work, perseverance, self-sacrifice, teamwork and excellent coaching, that group of boys ended their season as a team of young men.

Salmon Press
Martin Lord & Osman
Varney Smith
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