2008 Power Players, Week 5
Chris McConnell, Andover: Everyone knew he’s a star on the track, but is he a football player? McConnell answered those questions with an outstanding performance in the Golden Warriors’ near-upset of undefeated Billerica. He hauled in three touchdowns from John Hennessy and tallied career-highs in catches (7) and receiving yards (101). McConnell used his speed and agility, outmaneuvering or simply running past defenders.
Jordan Johnson, Brooks: The junior quarterback/defensive back stood out at times as Brooks was edged by St. George’s, 16-13. He scored a 3-yard touchdown and had an interception.
Michael Garcia, Central Catholic: The defensive end spent a fair amount of time in Dracut’s backfield during a heartbreaking 20-14 setback, pressuring quarterback Matt Grimard into a pair of hurried throws and adding a tackle for lost yardage.
Joe Esposito, Georgetown: An old cliche but still appropriate -- Esposito did everything but sell tickets in Saturday’s 28-14 victory over NEC foe Marblehead. The senior tri-captain rolled up 214 yards rushing, scored three touchdowns and passed for a fourth, had a team-high 11 tackles including four for lost yardage from his safety position, while also batting away a pass and recovering a key fumble in his own end zone to thwart a Marblehead scoring drive
David Kenneally, Georgetown: A force for the Royals. The defensive back was aggressive on run defense, racking up three tackles that pushed Marblehead back 14 yards while adding a fumble recovery.
Wadscar Gomez, Greater Lawrence: What a debut! Entering the game without a varsity carry, Gomez was named the Reggies’ starter and did not disappoint. He rushed 32 times for a whopping 193 yards and a pair of 9-yard scores as Greater Lawrence broke into the win column with a 26-12 victory over Minuteman.
Dan Triplett, Haverhill: The Hillies showed some firepower against Chelmsford, and Triplett led the way. He rushed for a career-high 213 yards, including a 35-yard score in the Hillies’ 47-26 loss to the Lions.
Francis Nova, Lawrence: Pressed into duty at running back due to injuries, the junior reserve receiver carried seven times for 70 yards in a losing effort for the Lancers.
Matt and Mike Bartlett, Methuen: The twins can’t be separated. With 2:56 left in the game, Matt threw a perfect strike to Mike, who scampered into the end zone for the touchdown that gave the Rangers their biggest MVC win in years, a 27-20 victory over Tewksbury. QB Matt finished 6-of-9 passing for 101 yards and halfback Mike rushed 15 times for 86 yards and two touchdowns to go with his game-winning TD catch.
Josue Henriquez, Methuen: The speedster was all over the field with four tackles and a sack. He also flew down field to recover a fumbled punt that set up the score that gave Methuen momentum that lasted the rest of the game.
Michael Weisman, North Andover: The sophomore tight end made a stellar grab late in the fourth quarter as North Andover tried to avoid the shutout in a 21-0 loss to Hamilton-Wenham. Weisman split away from a defensive back down the left sideline for the 34-yard reception.
Darren Hartwell, North Reading: With players missing because of SATs, Hartwell did his best to carry the Hornets in a 25-12 loss to Austin Prep. He caught three passes for 75 yards and a touchdown, rushed three times for 42 yards and had an 86-yard punt return for a touchdown called back for a penalty.
Josh Luciano, Pelham: Talk about versatility. The utility man pulled off an unusual triple play, passing for a touchdown, rushing for a touchdown and catching another score as Pelham stayed undefeated with a 35-20 win over Bow. That without Bruce Vieira, arguably the most valuable player in New Hampshire, who was out with an injury.
The Pentucket Defense: Thanks to a stellar goalline stand, the Sachems delivered their third consecutive shutout, and third straight win, in a 19-0 victory over Newburyport. That with star safety Jordan Silva missing time with an injury. In four games this season, they have allowed only one touchdown.
Sam Auffant, Phillips: The running back turned in his best game for the Big Blue. He rushed for 140 yards on just eight carries, and caught three passes for 68 yards in Phillips’ 33-29 loss to Choate.
Matt Mangano and Chris George, Pinkerton: Eric Guinto's unsung backfield mates tore through Londonderry Saturday night. The seniors combined for a Guinto-esque 8.8 yards per carry, chewing out 193 yards on 22 carries in the Mack Plaque-capping win.
The Salem Defense: The offense struggled, but the Blue Devils defense was outstanding in a 7-0 loss to defending New Hampshire Division 1 runner-up Nashua South, which is undefeated in Division 1 this season (3-0). The top highlight was a goalline stand at the 1-yard line.
C.J. Dupuis, Timberlane: The 6-2, 200-pound senior caught three passes for 58 yards, including a game-winning 38-yard scoring strike from Erik Hatton in a pivotal 13-12 win over Keene. That final catch was a tough one in which he caught the ball on the end of his fingers and held on.
Dillon Ryan, Whittier: In recent years, Whittier has become known for its run-heavy, “snowplow” offense. But Ryan has shown an ability to throw the ball around this season. In the Wildcats’ 37-20 win over Mystic Valley, he completed 8 of 14 passes for 97 yards and a 20-yard touchdown pass to Damian Colman.