BEDFORD, NH – In the final scene of the Back to the Future film trilogy, the DeLorean/time machine rides the freight train head-on.
The freight train always wins.
Just like that Pelham High football team.
The Pythons ended an undefeated trilogy of their own in similar style here on Saturday afternoon by defeating the speedy Souhegan 35-6 in the Division II title game.
It is Pelham’s third straight state title and ended the football career of a senior group that will be legendary in the school, the region and even the state.
“For us, we’ve never lost to a New Hampshire team, not even in our teens, right through high school,” said senior Alex Carroll, who drove Pelham’s 380-yard rushing charge with 144 yards on 13 carries in the step title win. “We didn’t lose our grade when we played. So losing was not an option.”
Saturday’s win was the 30th straight win for Pelham, who made the leap out of Division III, where the Pythons hung back-to-back perfect seasons before beating the D-II crowd without a flaw this fall.
“Since my freshman year we have lost (the 2019 state quarterfinals against Plymouth). I didn’t like that feeling, so we weren’t going to lose again,” said fullback Ethan Demmons, who played the inside complement to the speedy Carroll, brilliantly rumbled for 139 yards and three TDs on 22 rushes.
“We know we have a special group of guys. We have to appreciate it. That does not happen. That’s once in a lifetime.”
“It’s a special group of guys. The brotherhood that we have is just special.”
In contrast to the first meeting between the two, a 28-21 win by Pelham, this time the Pythons forced five Souhegan turnovers – three picks and a pair of fumbles.
Carroll, Connor Travis and Dom Herrling had the interceptions.
Herrling got on the opening ball and a few plays later he broke the ice with a 20-yard TD run.
The first of Demmons’ trio came on the next possession, and the Pythons were big and 14-0 up.
“I feel like we were better prepared this time. We knew a lot more about her,” Carroll said. “Last time it was a surprise for us.”
That lead grew to 21-0 when Herrling caught a 20-yard TD throw from Jake Travis, a total backbreaker considering he came on a fourth and 13.
Forget run-pass balance in the is one. Pelham touts it runs football and no one could stop the Pythons. On Saturday it was 54 carries (for 380 yards) on three passes (for 19).
And while the 7.0 yard/carry average is pretty swanky, you can take out Jake Travis’ three squats and bump that up to a 7.5 (51-383).
“Call to our lineman, guys like Memphis Patterson, Ricky Lacoss, Derek Muise, Aiden Lynch and Russell Leonard. They’re amazing blockers,” Carroll said. “We have all the confidence in the world in ourselves when we let the ball go. We know we’ll pick up the yards we need.
“We just kept lowering our noses, lowering our shoulders and just running through people. That’s how we roll here in Pelham.”
That attitude was evident when the Pythons went for the kill right after halftime.
Pelham moved for 53 yards in eight games, with Demmons dozing midway in the third game for a 28-6 advantage.
“We knew we had the bigger kids early in the game,” Demmons said. “We just had to get this push done. We walked downhill all day.”