HAMILTON – After suffering its first loss a week ago, the Pingree School football team didn’t have to wait long to right the ship.
The Highlanders kept Tilton School off the board for 46 minutes and four seconds on Saturday, prevailing, 40-8 at the Pingree School’s Turf Field.
“This was a good bounce-back game for us,” said Pingree coach Mike Flynn, whose team is now 2-1. “A week ago, we faced St. Paul’s School, probably the top team in the Evergreen League. We didn’t play our best and we got thumped [a 37-7 loss]. We practiced well this week. We executed and we played well.”
One player that took last week's setback to heart was Harrison Greenslade of Essex, who caught six passes for 105 yards and a TD and also scored a rushing TD.
"We were really well prepared. We carried over that anger," the junior said.
On a 20-yard reception from quarterback Colton Fahey in the third quarter, Greenslade caught the ball in the middle of the field with Tilton’s Nathan Cammack hanging on the back of his shoulders. The 6-foot, 5-inch Greenslade ran with the 5-9 Cammack on him for a few yards before he hit the turf at the Rams’ 13.
Two plays later, Billy Stevens of Essex carried the ball in from the 1, and his own extra point put the Highlanders up 33-0 with 7:26 left in the third.
“I caught the ball and he was right on me,” Greenslade said. “I could still feel that I was on my feet so I kept running. After the game, he came up to me and said ‘How could you do me like that, carrying me on your shoulders.’”
Said Flynn, “Harrison was our team MVP last year. He was all league. Our receivers are 6-6, 6-5, 6-4 ½. When we get inside the 35 and run those crossing routes, they’re really good.”
Added Tilton coach Matt Dawson, “Our cornerbacks are all good athletes. They play lacrosse. They have good feet, but they’re giving up, 6, 7, 8 inches.”
Fahey completed 13-of-19 passes for 192 yards and two touchdowns. On the opening series of the game, he connected with Greenslade for a 9-yard touchdown pass inside the right pylon.
With four seconds left in the half, Fahey finished a 58-second drive that began on the Pingree 22 with a 21-yard pass to Caleb Clark of Topsfield. Stevens’ extra point gave Pingree a 26-0 lead at the half.
Prior to Clark’s touchdown reception, Tilton (0-3) held on to the ball for eight minutes and five seconds. After Stevens (14 carries, 112 yards) carried the ball into the end zone for his first of two touchdowns with 9:07 left in the half, the Rams drove from their own 25 to the Pingree 22. The drive ended when Stevens broke up Karis Saphys’s fourth-down pass to Cammack.
Stevens also set up Greenslade’s rushing touchdown with a 61-yard punt return to the Tilton 31.
Zachary Manuel of Salisbury ended Tilton’s first possession of the second half with an interception which he returned to the Rams’ 32, setting up Stevens’ second touchdown.
Aman Patel of Wenham scored the Highlanders’ final touchdown on a 2-yard run with 9:59 remaining in the fourth.
Saphys ended Pingree’s shutout bid with 1:56 left in the fourth on a 1-yard quarterback sneak. Campbell Wain rushed for the conversion.