Londonderry 40, Dover 21
By PETER LEBLANC, Telegraph Correspondent
DOVER – Londonderry coach Tom Sawyer, the old dog of Division I football coaches, had no interest in new tricks Friday at Dunaway Field.
His Lancers showcased his – dare we call it – outdated single-wing offense in what proved to be a 40-21 tournament tune-up against Division II Dover High School.
"I started with the single wing way back in 1980," said Sawyer, who plans on retiring after the season. "And, I'm going out with the single wing. We have the right guys in the backfield."
That backfield includes running back Alex Theodhosi, who has now rushed for 1,669 yards this season.
Theodhosi scored three touchdowns with 168 yards on the ground against a Green Wave defense that was simply overmatched by the bigger Lancers (5-3 in Division I).
Fourth-seeded Londonderry will await the Division I pairings with Nashua South and Pinkerton Academy determining the No. 1 seed with their 2 p.m. game this afternoon.
Both coaches hoped to escape without any injuries or bad habits in a game that meant nothing in the standings.
"We looked at it as a game that we needed to get some work done," Dover coach Ken Osbon said. "I told the kids 'We're going to try to win this game, but we're going to get some work in.'
"Two seconds after this game we were telling the kids to dial it in for Bishop Guertin."
Dover has earned the third seed in Division II and will head to Nashua to play No. 2 Bishop Guertin while No. 1 Exeter awaits Saturday's results for its first-round opponent.
Theodhosi, meanwhile, had a rough week as he was hobbled by a bruised heel that kept him out of practice.
Then, during a game-opening 11-yard run he bit a small piece of his tongue off that kept him out until midway through the first quarter.
As Sawyer said, though, he has personnel beyond his star back to get the job done, illustrated by Kyle Connors (two rushes, 103 yards, two TDs) scampering 24 yards for Londonderry's first touchdown just four plays into the game while Theodhosi tended his injury.
While athletic quarterback Ryan Griffin (just one throw for 10 yards) didn't need to show any passing prowess, he was key in the single wing formation, keeping Dover off balance and rushing for a fourth-quarter touchdown and 91 yards himself.
Griffin also caught a pass from Craig Enos, lining up as a wideout and hauling in a tight 16-yard strike down the left sideline in the second quarter.
"He can do it all," Sawyer said. "I told him when we got him back from New Hampton – he said 'coach, are you going to use me at tight end?' and I told him you're going . . . to go where the action is."
With the Connors, Griffin, Theodhosi trifecta combining for 362 rushing yards Friday, that old single-wing isn't looking so bad.