Grassini ties TD record

By ANDREW SYLVIA

Correspondent

MERRIMACK – Merrimack quarterback Justin Grassini recorded a pair of touchdown passes in a 39-16 victory over Goffstown, giving him a share of the NHIAA record for TD passes in a season.

Coming into the game with 33 passing touchdowns, Grassini’s 34th appeared to be within reach in the first quarter, but Goffstown’s Andrew Duval recorded a surprise goal line interception, delaying what some might have thought to be the inevitable.

Grassini would throw another interception a few minutes later, with both teams ultimately combining for four turnovers in the first half alone.

The gridlock was broken after Merrimack’s Nick Marchand returned a blocked field goal attempt 85 yards halfway through the second quarter.

Goffstown quarterback Colby Putnam would put the Grizzlies on the board with a 1-yard touchdown scamper just past the two-minute warning, but Merrimack immediately answered as Grassini connected with Joe Eichman a few seconds later for a 14-6 Tomahawks’ lead heading into the half.

Grassini would connect with Eichman again on the first drive of the second half to seal the game and his place in the history books.

The Tomahawks added rushing touchdowns from Ben Eichman and Adam Thornton as well as another touchdown pass from Ryan Devanna to Brian Genet.

Several Goffstown defenders helped add a safety early in the fourth quarter and backup quarterback Charles Keith connected with sophomore wideout Jack Stinnet just before the final whistle to conclude the game’s scoring.

Merrimack (8-1) – entering the playoffs for the first time in a decade – will once again host Goffstown (7-2) on Saturday at 1 p.m. in the Division I quarterfinals. The winner takes on the survivor of Bedford and Salem in the semifinals the following week.