LACONIA — Fresh off its first win of the season, a comeback 21-20 thriller at Kingswood in Wolfeboro last week, the Laconia Sachems are looking to record their first win ever on their new home field at Bank of New Hampshire Stadium.
The Sachems (1-2) will host Hanover High School (1-2) at 7 p.m. tonight. The Sachems grabbed a 23-10 halftime lead in their season opener against Pembroke Academy on September 6 but ended up losing 36-23. They lost their first road game the next weekend to Portsmouth 35-0 but bounced back last week with the winning score coming on a 56-yard touchdown pass from Matt Swormstedt to Kyle Chaison with 56 seconds left in the first half.
Hanover comes to town with a 1-2 record, losing 7-28 to Windham before topping Souhegan 25-21 in a road tilt.
Last weekend they did not play, forfeiting a homecoming game to Kearsarge as many of the team's 37 players were suspended due to what administrators termed ''egregiously inappropriate" behavior at a pre-season party.
One of the highlights of the evening Friday will the dedication of the new field to former Laconia High School football coach and athletic director Jim Fitzgerald, who coached the Sachems from 1973 to 2001, a period in which they went to the playoffs 19 times and advanced to 12 state finals and won three state titles.
The dedication will take place at 6:45 p.m. and is one of the highlights of the third annual Laconia High School Alumni Reunion.
Homecoming weekend will continue on Saturday with a number of athletic contests at the Bank of New Hampshire Stadium, field hockey at 9:30 a.m., girls soccer at noon and 1:30 p.m., boys soccer at 3:30 and 5 p.m. and volleyball contests in the LHS gym at 3 and 4:30 p.m.
In other games involving area teams the big game in Division II sees undefeated Plymouth, which crushed Kennett 42-0 last week, traveling to Manchester to face another undefeated team, Trinity, which has already beaten Portsmouth 58-37, Milford 30-20 and Lebanon 42-6. Many see the Saturday afternoon game as a preview of the Division II championship game.
Kingswood (1-2) will play at Merrimack Valley (2-1) which is coming of off a 48-14 loss to Portsmouth under the lights tonight in Penacook.
In Division III action, with all games being played Saturday, Gilford 2-1, coming off a 31-20 comeback win over Inter-Lakes-Moultonborough, hosts Bow (2-1), which beat Stevens 28-14 last weekend.
Newfound (2-1) hosts Inter-Lakes-Moultonborough (1-2). Newfound routed Franklin 50-15 last weekend while Inter-Lakes-Moultonborough lost 31-20 to Gilford.
Franklin (0-3) is at Newport, (2-1) which beat Fall Mountain 19-0 last week.