Portsmouth High Takes Down Londonderry High

Granite State Challenge Semifinals

(DURHAM, May 9,  2022) -  The final game of the Granite State Challenge semifinals pitted Portsmouth High against Londonderry High.

Playing for Londonderry was captain and senior Austin Kilgore along with sophomores Nathan Ferrick, Brendon Saranich, and Xander Cogan. The team was coached by Peter Willis. Londonderry High enrolls 1,521 students.

Playing for Portsmouth High was captain and senior Francis Powell along with seniors Rio Marcus and Josie Sedam, junior Nick Dahlen, and alternate senior Karina Havaleshko. Portsmouth High was coached by Hannah Dul and enrolls 1,084 students from Rye, Newcastle, Newington, Greenland, and Portsmouth.

In the first round of the game, correct answers are worth 10 points and there is no loss of points for incorrect answers. Londonderry's Austin Kilgore picked up the first points in the match by correctly answering a question about Olympic bronze medals.  Francis Powell of Portsmouth picked up the next 10 points by naming the Charleston as a dance named for a South Carolina city. Rio Marcus of Portsmouth added 10 points to his team's score by knowing that Myanmar was once known as Siam. Josie Sedam added another 10 points to Portsmouth's score with a question about kimchi. With just under a minute left in the round, Portsmouth had a commanding lead of 240-70. The Unitil Power Question, worth double points was one of the final questions in the round. Neither team was able to pick up 20 points with a question about Canadian singer-songwriter Leonard Cohen. The final question of the round was about Paul McCartney and was correctly answered by  Austin Kilgore of Londonderry. The round ended with Portsmouth in the lead by a score of 250-80

In the second round of the game, correct answers are worth 20 points and there is no loss of points for incorrect answers. The second round also usually includes the 40 for 40 Question from a past season of Granite State Challenge, which celebrates the 40th season of the game.  Londonderry's Austin Kilgore, who picked up the first points in the first round, also picked up the first points in the second round by naming Joseph Heller as the author of Catch-22. Nick Dahlen of Portsmouth picked up the next 20 points in the round with a question about smallpox. Francis Powell correctly named the Bronx as the New York borough that is home to a stadium with plaques honoring Mickey Mantle and Joe DiMaggio with the 40 for 40 Question from season 25, adding 40 points to Portsmouth's score. Xander Cogan of Londonderry picked up 20 points with a question about the Gulf Stream.  The round ended with Portsmouth in the lead by a score of 510-160.

The third round of the game is the Three Strikes and You're Out Round. Each team picks a 10-question category and each team member, starting with the captain, gets one question. The team continues to answer questions until they miss three questions. Each team also has three passes in each round.  If a team answers all 10 questions correctly, they pick up an additional 10 points. Londonderry chose the category Top Hats. All of the answers in the category were related to hats. Austin Kilgore answered the first question about the Cat in the Hat.  Nathan Ferrick passed on a question about the sorting hat at Hogwarts, but Brendon Saranich was able to answer it correctly, Nathan Ferrick was later able to identify the Mad Hatter from Alice's Adventures in Wonderland. The team picked up 50 points in the round.

Portsmouth picked the category Barking Up the Wrong Tree. All of the answers in the category included the word tree or were related to trees. Portsmouth picked up 50 points in the round, missing on questions about tree kangaroos, the novel A Tree Grows in Brooklyn, and giant sequoias. The round ended with Portsmouth in the lead by a score of 560-210.

In the final round, correct answers are worth 20 points, but an incorrect answer will cost a team 20 points and leads can be quickly lost or gained.  Unfortunately, Londonderry was not able to catch up in the round and Portsmouth High won the game by a score of 760-330.

Portsmouth now moves on to face two-time defending champion Merrimack High in the championship game.

Granite State Challenge features New Hampshire's top high school academic quiz teams as they demonstrate remarkable teamwork, quick thinking, and smarts to beat the clock and buzz in first on this iconic New Hampshire game show. The game emphasizes quick recall of math, science, social studies, language arts, and fine arts facts - along with questions about current events, entertainment, sports, and New Hampshire.

You can follow your favorite team, test your own knowledge with GRANITE STATE CHALLENGE online quizzes, and more at the GRANITE STATE CHALLENGE web page or try your hands at daily brainteasers on the GRANITE STATE CHALLENGE Facebook page.

GRANITE STATE CHALLENGE is funded by lead sponsor Unitil; with additional funding from NEA New Hampshire, Safety Insurance, New Hampshire Lottery, D.F. Richard, Cognia, and HRCU.

Major funding provided by Unitil

Additional funding provided by NEA New HampshireSafety InsuranceNew Hampshire Lottery, D.F. RichardCognia, and  HRCU.


Watch Online

Watch More Portsmouth High Takes Down Londonderry High

Latest Updates

TV Schedule

Full Schedule



GSC Fun Facts:

  • Granite State Challenge premiered January 30, 1984
  • Londonderry High School took the first championship title.
  • Merrimack High School took the 2021 title!
  • Over 6,500 students have participated in GSC.
  • Over 120, 000 questions have been asked on GSC.

More Video

Londonderry Vs Portsmouth

Londonderry Vs Portsmouth

Londonderry High School takes on Portsmouth High School.

Nashua South Vs Merrimack

Nashua South Vs Merrimack

Merrimack High School takes on Nashua High School South.

Londonderry Vs Manchester Central

Londonderry Vs Manchester Central

Londonderry takes on Manchester Central in this quarterfinal matchup.

Conval Vs Portsmouth

Conval Vs Portsmouth

ConVal High School takes on Portsmouth High School in this quarterfinal matchup.


Merrimack Vs Plymouth

Merrimack Vs Plymouth

Merrimack High School takes on Plymouth Regional High School in this quarterfinal matchup.

Nashua South Vs Fall Mountain

Nashua South Vs Fall Mountain

The first match in the quarterfinals in the 40th season of Granite State Challenge.

Londonderry Vs Winnacunnet

Londonderry Vs Winnacunnet

The eighth game of the season and final game in the first round.

Manchester Central Vs Salem

Manchester Central Vs Salem

The seventh game of the season pits Manchester Central High against Salem High.

Conval Vs Hopkinton

Conval Vs Hopkinton

The Conval Cougars take on the Hopkinton Hawks!

Mascoma Vs Portsmouth

Mascoma Vs Portsmouth

Mascoma takes on Portsmouth.

Fall Mountain Vs Littleton

Fall Mountain Vs Littleton

The Crusaders of Littleton High take on the Fall Mountain Wildcats.

Bow High Vs Nashua South

Bow High Vs Nashua South

The Purple Panthers of Nashua High South take on the Falcons of Bow High.

Academy For Science & Design Vs Plymouth

Academy For Science & Design Vs Plymouth

The Academy for Science and Design take on Plymouth Regional High School.

Kingswood Vs Merrimack

Kingswood Vs Merrimack

The Tomahawks of Merrimack take on the Kingswood Knights.

It's the 40th season of Granite State Challenge!

It's the 40th season of Granite State Challenge!

Tune in to the first episode of the 40th season when Kingswood takes on Merrimack.

Super Challenge

Super Challenge

Merrimack takes on Bow in the final matchup of the season.

Semi Final 2

Semi Final 2

Bow takes on Portsmouth in this semi final matchup.

Semi Final 1

Semi Final 1

Manchester Central takes on Merrimack in this semi final matchup.

Quarter Final 4

Quarter Final 4

Bow High takes on Stevens in the forth Quarterfinal match up.

Quarter Final 3

Quarter Final 3

Portsmouth High takes on Londonderry in the third Quarterfinal match up.

Quarter Final 2: Merrimack Vs Plymouth

Quarter Final 2: Merrimack Vs Plymouth

Defending champs Merrimack High against Plymouth Regional High.

Quarter Final 1: Manchester Central Vs Bishop Guertin

Quarter Final 1: Manchester Central Vs Bishop Guertin

The Little Green of Manchester Central High take on the Cardinals of Bishop Guertin.

Salem V Stevens

Salem V Stevens

The Salem High Blue Devils take on the Cardinals Stevens High.

Bow Vs Prospect Mountain

Bow Vs Prospect Mountain

The Bow Falcons meet the Prospect Mountain Timberwolves.

Londondery Vs Pinkerton

Londondery Vs Pinkerton

The Lancers of Londonderry High take on the Astros of Pinkerton Academy

Oyster River Vs Portsmouth

Oyster River Vs Portsmouth

The Bobcats of Oyster River High take on the Clippers of Portsmouth High.

Plymouth Vs Exeter

Plymouth Vs Exeter

The Blue Hawks of Exeter High take on the Bobcats of Plymouth Regional High.

Merrimack Vs Sanborn

Merrimack Vs Sanborn

The Tomahawks of Merrimack High take on the Indians of Sanborn Regional High.

Bishop Guertin V Lin-Wood

Bishop Guertin V Lin-Wood

The Cardinals of Bishop Guertin High take on the Lin-Wood Lumberjacks.

Manchester Central Vs Raymond

Manchester Central Vs Raymond

The Little Green of Manchester Central High take on the Rams of Raymond High.

Super Challenge - Merrimack Vs. Plymouth

Super Challenge - Merrimack Vs. Plymouth

The Bobcats of Plymouth Regional High take on the Tomahawks of Merrimack High.

Semifinal Match 2 - Plymouth Vs. Bow

Semifinal Match 2 - Plymouth Vs. Bow

The Falcons of Bow High take on the defending champions Plymouth Regional High Bobcats.

Semifinal Match 1 - Merrimack High Vs. Souhegan High

Semifinal Match 1 - Merrimack High Vs. Souhegan High

The Tomahawks of Merrimack High take on the Sabers of Souhegan High in the first semifinal

Quarterfinal Match 4 - Bow High Vs. Exeter High

Quarterfinal Match 4 - Bow High Vs. Exeter High

The Falcons of Bow High take on the Blue Hawks of Exeter High in the final quarterfinal.

Quarterfinal Match 3 - Manchester Central Vs. Plymouth Regio

Quarterfinal Match 3 - Manchester Central Vs. Plymouth Regio

The Little Green of Manchester Central High take on the defending champ, Plymouth Regional

Quarterfinal Match 2 - Nashua South Vs. Souhegan

Quarterfinal Match 2 - Nashua South Vs. Souhegan

The Purple Panthers of Nashua High South take on the Souhegan High Sabers.

Quarterfinal Match 1 - Merrimack Vs. Academy for Science and

Quarterfinal Match 1 - Merrimack Vs. Academy for Science and

The Phoenix of the Academy for Science and Design take on the Tomahawks of Merrimack High.

Bow Vs Fall Mountain

Bow Vs Fall Mountain

The Bow High Falcons take on the Wildcats of Fall Mountain Regional High.

Bishop Guertin Vs Exeter

Bishop Guertin Vs Exeter

The Cardinals of Bishop Guertin High take on the Blue Hawks of Exeter High.

Hanover Vs Manchester Central

Hanover Vs Manchester Central

The Marauders of Hanover High take on the Little Green of Manchester Central.

Dover Vs Plymouth

Dover Vs Plymouth

The Bobcats of Plymouth Regional High take on the Dover Green Wave in round-one play.

Londonderry Vs Souhegan

Londonderry Vs Souhegan

The Londonderry High Lancers take on the Souhegan High Sabers.

Nashua South Vs Portsmouth

Nashua South Vs Portsmouth

Nashua High South Purple Panthers meet the Portsmouth High Clippers in this round 1 match.

Academy For Science And Design V Littleton

Academy For Science And Design V Littleton

The Academy for Science and Design Phoenix take on the Littleton High Crusaders.

Merrimack V Newfound

Merrimack V Newfound

The Bears of Newfound Regional High School take on the Tomahawks of Merrimack High.

Dover High School Vs Profile High School | 2020 Wild Card

Dover High School Vs Profile High School | 2020 Wild Card

The Green Wave of Dover take on the Profile Patriots.

Newfound Regional Vs Sanborn | 2020 Wild Card

Newfound Regional Vs Sanborn | 2020 Wild Card

The Bears of Newfound take on the Sanborn Indians.

2019 SuperChallenge - Littleton Vs Plymouth

2019 SuperChallenge - Littleton Vs Plymouth

It's the final game of the season as Littleton High School matches wits with Plymouth.



Visit video.nhpbs.org to see even more local and national video.