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Yarmouth turns out the lights on Oak Hill, 51-7

Sports

Yarmouth turns out the lights on Oak Hill, 51-7

YARMOUTH—The defending Class C state champion Yarmouth football team had to wait an extra half hour to play its home opener Friday night, but it was worth the wait for the Clippers and their fans.

After the lights came on, Yarmouth demonstrated its power early and often and pulled away from an Oak Hill squad which was expected to give the Clippers a battle.

By halftime, Yarmouth had a 39-0 advantage and it went on to a 51-7 triumph, as all three facets of its game produced or set up points.

The Clippers have now won 14 games in succession and 22 of 23 of the past three seasons as they continue to set the bar in the region and show no signs of slowing anytime soon.

Standout senior running back Anders Overhaug only had six carries, but three of them resulted in touchdowns, as he averaged 25 yards per carry. Unheralded junior Caleb Uhl and sophomore Matthew Woodbury also had their way on the ground and senior Carter Dorsett was a one-man wrecking crew on defense and special teams.

Good luck to the rest of Class C, the defending champs appear unstoppable.

"We just played a great team and they may have had an off night," said Dorsett, who blocked two punts, returned an interception for a score and also had a quarterback sack. "Our defense was definitely on tonight. This is a huge deal. We came out here tonight and beat this top-notch team and it set the tone for the year."

Dominance

Yarmouth and Oak Hill have developed a pretty competitive rivalry in the Clippers' short history and a heartbreaking loss for Yarmouth two years ago at the hands of the Raiders served as the turning point for the program.

On Sept. 11, 2009, the Clippers blew a big lead at home and suffered an agonizing 26-23 setback to Oak Hill.

At that moment, Yarmouth, after 18 games as a varsity program, was 1-17.

Since that game, the Clippers have lost only once, at Dirigo in the 2009 Western C Final.

Last fall, Yarmouth was a perfect 12-0, edging the host Raiders, 20-15, in the regular season, then beating them, 28-7, in the Western C semifinals.

The Clippers did lose some standout players to graduation and are battling injuries in the early going, but had no trouble in a season-opening 41-0 blanking of host Old Orchard Beach.

Oak Hill, 5-5 in 2010, had a golden opportunity to down highly touted Lisbon in its opener, but fell, 24-14.

The Raiders came to Yarmouth Friday expecting a 7 p.m. kickoff, but around 5:30, power went out all over town and in neighboring communities. If it hadn't  been restored by 7:30, the game would have been postponed until Saturday night, but just after 7, the lights came on and the large crowd (many of whom had indulged on the first-rate offerings at the snack bar) roared.

The Clippers' rooters would have much more to cheer about as the evening went on.

Oak Hill felt it could hang tough with Yarmouth due to the size of its line, but it soon became clear that nothing would stop the Clippers.

The hosts won the opening toss and took possession, moving from their 41 to the Raiders' 40, but on fourth-and-2, Uhl only gained a yard and Yarmouth gave the ball up on downs.

The visitors then went backwards, thanks to a Dorsett sack and a false start penalty and junior Cody Collingwood came on to punt. Problem was, Dorsett wasn't about to let him get the football away. Dorsett roared through the line, dove all out and blocked the kick.

"They didn't block me, I wanted it and went out and took it," Dorsett said. "I was at the right place at the right time."

"It was the tone setter," added Yarmouth coach Jim Hartman. "We preach punt block all the time. Carter was the last guy I expected to get it."

The Clippers took over at the Oak Hill 25 and soon had the lead for good.

An 11-yard scamper from Woodbury got Yarmouth close and Overhaug (who gained 1,083 yards in 2010) broke the scoring ice with 7:32 remaining in the first quarter with a 4-yard TD run. Senior Bryce Snyder's extra point was no good, but the Clippers had a 6-0 advantage.

The visitors went three-and-out on their next series and after a short punt, Yarmouth took over at its 46. This time, it only took one play for Overhaug to find paydirt, as he took a handoff, ran into a hole, cut left, then outran the defense for a 54-yard score. Snyder's extra point was blocked, but with 5:32 left in the first, the Clippers had extended their lead to 12-0.

Oak Hill managed to pick up a first down its next possession, but Yarmouth stiffened from there and forced another punt. This time, the Clippers began at their 21, but promptly marched for another score.

After Woodbury ran for a yard and Uhl gained seven, Overhaug again broke free, running up the gut before cruising into the end zone for a 71-yard TD scamper.

"We're putting it all together," Overhaug said. "I had great blocking. I had some nice, open holes and it was some, nice open-field running."

This time, Snyder added the point-after and Yarmouth was up, 19-0, after one period.

In the first 12 minutes, the Clippers outgained the Raiders, 178 yards to 13.

Things didn't improve for the visitors in the second stanza.

On the second play of the quarter, Oak Hill sophomore quarterback Parker Asselin dropped back to pass, found himself under pressure from Yarmouth senior Ben Weinrich and looked to dump off a pass to a running back, but the ball struck sophomore Zach Messina in the facemask and deflected to (who else?) Dorsett, who took the gift interception into the end zone for a 25-yard score.

"I went in to hit the quarterback and somebody got there before me," Dorsett said. "He got hit, he threw the ball and it hit a defensive lineman in the face. I was just standing there, the ball was there, I got my hands on it and ran in for six. It was first defensive touchdown. Two years ago, my brother (Spencer), who played the same position as me, scored on a tipped interception. It was kind of funny."

Oak Hill's next series ended in a fumbled snap which Yarmouth's promising sophomore Nathaniel Shields-Auble fell on at the Raiders' 38.

Four plays later, Clippers' freshman quarterback Brady Neujahr got in on the fun, rolling right and racing into the end zone for a 24-yard TD. Snyder's PAT made it 32-0 with 7:40 left in the first half.

Yarmouth would get into the end zone once more before the break, driving 38 yards on seven plays, scoring through the air this time as Neujahr found Shields-Auble from a yard out with 4:21 remaining. Snyder's extra point gave the Clippers a commanding 39-0 lead.

Yarmouth had 279 yards of first half offense to 37 for Oak Hill.

The competitive phase of the game was over, but both teams played hard in the second half.

The Clippers' first drive resulted in a fumble, but the visitors couldn't cash it in, thanks in part to a timely sack from Yarmouth senior Jacob French.

Late in the third period, the hosts drove 73 yards in four plays for another score as this time Uhl broke free up the gut, broke a tackle and outran three pursuers for a 52-yard TD. The point-after was blocked, but the Clippers were up 45-0 after three.

The Raiders would get on the board in the fourth period, thanks in large part to a Yarmouth miscue. In punting formation, the Clippers had a low snap which got past Snyder and the ball was downed at the 1. Two plays later, Oak Hill freshman Alex Mace scored from the 1 and freshman Kyle Flaherty added the extra point to make it 45-7.

After liberal substitutions, Yarmouth found paydirt one more time as senior Samuel Keegan broke free for a 56-yard score. The Clippers went for two, but failed and that brought the curtain down on the emphatic 51-7 triumph.

"It's a total surprise," Hartman said. "I expected a much closer game. I really was not expecting this. We have some really good running backs. Bryce doesn't appreciate what he does, but the team does. The defense is really good. The kids have responded well to us changing it up. The new kid, Nate Shields, has filled a void for us. What was really gratifying was watching these kids improve. It was nice to see Sam break one. He shows a lot of gumption out there.

"Our secret is we focus hard on fundamentals. We don't get into a lot of Xs and Os. It gets a little rough at practice. If they do something wrong, we stay on them."

Yarmouth finished with 397 yards of offense to 65 for Oak Hill.

Overhaug led all rushers with 150 yards. Uhl finished with 87 and a TD on nine rushes. Woodbury went 9 rushes for 50 yards and also caught a pass for 15. Keegan only rushed once, but it resulted in a 56-yard touchdown. Neujahr was 4-of-8 for 39 yards and a TD. He also rushed three times for 45 yards with a score.

While the Clippers' offense was once again prolific, the defense was simply dominant, holding Oak Hill's standout senior runner Cody Depuy to 53 yards on 17 attempts.

"I think when coaches are scouting us up, they know we have a shutdown defense," Dorsett said.

"Bryce Snyder had some nice deep kicks so it was tough for them to get going," Overhaug said. "Our defense shut them down. Ben Weinrich had some nice tackles. Nate Shields started at middle linebacker tonight and did a nice job. It was a great team effort."

Next victim

Yarmouth goes to Traip Saturday of next week. The following week, the Clippers could be tested when Lisbon (the Greyhounds were in attendance Friday) comes calling in a rematch of last year's memorable regional final.

While some might expect Yarmouth to fall victim to complacency or buy into the hype, the Clippers feel otherwise as they keep their eye on the prize of another championship.

"I think it's easier to stay focused because we know we're the target and we have to get better every week," Overhaug said.

"Traip is a huge game and Lisbon will be our next huge test," Dorsett said. "Our coaches are really helpful in keeping our heads in check. I'm known to have a little bit of an ego. It's nice to have my Dad (assistant coach Mark Dorsett) on the team and have coaches breathing down my neck, making sure I'm perfect on every single play."

"We can't look ahead more than one practice or game at a time," added Hartman. "If we start looking ahead, we're in trouble. Traip is a carbon copy of Maranacook and (Oak Hill), I think They have a good fullback. They'll run downhill. They're well coached. It will be a tough battle.

"It's hard to imagine how far we've come. It's been a long, hard road building it, but we have some serious athletes. We have great coaches, great parents, everything."

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at mhoffer@theforecaster.net and followed on Twitter @foresports

Photo: Jason Veilleux / For The Forecaster

Yarmouth sophomore Matthew Woodbury breaks into the Oak Hill secondary. Woodbury had a breakout nine-carry, 52-yard performance and also caught a pass for 15 yards.

Photo: Jason Veilleux / For The Forecaster

Yarmouth senior Jacob French wrestles Oak Hill sophomore quarterback Parker Asselin to the ground for a sack.

Photo: Jason Veilleux / For The Forecaster

Yarmouth senior Carter Dorsett sends Oak Hill junior Brandon Potvin rocketing backwards. Not only did Dorsett block two punts Friday, but he also had a sack and returned a deflected interception for a touchdown.

Photo: Jason Veilleux / For The Forecaster

Yarmouth's senior standout running back Anders Overhaug leaves defenders in his wake and looks for running room. Overhaug only rushed six times, but three were for touchdowns, as he gained 150 yards in the victory.