(Ed. Note: For the Falmouth-Morse game story, with photos and a box score, see theforecaster.net)
The good times roll on for two local football teams, who stayed perfect last weekend.
Falmouth improved to 6-0 with a 31-0 home victory over Morse, while Yarmouth also went to 6-0 after an impressive 29-8 win at Spruce Mountain.
Greely saw its two-game win streak come to an end, but not without giving powerhouse Leavitt a scare in a 20-14 loss which dropped the Rangers to 2-4.
Freeport fell to 0-6 after a 20-0 loss at Mountain Valley.
Falmouth was coming off a key home win over Leavitt and could have been caught looking ahead to a showdown at defending state champion Marshwood, but the Yachtsmen made quick work of visiting Morse Friday, putting the game away by halftime.
Quarterback Jack Bryant hit senior Austin Wheeler for a 44 yard touchdown and senior George Gilbert for a 33 yard score and senior Connor Aube rushed for a 22-yard touchdown as the Yachtsmen built a 21-0 lead after one period. A third Bryant touchdown, a 16-yard strike to senior Nick Wissemann, and a 21-yard field goal from sophomore kicker Jack Walker made it 31-0 at halftime.
In the first half, Bryant completed 14-of-28 pass attempts for a whopping 263 yards and three TDs.
While Falmouth wasn’t able to build on its lead in the second half, the Yachtsmen did slam the door defensively and went on to another impressive victory, 31-0.
“There’s always concern about a letdown,” said Yachtsmen coach John Fitzsimmons. “I didn’t see the intensity level I wished at the beginning. It’s Senior Night, so that takes away from focus, but we put up 31 points in the first half.”
Bryant finished 19-of-30 for 326 yards and three scores.
“I thought we played OK,” said Bryant. “There’s stuff we can improve on, but overall, it was a good effort. We stayed focused.”
“The highlight of the night was Jack Bryant,” Fitzsimmons said. “He’s really playing more like a two-year starter than a one-year starter. His arm is strong. Every week his confidence goes up.”
The Yachtsmen (first in the Class B South Crabtree Points standings) have a huge test this coming Friday when they go to defending Class B champion Marshwood (5-1), which is ranked second. The teams didn’t meet a year ago. Falmouth then closes at rival Greely.
“Marshwood’s a really good team,” Bryant said. “It will definitely be a tough game on their homefield. We have to have a good week of practice and be ready to go down there.”
“We have a very tough team waiting for us, but it’s a great opportunity,” Fitzsimmons said. “When we have the tougher teams, we step it up. Marshwood’s well-coached. They’re playing well.”
Yarmouth had a potential trap game as well when it went to Spruce Mountain. The Clippers were coming off a narrow, emotional home win over Wells and host Cape Elizabeth in a highly anticipated showdown Friday, but they took care of business in Livermore Falls.
Cody Cook (13 carries, 88 yards) rushed for three touchdowns and was sensational at linebacker for Yarmouth, which surrendered only 43 net yards and four first downs over the first three quarters.
“We went back to our base defense, because our base defense is meant to stop our own offense, and they run an offense like ours,” Cook said.
The Clippers converted two third downs to highlight a 10-play, 54-yard scoring parade on their opening drive. Cook capped the march with a 4-yard surge. Cook also raced to touchdowns of 23 and 28 yards. The second was set up by a 37-yard Remi Leblanc punt return, thanks to a key block from Jack Snyder. Quarterback John Thoma (10-of-14 for 90 yards and a TD) hit freshman Noah Eckersley-Ray with a 34-yard touchdown strike at the horn at halftime to turn the game for good. Spruce Mountain scored its only touchdown with 6:50 remaining. Andrew Beatty also matched his season-long with a 47-yard field goal in the fourth quarter.
“We played outstanding defensively and offensively I’m almost without words,” Yarmouth coach Jason Veilleux said.
Snyder, Kinsman, Jack Venden and Ricky Tillotson, all seniors, shone brightly on defense for Yarmouth.
“This has been the best ranked defense in the conference all season long, and I don’t expect that to change,” Veilleux said.
The Clippers (second in Class C South) host top-ranked, 6-0 Cape Elizabeth Friday night in a game that will get a ton of media attention. Last year, the Capers won at Yarmouth in the regular season, 31-28. The teams met again in the quarterfinals and the Clippers got revenge, prevailing in Cape Elizabeth, 14-12.
“We’re looking forward to it,” Veilleux said. “It’s always a close, fun game with a playoff atmosphere and with both teams being undefeated, it should really be a great game to see. When the schedule was released, our coaching staff knew we would have a tough three-game stretch against three of the better teams in our conference. So far, the team has met those challenges, but we will need to play our best game of the season on Friday night if we want to beat the No. 1 team. We can’t afford the number of penalties and mental errors that we had at Spruce if we want to beat a team like Cape. A lot of that is on me, I need to do a better job preparing our offense.”
Greely, which has struggled with injuries since the preseason, lost its first three games, then won two in a row before hosting powerhouse Leavitt. The game was scheduled for Friday but was postponed to Saturday due to rain. The Rangers hung tough, but dropped a close one.
After the Hornets went on top, 8-0, Greely pulled even on a recovered fumble in the end zone and a two-point conversion. After Leavitt took a 14-8 lead after a 97-yard third quarter drive, it went up, 20-8 late in the quarter. A Sam Peck 55-yard TD scamper pulled the Rangers within six, but they couldn’t complete the comeback and lost, 20-14.
“I think we’re doing great,” said Greely coach David Higgins. “It’s the most challenging season we’ve had, but my staff has done a great job. Other coaches know we’re not going to be an easy victory. We had to change our whole offense after doing the same thing for six years. We’ve improved every week. A lot of young men have stepped up. They give me everything they have. That’s what you want.
“Our two leaders, Sam Peck and Evan McCarthy, have done a great job. Sam’s the man. Everyone knows he’s going to get the ball, but he’s still doing his thing. He’s worked really hard. He’s a really good team leader. The younger kids have stepped up too. They’ve responded well.”
Greely (2-4 and eighth in Class B South) is at 1-5 Mt. Ararat Friday, then closes at home versus Falmouth.
“We don’t need to make the playoffs to validate our season,” Higgins said. “We’ve already validated our season by the way we’ve played and come together. We have to get by Mt. Ararat. They’re scrappy. Falmouth is fun to watch. John and his staff have done a wonderful job. You can throw the records out when we play.”
Freeport hoped to beat Mountain Valley for the second year in a row, but Mountain Valley scored a pair of touchdowns in the second period for a 14-0 lead and added another in the fourth quarter to go up, 20-0.
The Falcons (0-6 and ninth in Class C South) is at 0-6 Lake Region Friday. Last year, Freeport lost in Naples, 28-14.
Sun Journal staff writer Kalle Oakes contributed to this story.
Falmouth quarterback Jack Bryant looks to pass during the Yachtsmen’s 31-0 home win over Morse. Bryant threw for 326 yards and three touchdowns.