Football teams on track for playoffs

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With just two weeks remaining in the high school football season, all four teams from Forecaster country are in line for playoff berths.

There’s still plenty of work to do, however.

The Yarmouth Clippers, the defending Class C state champions, got their first test of the season Friday night at Boothbay.

The Clippers had a fight to the finish, trailing at one point, 14-12, before surviving, 24-14. Prior to Friday, Yarmouth’s closest game was a 20-point win at Traip Sept. 17.

The Clippers went ahead in the second quarter when quarterback Brady Neujahr scored on a 30-yard run. Boothbay answered with a touchdown to go up, 7-6, but just before the half, after Caleb Uhl made an outstanding catch of a Neujahr pass, Nik Pelletier scored on a 1-yard run to make it 12-7 Yarmouth at the break.

When the Seahawks returned an interception for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, the Clippers were on the ropes, but on the next play, Uhl (11 carries, 109 yards) broke free for a 52-yard TD run. Later, Uhl returned an interception for a TD and Yarmouth held on.

“Boothbay’s a lot better than their record,” said Clippers coach Jim Hartman. “We underestimated how good there were. They’ll be tough the rest of the way. It took us awhile to get into rhythm. The kids responded and came through. Caleb had a monster game for us. We struggled in the pass game, but ran well. We had too many penalties and a couple brutal penalties. This will get us refocused and rededicated.”

The Clippers (6-0) are first in the latest Western C Crabtree Points standings. They host 0-6 first-year program Telstar Friday night in the home regular season finale.

“Telstar’s a team you can’t take lightly,” Hartman said. “They’re scoring points against everyone. They have wonderful athletes. We’ll have to use our speed and experience. We get some (injured) players back this week.”

Freeport suffered a tough road loss Saturday, 7-0, at Traip. The Falcons gave up a third quarter touchdown and couldn’t answer as they dropped to 4-2 with their second straight loss.

“It was a hard one to swallow,” said Falcons coach Rob Grover. “We had a touchdown we should have scored, but the official said we were out of bounds. Those things happen and you have to overcome. We only had 97 rushing yards and just 15 yards passing. We sure stepped up on defense and had three goal line stands. We still have to get over the hump against a top program like Lisbon, Traip or Yarmouth.”

Freeport (seventh in the Crabtrees) visits 1-5 Boothbay Friday night in what has become a must-win game. The Falcons edged the visiting Seahawks, 26-24, a year ago.

“Boothbay’s been very competitive in all of their games,” Grover said. “We have to come out like we did against Traip and Lisbon and score some points. If we don’t beat them, we won’t make (the playoffs).”

In Western B, Greely enjoyed its easiest victory in a long time, dominating visiting Gray-New Gloucester from start to finish, 68-7.

“The first four times we touched the ball, we scored,” said Greely coach Dave Higgins. “No matter what we did it worked. It was 28-0 after one quarter.”

The Rangers improved to 5-1 and are fourth in the Western B Crabtrees. They face a stern test Friday when they go to defending Class B champion Mountain Valley (5-1), which is coming off its first loss of the year last weekend at Wells. A year ago, Greely fell at the Falcons, 13-0. The Rangers then close the regular season at Falmouth.

“(Mountain Valley’s) going to be (teed) off,” said Higgins. “The biggest thing we need to overcome is their huge mental advantage. We’re working hard to get over that. The kids are buying in. We played with them last year. The problem was it took two series and we were down 13-0. We can’t freak out when we get to Rumford and see the smokestacks. I hope we play a good game. We want to be competitive. The next two weeks are big measuring sticks for us.”

Falmouth improved to 5-1 with a 42-12 home win over Fryeburg. The Yachtsmen led 10-0 after one quarter, 22-0 at halftime and 35-0 after three periods.

Quarterback Matt Kingry threw for two touchdowns and ran for another. Will Sipperly had two rushing TDs and another through the air (as time expired in the first half). Alex Derhagopian had a running score and Jack Cooleen caught a TD pass. Kingry wound up 10-of-18 for 146 yards. Ryan MacDonald rushed for 99 yards on a dozen carries. Sipperly gained 40 yards on 10 rushes. Joe Goodrich kicked a field goal.

Defensively, Chris Leete had five tackles and four assists, Sipperly wound up with four tackles and two assists and Michael Ryan made three tackles and had two assists.

The Yachtsmen are fifth in the Crabtrees and visit dangerous 2-4 Westbrook Friday. The teams have no history as the Blue Blazes are new to Class B this autumn.

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Sidebar Elements

Falmouth senior Ryan MacDonald delivers a bruising hit during the Yachtsmen’s 42-12 home win over Fryeburg last weekend.

Falmouth senior quarterback Matt Kingry blows through a hole for a big gain during the Yachtsmen’s fifth win in six games this season.

Sports Editor of The Forecaster since 2001. Find detailed game stories at I tweet prodigiously at @foresports.