Football teams take their lumps
After several promising weekends for Forecaster Country gridiron teams, the last one was anything but as Falmouth, Freeport, Greely and Yarmouth all went down to defeat.
Yarmouth hosted Wells in the first-ever meeting between the schools and with playoff positioning and Crabtree Points on the line, the Clippers missed an opportunity for a pivotal victory.
After falling behind, 8-0, just 96 seconds into the game, Yarmouth drew even just before halftime when senior Matt Woodbury scored from a yard out and the Clippers added a two-point conversion.
Yarmouth then went ahead, 15-8, early in the third period when senior Thomas Lord barrelled in from a yard out. When the Clippers forced a punt moments later, they had a chance to seize control of the game, but a fumble gave the visitors the ball in Clippers' territory. Yarmouth's defense held, forcing a fumble, but the offense was pinned deep and soon had to punt.
Then, a bad snap led to a two-point safety and on the ensuing free kick, Wells junior Chris Carney got free and returned it 55 yards for the go-ahead score. The Warriors pushed their lead to seven on a TD pass from junior Nate Booth to senior Jake Moody.
Late in the game, the Clippers drove to the Wells 4, but couldn't reach paydirt and they suffered an agonizing 22-15 setback, falling to 3-2 on the season, while the Warriors improved to 4-1.
"Anybody who follows the game of football knows how momentum can swing in a second," said Yarmouth coach Chris Pingitore. "The tide swings so much. It's an emotional game. It came down to two special teams mistakes. They fired off on defense and made running our offense difficult. It was a really tough game. We know how good we are. In a hard fought game, breaks go one team's way. They got the breaks tonight, but maybe we get the breaks next time. We know we can play with these guys. Defensively, we stand up with anybody. That will carry us. Wells and Leavitt, who I feel are 1 and 2, each game came down to the final seconds. There's nothing discouraging about that at all."
Yarmouth had 185 yards of offense to 159 for the visitors and had the better of the ground game, outgaining Wells, 162-75. Woodbury stole the show with 122 yards and a touchdown on 17 carries.
"Matt (Woodbury) played his heart out," Pingitore said. "He played a hell of a game. Defenisvely, he's averaged 15-20 tackles a game. Offensively, he came alive tonight. He ran really hard."
Yarmouth (now fifth in the Western C Crabtrees) has another big test Friday, when it goes to No. 4 Cape Elizabeth (3-2).
"Fortunately the guys are familiar with some of these Cape guys from junior high and youth," Pingitore said. "We haven't had that rivalry in high school until now. We know Cape will come out firing. They might be the toughest team we're going to play. One, because they're good and two, because there's a natural rivalry between Cape and Yarmouth. They'll come out swinging, but we'll be ready."
Falmouth, which was coming off an emphatic win at Oceanside, went to Westbrook last weekend and lost, 44-22. The Yachtsmen fell behind 24-0 in the first period. After getting a touchdown from Tyler Rolfe, the Blue Blazes added another score to make it 30-8 after one. By halftime, Falmouth trailed, 38-8. The Yachtsmen were down, 44-8, in the fourth period before getting TD a run from Tyler Rolfe and a scoring pass from Lucas Pushor to Austin Wheeler.
The Yachtsmen (3-2 and sixth in the Western B Crabtrees) returns home Friday to meet Fryeburg (1-4 and ninth). Last year, Falmouth lost at Fryeburg, 44-6.
Greely also fell to 3-2 (third in Western B) after a 42-14 loss at undefeated Kennebunk. The Rangers were down, 7-0, after one quarter, 28-0 at halftime and 42-0 after three periods. Greely got a fumble return for a touchdown from Christian Kroot and a TD run from Andrew Verrill in the final stanza to account for the final score.
The Rangers have another stern test Friday when they host fourth-ranked York (3-2). Last year, Greely dropped a heartbreaker at the Wildcats, 24-21.
Freeport fell to 2-3 and seventh in Western C after a 42-22 home loss to Freeport. The Falcons hope to even their record Saturday, when they host Lake Region (2-3 and sixth in the region). The teams have no history.