Cape, Scarborough football teams eliminated
(Ed. Note: For the complete Scarborough-Bonny Eagle game story, with additional photos and a detailed box score, please visit theforecaster.net)
The high school football season came to a crashing half for local teams last Friday night.
In Western A, Scarborough went to Bonny Eagle full of upset hopes, but they were dashed, 27-0.
In Western C, Cape Elizabeth played well at top-ranked Leavitt, but a few big plays spelled the difference and the Hornets prevailed, 21-9.
Storm clouds pass
Scarborough was 1-3 at one point this fall, but won its final four regular season games, earned the No. 4 seed in Western A, then handled No. 5 Biddeford in the quarterfinals, 45-19, to earn a trip to top-ranked Bonny Eagle for the first playoff meeting between the programs (the Scots beat the Red Storm, 34-26, back on Sept. 27).
Friday, Scarborough found itself behind, 7-0, just 17 seconds into the game. The Scots added a second score later in the first period for a 14-0 lead.
"Being down one score is a lot, but it's tough being down 14-0," Scarborough quarterback Ben Greenberg said.
The Red Storm was still in the game at halftime and managed to move the ball at times, but never could punch it in.
"It was only a 14-point game at halftime," Scarborough coach Lance Johnson said. "If we'd been able to do anything with the ball to start the half, we would have been right back in the game, but we weren't able to do anything offensively. Our offense didn't help our defense out."
A blocked punt late in the third quarter led to another Bonny Eagle score and essentially ended the competitive phase of the contest. The Scots then scored once more and went on to a 27-0 victory.
Bonny Eagle improved to 8-1, advanced to play Thornton Academy in Friday night's Western A Final and in the process, brought the curtain down on Scarborough's strong season, which ended at 6-4.
"They were ready to play," said Greenberg. "They fought hard. Give them credit. They played well. We battled. We held them to 14 the majority of the game, but they were just the tougher team today."
"It was tough going for us out there," said Johnson. "(Bonny Eagle) played great. They were very well prepared. They came out and played physical. They were hungry.
"I think they played a lot different than the first time we came here. We've been pretty successful running left behind (senior lineman) Mike Pino all year and they had a big guy to match Mike. That changed the game a little bit. They got out of their stack defense. They set the edge better on us and didn't let us get outside."
For the game, Scarborough was outgained, 287-165.
Greenberg ended up 4-of-19 for 82 yards and two interceptions.
"I wasn't on tonight," Greenberg said. "We hit big plays the first time we played them, but they improved and covered that up. They adjusted."
"Ben got pressured pretty good," Johnson said. "I have no issues with the effort we got from Ben. He threw some good balls and he threw some bad balls."
While tears and hugs were prevalent in the postgame huddle, there's no denying that Scarborough was one of the most exciting and successful teams around this fall. The Red Storm never gave up and certainly played its best when it mattered most.
"We built great relationships with these kids," Johnson said. "It's been really rewarding. We've got a really good group of kids. They work hard. They did everything we asked. They set a good example for the underclassmen. The senior class was a great group of guys. Hard workers. Gentlemen. Just a pleasure to be around."
Graduation will do a number on the program, but Scarborough expects to remain a contender in 2014.
"We're competing physically better every year," Johnson said. "I think we're coming. We graduate a lot, but we have some numbers. We'll get to work in the offseason and get back at it."
Sting of defeat
Cape Elizabeth went to Leavitt Friday riding high after a 27-14 upset win at Yarmouth in the Western C quarterfinals. The fifth-ranked Capers had played visiting Leavitt tough in the season opener, losing, 26-7, but they couldn't get the job done in Turner.
The Hornets scored first on a halfback option pass, but the next time Leavitt got the ball, Cape Elizabeth held and forced a punt which it blocked. Just when it appeared the Capers were going to get the tying touchdown, however, they fumbled and on the next play, the Hornets got some breathing room on a long TD run for a 14-0 lead.
"Leavitt made the big plays," said Cape Elizabeth coach Aaron Filieo. "We played pretty well defensively, aside from three big plays that resulted in two scores. They scored on a third-and-long on a halfback pass. We went three-and-out and got a stop and blocked a punt and were ready to take it in, but we fumbled. The next play, they had like a 70-yard TD run. That was a big swing in momentum."
A short TD run in the third period finished the Hornets' scoring. Late in the game, Cape Elizabeth scored on a safety and a 2-yard run from quarterback Noah Wolfinger, but the Capers could draw no closer and lost, 21-9, to finish 6-4.
"They drove the length of the field in the third quarter and ran down the clock," said Filieo. "We turned them away, but they killed a lot of time. We opened it up in the fourth quarter and that helped us score.
"We didn't finish when we got into the scoring zone. Our margin for error was very small. We overcame a turnover and penalties at Yarmouth, but Leavitt didn't turn the ball over.
"I'm happy and proud of how we got better. I really enjoyed coaching these guys. They were a hard-working group. Fun to be around. The seniors did a nice job leading us. We took a step in the right direction. I liked being a new class. We had hard, competitive games."
The Capers project to be strong again in 2014.
"Our numbers are up," Filieo said. "The juniors had a great season. I'm optimistic looking at next year. We have holes to fill, but we have skill guys back. They're anxious to go back to Leavitt to start next season."