Gridiron wins for Falmouth, Greely and Yarmouth
Falmouth, Greely and Yarmouth's football teams are all 3-1 at the midway point of the regular season and all have legitimate playoff aspirations. Freeport is 1-3, but is still hopeful.
Falmouth bounced back from its lone loss with a 42-12 home win over Oceanside Friday night. After Oceanside jumped out early, 6-0, the Yachtsmen came back to lead, 14-6, after one period, as George Gilbert (10 carries, 54 yards) scored on runs of 3- and 14-yards. Neither team scored in the second quarter. Falmouth finally broke it open in the third. Quarterback Noah Nelson hit Cal Inlow for a 6-yard TD and Connor Aube (16 carries, 163 yards) ran it in from the 7, then broke free for a 57-yard score to make it 35-6. Aube's third touchdown, a 24-yard scamper in the fourth quarter, produced the final score.
"It was a little slower start than we wanted," said Yachtsmen coach John Fitzsimmons. "Once we got on track, we stepped up the way I knew we could. Noah has one of the best arms in the league. Connor is lightning in a bottle. He has over 600 yards and 11 touchdowns already. We're blessed to have such talented players. I'm very pleased to be 3-1."
Falmouth hosts dangerous 1-3 Westbrook Friday. Last fall, the Yachtsmen lost at the Blue Blazes, 44-22.
"We look forward to playing Westbrook," Fitzsimmons said. "It's always a tough game. We'll make sure we're ready and we'll hope for another win."
Greely extended its win streak to three with a 31-6 home win over Westbrook, somewhat avenging last year's playoff loss in the process. The Rangers went up, 7-0, in the first period when quarterback Matt Pisini hit Nick Dubois for a short touchdown pass. A Pisini to Sam Peck TD pass made it 13-0 at halftime. In the third period, Pisini threw two long touchdowns, one to Peck and the other to Andrew Verrill for a 25-0 advantage. A Peck fourth quarter TD capped Greely's scoring. The Blue Blazes got a touchdown late to avoid the shutout.
"The kids were really focused," said Rangers coach David Higgins. "We moved the ball well and we got a couple turnovers. It was a good test for us. It was closer than the score indicated."
Greely will host 2-2 Kennebunk, the defending regional champion, Thursday evening. Last year, the Rangers were humbled, 42-14, in Kennebunk.
"Kennebunk's huge and they can score points," Higgins said. "It will be interesting to see if we can come to play on a short week. If we have a good couple days of practice, it will be an interesting and a competitive game. We're coming into the meat of the schedule. If we can stay healthy, we'll be in it."
Yarmouth had no trouble with visiting Mountain Valley on Military Appreciation Night. The Clippers took a quick 13-0 lead behind touchdown runs from Arthur Chee and Lucas Uhl. After the Falcons kicked a field goal, quarterback John Thoma hit Cody Cook for a TD pass, Yarmouth produced a safety, then took a 29-3 lead to halftime when Chee scored on a short run. In the second half, Thoma and Cook hooked up again on a scoring pass and Uhl scored on a long run to give the Clippers the 42-3 victory.
"I’m pleased that we are 3-1 at the midway point of the season, but I’m also very aware that the teams we’ve beat only have a total of two wins between them," said Yarmouth first-year coach Jason Veilleux. "We played right with (preseason favorite) Spruce (Mountain) in our scrimmage and we lost to Leavitt by only eight in a game that could have easily gone our way, so I am confident we are good enough this year to play with anyone in our conference. We are playing very good defensively (only giving up 40 points) and our new offense is improving each week."
The Clippers travel to powerhouse Wells (3-1) Thursday. Last year, Yarmouth played the visiting Warriors tough, but lost, 22-15. The Clippers then host Cape Elizabeth and Poland before finishing at Freeport.
"Our next four games will be the more challenging part of our schedule, but they will give us a better indication of where we stand," said Veilleux. "We must improve our consistency and execution in all three phases of the game for four full quarters. If we can continue to stay healthy and improve each week, I feel pretty good that we will be in good shape for playoffs. We’ve got a great group of kids and coaches who are all working very hard to get this program back to the top of the conference. I have no doubts we’ll get there eventually, but how soon is the big question."
Freeport fell to 1-3 Saturday with a 50-0 home loss to Wells. The Falcons have been hindered by low numbers.
"Our guys don't quit and they play until the end, but numbers are a problem," said Freeport coach Rob Grover. "We just don't have the guys to put in. I thought we'd be as good as last year, but we're not."
The Falcons play at 2-2 Cape Elizabeth Saturday night. Last year, Freeport lost, 42-22, at home to the Capers. The Falcons then go to Lake Region before finishing with home games versus Mountain Valley and Yarmouth.
"I think we have to win out (to make the playoffs)," Grover said. "Lake Region and Mountain Valley are winnable games. We hope to be there at the end with Cape. Yarmouth is strong again. We'll be up for it."