October arrives, fall sports fun ramps up-Northern edition

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Falmouth quarterback Jack Bryant throws a pass during the Yachtsmen’s 42-14 home win over Messalonskee Friday.

Freeport’s field hockey team celebrates last week’s 3-2 home win over rival Yarmouth.

Yarmouth Emilie Martin plays the ball between a pair of York defenders during the teams’ 0-0 tie Monday night.

(Ed. Note: For the complete Falmouth-Messalonskee football, Falmouth-Deering boys’ soccer, Falmouth-South Portland girls’ soccer and Freeport-Yarmouth, Freeport-Fryeburg Academy and Yarmouth-York field hockey game stories, with photos, see theforecaster.net)

The weather is finally feeling fall-like and the first hardware of the fall sports season will be handed out Saturday. While the regular season still has a way to go in several sports, the postseason isn’t far away, meaning every event takes on added importance. Here’s a glimpse at what happened in recent days and a look at what’s on tap:

Football

Falmouth’s football team continues to emerge as one of the best teams in Class B South. One week after a pivotal road win over Biddeford, the Yachtsmen hosted one of Class B North’s top contenders, Messalonskee, last Friday and rolled to a statement victory.

The Eagles scored first, but had the extra point blocked and Falmouth’s first drive then produced a beautiful 47-yard TD pass from standout quarterback Jack Bryant to Brady Douglas and a 7-6 lead after one quarter. When Bryant hit Emilio Micucci from 8-yards out early in the second period, the advantage was 14-6, but Messalonskee rallied and pulled even at 14-14.

With 3:17 to play before halftime, a 2-yard run from Garret Aube put the Yachtsmen ahead to stay and they took a 21-14 advantage to the break.

Messalonskee then recovered a fumble in Falmouth’s territory to start the second half, but gained just one yard. The Eagles got another chance to pull even, but again went three-and-out and later in the third quarter, Bryant scored on a 4-yard run for a little breathing room.

The Yachtsmen then ended all doubt in the fourth period, as Bryant and Micucci hooked up again, this time from 18 yards, and freshman Sam Kidder broke free for a 29-yard score, and went on to prevail, 42-14.

Falmouth improved to 4-1 and dropped Messalonskee to 3-2 in the process.

“This offense is a lot of fun,” said Bryant, who completed 17-of-27 passes for 205 yards with three touchdowns and also ran 11 times for 77 yards and a score.  “We spread the ball around, get everyone involved and score a lot of points.”

“We made some adjustments to where they were motioning and that made a big difference,” defensive standout Josh Allen said.

“I was really pleased to see our defense get better as the game went on,” Yachtsmen coach John Fitzsimmons added. “We made adjustments at halftime and that’s the team I expected to see on the field.

Falmouth (third behind Marshwood and Kennebunk in the Class B South Heal Points standings) has another huge test Friday at 5-0 Marshwood. Last year, the Hawks came to Falmouth and prevailed, 33-8.

Greely won its third straight game Friday night, 28-0, over visiting Gorham. All 28 points came in the second quarter for the Rangers, who got a 13-yard touchdown run from Joey Casella, a 6-yard TD run by Will Schumaker, a 61-yard touchdown pass from Nick Male to Nick Gauvin and a 12-yard TD scamper from Naveen Caron. Shane DeWolfe booted four extra points for Greely, which improved to 3-2 and fourth in Class B South.

The Rangers are at 1-4 Noble Friday night. Last year, Greely blanked the visiting Knights, 26-0.

In Class C South, Freeport, which lost its first three games before beating Gray-New Gloucester, gave visiting Spruce Mountain all it could handle in a playoff rematch before falling, 28-21. The Falcons chewed up almost 11 minutes in the first quarter to go ahead, 7-0, on a one-yard run from quarterback Josh Burke.

“A drive like that puts a smile on a coach’s face,” Freeport coach Paul St. Pierre said.

Hunter Demers added a four-yard TD run and the Falcons had a 14-0 lead, but the Phoenix rallied to go ahead, 21-14, early in the fourth quarter. Freeport responded and tied the contest on a 50-yard run by Jacob Tomm, but Spruce Mountain got the next score and held on for the victory.

“We fought really hard,” St. Pierre said. “We built off that momentum from the win last week and for the most part we executed, but unfortunately, we need to be perfect to beat that team and we are close.”

The Falcons (1-4 and eighth in Class C South) go to 4-1 Morse Friday. The teams didn’t meet last year.

Yarmouth fell to 0-5 and ninth in Class C South after a 44-0 home loss to Leavitt. The score was a bit misleading, as the Clippers threatened on multiple occasions, but couldn’t punch the ball in.

“That was the best game we have played all season,” Yarmouth coach Jason Veilleux said. “A lot of our guys are injured so we were able to put JV kids in there and move the ball. I am very proud of our guys for that.”

The Clippers have another daunting test Friday when defending Class C champion Wells (5-0) pays a visit. Last year, the Warriors beat visiting Yarmouth, 54-7, in the regular season, then eliminated the Clippers, 56-12, in the Class C South quarterfinals.

Boys’ soccer

Yarmouth’s boys’ soccer team, the three-time defending Class B state champion, extended its lead in the Heal Points standings last week by downing visiting York (1-0) and host Freeport (6-1) to improve to 9-0. Max Coury had the goal against the Wildcats. In the win over the Falcons, Eric LaBrie had three goals, while Silas Chappell, Tahj Garvey and Jack Jones also scored. The Clippers went to Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday, host North Yarmouth Academy Thursday and play at Fryeburg Academy Tuesday of next week.

Freeport enjoyed a 2-1 home win over Waynflete, then lost, 6-1, to visiting Yarmouth last week. Jacob Dumont and Colby Wagner helped the Falcons rally to beat the Flyers. Jesse Bennell scored in the loss to the Clippers. Freeport (5-4 and sixth in Class B South) hosts Cape Elizabeth Tuesday and goes to Wells Thursday.

Greely took a 4-3-1 record and the No. 7 spot in Class B South into Wednesday’s game at York. Last week, the Rangers beat host Poland, 8-0. Silas Cunningham and Hazael Tshituka scored two goals apiece and Evan Goettel, Jack Libby, Quinn Molloy and Aiden Smith had one goal each. Greely is at Cape Elizabeth Thursday and visits Sacopee Valley Wednesday of next week.

Falmouth started the week atop the Class A South Heals after a 2-1 home win over Deering and a 2-0 loss at South Portland last week. In the victory, Brendan Hickey had an early goal and after the Rams tied it, Nate Arrants won it late with a penalty kick.

“My heart was beating out of my chest,” Arrants said. “All eyes were on me. Usually, I just put it in a corner. It’s all about placement.”

“The kids came back and played better after they gave up the goal,” said Falmouth assistant coach Todd Whitcomb, who was filling in for longtime head coach Dave Halligan, who missed the contest. “They said to themselves that they weren’t going to lose.”

The Yachtsmen (7-2) were home with Scarborough Tuesday (see theforecaster.net for game story), go to Thornton Academy Thursday, then host Gorham Tuesday of next week.

NYA was 3-5-1 and 11th in Class D South at press time following a 3-0 loss at Traip Academy, a 2-1 overtime home win over St. Dom’s and a 7-1 setback at Richmond. Ryan Baker tied it late against the Saints, then scored again in OT. The Panthers go to Yarmouth Thursday, host Traip Academy Saturday and visit Sacopee Valley Wednesday of next week.

Girls’ soccer

On the girls’ side, defending Class B champion Yarmouth remained undefeated with wins last week at York (4-0) and Freeport (6-0). Sara D’Appolonia had two goals, while Hannah Corey and Ehryn Groothoff also tickled the twine against the Wildcats. In the win over the Falcons, Hannah Merrill had two goals, while D’Appolonia, Lily Davis, Ashlyn Feeley and Parker Harnett also scored. The Clippers (10-0) were home with Gray-New Gloucester Tuesday and welcome Fryeburg Academy Tuesday of next week.

Greely was 6-3 and fourth in Class B South following last Wednesday’s 5-0 win at Poland. The Rangers were at York Tuesday, visit Cape Elizabeth Thursday and play at Sacopee Valley Wednesday of next week.

Freeport was 6-3 and fifth in the region following Friday’s 6-0 home loss to Yarmouth. The Falcons went to Wells Wednesday, play at York Friday and host Lake Region Wednesday of next week.

In Class A South, Falmouth dropped a 3-2 home decision to Portland, then improved to 3-6 and 11th in the region with a 1-0 home win over South Portland Saturday. Cali Wiberg set up Devin Quinn for the goal in the victory.

“We needed this win badly,” said Wiberg. “We need to get out of our rut. This was a necessity going forward for playoff standing.

“We played really well today,” said Falmouth coach Andrew Pelletier. “I thought the first half was the best half we played all year.”

After going to Massabesic Wednesday, the Yachtsmen host Windham Friday (see theforecaster.net for game story) and welcome Westbrook Wednesday of next week.

In Class D South, NYA was 1-8 and 10th at press time after a 3-0 home loss to Traip Academy, a 4-2 setback at Richmond and a 2-0 loss at Rangeley. The Panthers hosted Greater Portland Christian School Wednesday, go to Traip Academy Friday and welcome Buckfield Wednesday of next week.

Field hockey

Freeport’s field hockey team is enjoying its best season in years and has produced plenty of drama in recent days. Last Tuesday, the Falcons held off visiting Yarmouth, 3-2. After a 4-3 overtime loss at Poland, Freeport bounced back to beat visiting Cape Elizabeth (4-1) and edged visiting Fryeburg Academy in overtime, 3-2. Against the Clippers, freshman Hannah Groves and Ally Randall, along with Natalie Anderson had the goals.

“This win brings most of what we’ve been working on all season together,” Anderson said. “We’ve needed to beat a top team and it hadn’t happened. This was a legit win. It feels fantastic.”

“(Yarmouth’s) our rivals,” said Falcons coach Marcia Wood. “We get fired up for them. It’s our biggest win by far.”

The Falcons opened up a 3-1 lead at the Knights behind goals from Groves, Alexa Koenig and Kerry Lefebvre, but Poland rallied to force overtime, then won it there.

“You always think if you play well, you deserve to win, so it’s hard when it doesn’t come that way,” Wood said.

In the win over the Capers, Lefebvre had two goals and Groves and Koenig had one goal apiece. Against the Raiders, Freeport got a first half goal from Anderson and nearly went up by two at halftime, but Koenig sent a penalty stroke off the crossbar. After Lefebvre made 2-0 early in the second half, Fryeburg Academy rallied to tie it and force overtime. There, just 83 seconds in, Lefebvre set up Koenig for a blast which gave the Falcons their first OT win in eight years.

“Kerry passed it to me and I tried my best,” Koenig said. “I was hoping and praying it would go in. I went for the corner and luckily it went there and went over the goalie’s foot. I heard the sound and it was an amazing rush and turned to hug all my friends.”

Freeport (8-3-1 and fourth in the Class B South Heals at press time)  hosts Gray-New Gloucester Friday and finishes up the regular season Tuesday of next week with a pivotal contest against visiting Greely.

Yarmouth got goals from Kyaira Grondin and Maggie Gunville in its 3-2 loss at Freeport.

“There were some bright spots out there, but not enough,” Clippers coach Andrea Musante said. “It just wasn’t our day.”

Yarmouth then dominated visiting Wells, 10-0, behind four goals from Lydia Guay. Monday, the Clippers hosted nemesis York, a team they hadn’t beaten since 2002 and while they snapped a 19-game skid at the hands of the Wildcats, they settled for a 0-0 tie. Goalie Cayte Tillotson made 14 clutch saves.

“Obviously, we wanted the win, but we’re not disappointed with a tie,” Tillotson said. “We won’t be pleased until we get that win against York.”

“It was a hard-fought game,” Musante said. “The girls really dug deep. We asked a lot from them today.”

Yarmouth (8-2-1 and second to York in Class B South) was at Lake Region Wednesday, visits Cape Elizabeth Friday and closes the regular season at Poland Tuesday of next week.

Greely extended its win streak to four games and improved to 6-4-1 and sixth in Class B after downing visiting Traip Academy (5-0) and Cape Elizabeth (1-0) and winning at Gray-New Gloucester (6-1). Emma Dexter, Sydney Meredith-Pickett, Ella Novick, Hannah Perfetti and Maddy Perfetti all had goals against Traip. Elizabeth Brown had the lone goal in the win over the Capers. Against the Patriots, Novick had two goals and Delia Knox, Wren Payne, Hannah Perfetti and Maddy Perfetti scored one apiece. The Rangers went to Sacopee Valley Wednesday, welcome York Monday and close at Freeport Tuesday.

Falmouth moved up to ninth in Class A South after a 2-0 home loss to Biddeford and wins over host South Portland (3-1) and visiting Gorham (2-1, in overtime). Grace Soucy had two goals and Liberty Ladd added one against the Red Riots. In the win over the Rams, Brienn Douglas tied the game in the second half and Soucy won it in OT. The Yachtsmen (5-7) go to Thornton Academy Tuesday and host Sanford Thursday of next week.

In Class C South, NYA fell to 5-7 and eighth after a 4-1 win at Wells and losses at home to Sacopee Valley (3-2), at Lake Region (8-1) and at home to St. Dom’s (8-2). Caroline Gepfert, Katie Larson, Emilia McKenney and Amber Rose had the goals in the victory. Against the Hawks, Rose had both goals. She also scored against the Lakers. In the loss to the Saints, Larson and McKenney rattled the cage. The Panthers are home with Wells Thursday and finish the regular season at home versus Traip Academy Tuesday.

Volleyball

Yarmouth’s volleyball team was second to undefeated Cape Elizabeth in the Class B Heal Points standings after sweeping host North Yarmouth Academy (25-12, 26-24, 25-19) and  visiting Cheverus (25-12, 25-19, 25-19) last week. Maggie Murray had seven kills and Marie LeBlanc added six kills against the Panthers.

“NYA played us tough,” said Clippers coach Jim Senecal. “They’ve got some good players.”

In the win over the Stags, Kaitlyn Bennett had eight kills and Dominique Moran had 19 assists. Yarmouth was home with Gardiner Tuesday, visits Mt. Desert Island Friday and Ellsworth Saturday.

Falmouth improved to 6-3 with a 3-1 home win over Bonny Eagle and a thrilling five-set (25-19, 22-25, 25-27, 25-23, 15-8) victory at Biddeford last week. In the win over the Scots, Alison Noyes had seven kills and 14 digs, Katie Phillips eight aces and 10 digs and Danielle Casavant seven kills and nine digs. In the win over the Tigers, Noyes had 11 kills and Alston Armstrong added eight kills. The Yachtsmen (6-3 and third in Class B) were at Kennebunk Tuesday and visit Cape Elizabeth Thursday.

Defending Class A champion Greely was 6-5 and fifth in Class B after a a four-set (14-25, 14-25, 27-25, 16-25) loss at Scarborough in a state match rematch and a straight set (25-10, 25-15, 25-14) victory at Brunswick last week and a 3-0 (25-12, 25-16, 25-17) home win over Cony Monday. The Rangers hosted unbeaten Cape Elizabeth Tuesday.

In Class C, NYA was 3-6 and was clinging to the eighth and final playoff spot at press time following a three-set (12-25, 24-26, 19-25) home loss to Yarmouth and a five-set (25-19, 21-25, 26-24, 19-25, 12-15) home loss to Cony. Afton Morgan had 11 kills, Sydney Plummer added 10 kills and Jordan Ackerman finished with nine kills in the loss to the Clippers. After playing at Jonesport-Beals Friday, the Panthers visit Bucksport and Sumner Saturday.

Cross country

Falmouth, Greely, Maine Coast Waldorf and Yarmouth traveled to Belfast Saturday for the annual Festival of Champions.

In the girls’ meet, won by a team from Glastonbury, Connecticut, Yarmouth finished fifth, Greely ninth, Falmouth 16th and MCW 21st. The Yachtsmen did produce the individual champion in Sofie Matson, who completed the 5-kilometer course in 18 minutes, 17.33 seconds. The Clippers were led by runner-up Sophia Laukli (18:36.46). The Rangers’ top finisher was Carolyn Todd (third, 18:37.98). MCW’s fastest runner was Olivia Reynolds (37th, 19:50.53).

In the boys’ meet, won by Concord (New Hampshire), Falmouth was fourth, Greely fifth, Yarmouth 16th and MCW 25th. The Clippers produced the individual champion in Luke Laverdiere (15:10.86). The Yachtsmen were paced by John Auer (seventh, 16:02.72). The Rangers’ top finisher was Luke Marsanskis (12th, 16:13.46). MCW was led by Nick Neveu (34th, 16:52.41).

Closer to home, Freeport hosted NYA and five other teams. The Falcons won the boys’ meet. Alex Les was third individually in 17:03.21. The Panthers finished sixth and were led by Chris Hamblett (17:49.86). In the girls’ meet, won by Fryeburg Academy, Freeport finished fourth as a team, but Lilly Horne was the top individual in 18:39.01. NYA didn’t score as a team. Charlotte Collins had the 20th-best individual time in 23:11.91.

Friday, Falmouth joins Portland and Sanford at Marshwood, Greely hosts Freeport, Gray-New Gloucester and York, Maine Coast Waldorf welcomes Yarmouth, Fryeburg Academy and Poland and NYA joins Cape Elizabeth and Wells at Traip Academy.

Golf

The Southwestern Maine Activities Association state qualifier was held Monday.

Falmouth, which finished the regular season 8-2, qualified for the Class A team state match Saturday at Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro by shooting 328. Tyler Baker led the way with a round of 78, which was sixth-best among individuals. The Yachtsmen also got solid performances from Charlie Emple and Brady Pierson (who both shot 80, tied for 11th), along with Matt Adamowicz (83, tied for 19th). Baker, Emple and Pierson all qualified for the individual state match.

Greely went 6-4 in the regular season and shot a 334 at the qualifier to come in seventh, but only six teams made the cut. Ben Rosenthal shot an 82 (tied for 15th), Rachel Smith an 85 (tied for 25th), Greg Ryder an 88 (tied for 44th) and Jake MacDonald an 89 (tied for 47th). Rosenthal will take part in the individual state match.

The Western Maine Conference qualifier was contested Wednesday (too late for this edition).

Sun Journal staff writers Tony Blasi, Nathan Fournier and Adam Robinson contributed to this story.

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

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