Quick start leads Biddeford past Greely

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Biddeford senior Marty Martel brings down Greely sophomore Brady Nolin during the Tigers’ 36-6 win Friday night.

John Ewing / Press Herald photos.

More photos below.

BOX SCORE

Biddeford 36 Greely 6

B- 14 14 8 0- 36
G- 0 0 0 6- 6

First quarter
B- Murphy 29 pass from Edgerton (Saucier kick)
B- Kelly 32 pass from Edgerton (Saucier kick)

Second quarter
B- Donovan 7 run (Saucier kick)
B- Murphy 28 pass from Edgerton (Saucier kick)

Third quarter
B- Donovan 13 run (Edgerton rush)

Fourth quarter
G- Schumacher 50 pass from Male (rush failed)

CUMBERLAND—Pretty much everything that could have gone wrong did go wrong for the Greely Rangers in the first half of Friday night’s home football showdown against Biddeford and as a result, the Rangers dug a deep hole and suffered a lopsided loss.

After going three-and-out to start the game, Greely punted and one play later, was behind for good, as Tigers senior quarterback Carter Edgerton found senior David Murphy for a 29-yard touchdown a 7-0 lead just 92 seconds into the game.

The Rangers then turned the ball over for the first time and Biddeford capitalized, as Edgerton and sophomore Scott Kelly hooked up for a 32-yard score to make it 14-0 after one quarter.

On the second play of the second quarter, sophomore Aidan Donovan added a touchdown on a 7-yard run and after a Greely fumble, Edgerton and Murphy hooked up again, from 28-yards out, and Biddeford took a 28-0 lead to the break, as the Rangers were doomed by five turnovers, including a pair in the end zone.

The Tigers induced a mercy rule running clock when Donovan scored on a 13-yard scamper in the third period and while Greely scored on its final play from scrimmage, a 50-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Nick Male to classmate Will Schumacher, it was far too little, too late and Biddeford went on to a 36-6 victory.

The Tigers avenged last year’s playoff ouster, snapped a two-game losing streak, evened their record at 3-3 and dropped the Rangers to 3-3 in the process.

“A lot of things killed us tonight,” said Greely coach David Higgins. “It was a very rough start. I think it was a combination of us and them. I wish I had a better answer. They executed well and we didn’t execute well and it looks like we weren’t prepared and that’s on me.” 

Not quite enough

Greely, as always, has overcome its low numbers, while Biddeford hasn’t been able to keep up with the upper echelon teams in Class B South.

The Tigers opened the 2018 season with a 26-12 win at Brewer. Following a 14-13 home loss to Cony, Biddeford took care of visiting Noble, 44-21. After a 27-18 setback at Falmouth, the Tigers had no answers for visiting Kennebunk, 48-13, last weekend.

The Rangers, meanwhile, were blanked at Noble, 14-0, in the opener, then crushed visiting Mt. Blue, 56-18. After a 22-0 home loss to defending Class B champion Marshwood, Greely upset host Cape Elizabeth, 20-14, and last week, rolled at Westbrook, 42-6.

Last year, the teams didn’t play in the regular season, but in the Class B South quarterfinal, the host Rangers sprung a 7-0 upset.

Friday, in the teams’ first-ever regular season meeting (they also met in the 2016 semifinals, a 22-6, Tigers’ victory), on a chilly evening (45 degrees at kickoff), Biddeford rolled to victory.

Greely started at its 31 and after Male missed incomplete, Schumacher ran for two-yards, then four, forcing a punt.

After a terrific 35-yard return by Kelly, the Tigers started at the Rangers’ 29 and it took one play to find paydirt, as Edgerton lofted a pass to the left pylon, which Murphy hauled in for the score. Senior Cody Saucier added the extra point for a 7-0 lead.

The Rangers hoped to answer, but after Schumacher ran for four yards, then two, Male was intercepted by Saucier, who returned the ball 10 yards to the Greely 30.

Four plays later, Biddeford was on top by even more.

After Edgerton fell on a bad snap for no gain, he threw incomplete and ran for three yards, setting up fourth-and-7. Before the next snap, the Tigers were called for delay of game, but on fourth-and-12 from the 32, Edgerton hit Kelly on a slant and Kelly raced into the end zone for the TD. Saucier’s PAT made it 14-0 Biddeford with 7:19 left in the first period.

The Rangers then drove into Tigers’ territory for the first time, but couldn’t finish.

After a nice kickoff return by senior Luke Stickney, Greely began at its 45. Senior Joey Cassella saw his first action, rushing for four yards, then five. After Cassella was held to no gain by senior Marty Martel and juniors Kurtis Edgerton and Owen Goodwin, the Rangers converted on fourth-and-1, as Cassella ran for three yards. After Cassella ran for three more yards and Schumacher gained six to the Biddeford 34, Male was dropped for a one-yard loss by sophomore Alex McAlevey and on fourth-and-2, Cassella only gained one yard, giving the Tigers the ball on downs at their 34 with 3:01 to play in the first.

Nine plays and 3:47 later, Biddeford was in the end zone again.

After Kelly ran for two yards, Carter Edgerton threw incomplete, but on third-and-8, Edgerton hit Saucier for 17 yards and a first down at the Rangers’ 47. Edgerton then scrambled for 15 yards and after he picked up one, Edgerton gave the ball to Kelly for 12 yards and a first down at the 19. On the final play of a first period which saw the Tigers out-gain the hosts, 106-33, Edgerton found Saucier for 10 more yards, setting up first-and-goal.

On the first snap of the second quarter, Kelly ran for two yards and on the next, Donovan got the call and scored from seven yards out with 11:14 to play in the half. Saucier added the extra point for a 21-0 advantage.

Greely then gave the ball right back.

The Rangers started their next drive at their 32 and after sophomore Brady Nolin picked up a first down with a 13-yard run, Saucier dropped Nolin for a one-yard loss and Schumacher ran for two yards. On third-and-9, Male was sacked by senior Ethan Cole and fumbled and McAlevey recovered at the Greely 42 with 9:20 left in the half.

Eight plays later and the Tigers were in the end zone again.

After Donovan ran for three yards and Edgerton threw incomplete, Edgerton found Saucier for 16 yards and a first down at the 23. Edgerton kept the ball for five yards, Donovan ran for two and after Nolin dropped Kelly for a one-yard loss and Biddeford was flagged for holding, Edgerton hit Murphy down the right sideline for a 28-yard touchdown with 6:01 on the clock. Saucier’s PAT extended the lead to 28-0.

After Schumacher returned the ensuing kickoff 33 yards to the 47, Male kept the ball and appeared bound for a long touchdown run, but just before he reached the end zone, he lost the ball and it rolled across the goal line, where McAlevey came up with it again for a touchback.

Biddeford started at its 20, but this time had to punt, as Donovan ran for three yards, the Tigers were called for holding and Donovan picked up two yards, forcing a punt that Cassella fumbled and Murphy recovered at the Biddeford 42.

The Tigers weren’t able to take advantage, as Edgerton ran for 12 yards and sophomore Ashton Crowell gained one before Edgerton was picked off on a long pass by Stickney, who returned the ball 35 yards to midfield.

Greely couldn’t capitalize, as after Schumacher ran for 24 yards for a first down at the Biddeford 26, then gained three more yards, Male was intercepted by Kelly, who leaped to make the catch at the goal line for another touchback.

The Tigers ran Donovan twice for 12 yards and that ended the first half with the visitors on top, 28-0.

In the first 24 minutes, Biddeford only had a yardage advantage of 185-120, but the Rangers’ five turnovers spelled doom.

Edgerton completed 6-of-10 first half passes for 132 yards and three touchdowns.

Greely fought hard throughout the second half, but couldn’t get back in it.

The Tigers got the ball at their 34 to start the third period, but after Edgerton hit Kelly for 15 yards, he threw incomplete, Donovan ran for six yards and Edgerton was dropped for a four-yard loss by seniors Brandon Campbell and Will Neleski. After a five-yard penalty for 12-men in the huddle, Biddeford had to punt.

The Rangers got the ball at their 31 and moved the chains, as Schumacher ran for one-yard, five-yards and four-yards. After a five-yard Male run, Schumacher gained one and an incomplete pass set up fourth-and-4, but Greely got the Tigers to jump off-sides, giving Greely a first down at the Biddeford 48. Schumacher was held to no gain, then ran for nine yards, but on third-and-1, a bad pitch led to a nine-yard loss. On fourth-and-10, Male scrambled 22 yards for a first down at the 26. Schumacher then picked up three yards, but Male twice threw incomplete, then on fourth down, another bad toss led to a fumble and a seven-yard loss, giving the Tigers the ball back.

A personal foul penalty on Biddeford forced it to start its next drive at its 15, but it took just six plays and 2:58 for the Tigers to rediscover their scoring ways.

A nine-yard Donovan run, followed by a 36-yard Donovan burst put the ball at the Greely 40. After Edgerton was held to no gain, Donovan ran for 21 yards and a first down at the 19. After a six-yard run by Kurtis Edgerton, Donovan did the rest, breaking free for a 13-yard score, breaking a tackle in the process. With 18.9 seconds to go in the third period, Biddeford went for two and Carter Edgerton rushed it in for a 36-0 lead, inducing the running clock.

Schumacher ran for seven yards on the final play of the third, then caught a four-yard pass on the first play of the fourth quarter before Male ran for nine yards and a first down. After being backed up by a holding penalty, Greely got a first down thanks to a four-yard Schumacher run and a personal foul penalty. After Male threw incomplete, Schumacher ran for eight yards and caught a pass for 14 more to the 15, but after Schumacher caught a pass for no gain, the Rangers committed their sixth and final turnover, as Male was intercepted by Kelly, who returned the ball to the 20.

Donovan moved the chains by rushing for three, then 11 yards. After Crowell lost two yards, McAlevey gained a yard and Crowell picked up two, forcing a punt.

The Rangers got the ball back at their 38 with 56.8 seconds left and after Male hit Nolin for 12 yards, Male found Schumacher over the middle and Schumacher eluded a defender before racing into the end zone to get Greely on the board with 20.7 seconds remaining. A two-point conversion rush was no good, but after the Tigers ran out the clock on their next play, the final score read 36-6.

“Everyone played their hearts out today and I think it showed on the scoreboard,” said Edgerton. “Everyone knows it’s a tough league, so you need every win you can get. I think 3-3 sounds a lot better than 2-4.”

“We needed this badly,” said Biddeford coach Brian Curit. “Greely is physical and they run hard and I’m proud of the effort our kids gave. We had guys playing in different positions. Marty Martel is playing inside linebacker for the first time since eighth grade and he did a great job.”

Carter Edgerton finished 7-of-13 passing, good for 147 yards, three touchdowns and one interception. He ran eight times for 32 yards.

“The line stepped it up big,” Edgerton said. “I had time to do what I needed to do and the receivers got the ball.”

Murphy had two catches, both for touchdowns, good for 57 yards.

Kelly had two receptions for 47 yards and a score.

Saucier caught three balls, good for 43 yards.

Donovan had a big day on the ground, picking up 128 yards and scoring twice on 14 attempts.

“Donovan has worked hard and he’s a very explosive kid,” said Edgerton. “He’s a very good runner.”

The Tigers gained 292 yards and turned the ball over just once, but were flagged eight times for 72 yards.

Greely was led by Schumacher, who had 66 rushing yards on 20 carries and caught four passes for 68 yards and a TD.

Male finished with 85 yards on five rushes and completed 5-of-13 passes for 76  yards, one touchdown and three interceptions.

The Rangers gained 271 yards, but couldn’t overcome six turnovers.

Two left

Biddeford (now third in the Class B South Heals) returns home next Friday, but the Tigers have to do battle with Marshwood. The Tigers then close at Westbrook.

“To be at our best, we have to get better every practice,” Edgerton said. “I know it sounds cliche, but if we can, we’ll be a much better team down the road.”

“This team is fun to coach,” Curit said. “They bust their tail every day. We make young team mistakes with a lot of sophomores, but it’s a good group and they’re just getting better.”

Greely (fifth in Class B South) has its home finale Friday of next week against Gorham, then closes at Falmouth.

“We need to beat Gorham and you never know what happens at Falmouth,” Higgins said.

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

Greely senior quarterback Nick Male looks to pass while under duress.

Greely senior Luke Stickney intercepts a pass intended for Biddeford senior David Murphy.

Biddeford sophomore Scott Kelly gets past Greely senior Jackson Williams and scores a first quarter touchdown.

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