(Ed. Note: For the Falmouth-Westbrook game story, with a box score and additional photos, see theforecaster.net)
The high school football regular season is already at the one-quarter pole and for two teams, Falmouth and Yarmouth, life couldn’t be better. Conversely, Freeport and Greely have dug an early hole.
One week after defeating nemesis York with surprising ease, 33-0, Falmouth had to overcome some adversity Friday evening at Westbrook.
The Yachtsmen jumped to a quick 6-0 lead on a 55-yard touchdown run from Connor Aube. Falmouth couldn’t punch the ball into the end zone again the rest of the half, yet managed to take that lead to the break, thanks a tremendous goal line stand.
After the Blue Blazes took a short-lived lead on a 29-yard touchdown pass from Bailey Sawyer to Bailey Ryan, Yachtsmen quarterback Jack Bryant hit his brother, senior Sean Bryant, from 29-yards out and after workhorse running back Brandon Martin ran for the two-point conversion, Falmouth was up, 14-7.
While the Yachtsmen continued to struggle to finish drives, it was up to their defense to preserve the victory and thanks to the dominance of Drew Chamberlain and his mates, Falmouth did just that as it went on to a 14-7 victory to improve to 2-0, dropping tough-luck Westbrook to 0-2 in the process.
Falmouth’s celebration was muted.
“That’s about the worst game I’ve been a part of,” said Chamberlain. “We were undisciplined in every part of the game. It’s the best Falmouth team I’ve been a part of, head and shoulders, but that game should have been 42-0.”
“It’s good to walk away with a ‘W,’ but we’re still a long ways to being the team we want to be,” said Yachtsmen coach John Fitzsimmons. “I told the boys that I’m pleased they fought hard, but having two touchdowns called back for penalties was very disappointing and the personal fouls were very disappointing and uncharacteristic for us. That’ll bite you in the end if you don’t straighten it out.”
Falmouth mustered 292 yards of offense, as Aube ran for 87 yards and a score on 14 carries and Martin rushed 15 times for 79 yards. Jack Bryant completed 6-of-11 passes for 102 yards and a TD. Aube caught three passes for 48 yards. Sean Bryant had two receptions for 47 yards and a touchdown. The Yachtsmen overcame one turnover and eight penalties for 66 yards in part by forcing two turnovers and recording five sacks (Chamberlain had three).
“We have a great secondary and I think our line’s as good as it comes,” Chamberlain said. “We prefer facing the run. We love stopping the run, but it’s good to see both. Other than that one touchdown and our penalties, we were really good on defense.”
Falmouth returns home Friday to meet Biddeford (1-1), the erstwhile Class A contender, which has moved down this fall. The teams have no history.
“Biddeford’s a class act program,” Fitzsimmons said. “They were a Class A playoff team. We’ll be ready. It’s a home game and that will raise the bar even more for us. We’ll get a challenge every week. I’m thrilled with our schedule. We won’t go deep in the playoffs unless we beat these teams. We’ll get better as we go along.”
Yarmouth entered the 2015 season as one of the Western C favorites and the Clippers have lived up to billing so far. After downing Lake Region in the opener, 31-13, Yarmouth welcomed Mountain Valley Friday night and cruised to another decisive win.
Touchdown runs from Cody Cook (8-yards) and Jack Snyder (35-yards) opened up a 13-0 lead after one period. After the Falcons scored on an interception return, Lucas Uhl scored on a 10-yard TD run and John Thoma hit Cook for a 40-yard score and a 27-6 lead. The Clippers added two more touchdowns in the final stanza, as Thoma hit Snyder for 68-yards and Noah Eckersley-Ray found Snyder for 18-yards. A final Mountain Valley score accounted for the 40-14 final score.
“I was pleased with the win, but was not pleased with four turnovers and the number of penalties,” said Yarmouth coach Jason Veilleux. “We can’t afford those types of errors if we want to take our play to the next level. Our schedule only gets tougher and we won’t be able to win games if we start them by beating ourselves.
“Our defense is playing at a very high level right now, it’s fun to watch our guys fly around. We play a fast, physical style of defense, which is fun to watch. Offensively, we are getting contributions from so many different players, which is great to see and tough to defend, but overall, we are taking everything one play at a time and are simply trying to get better on each play.”
Thoma finished 6-of-11 passing for 172 yards, two TDs and one interception. Eckersley-Ray went 3-for-4 for 27 yards and a score. Uhl had 113 yards on the ground, Snyder finished with 78 and Cook had 74. Snyder also had 128 receiving yards, while Cook finished with 52.
Yarmouth looks to improve to 3-0 Friday when it plays its first road game, against 1-1 Poland, which is coming off a surprisingly lopsided loss at Cape Elizabeth. Last year, the Clippers eked out a 28-24 home win over the Knights.
“Poland is a team who usually plays us very tough, so we are looking forward to a good game Friday night,” Veilleux said.
Freeport fell to 0-2 after a 63-6 home loss to Wells Saturday. The Falcons travel to surprising Gray-New Gloucester (2-0) Friday. Last year, Freeport downed the visiting Patriots, 32-14.
Greely lost at home to Marshwood, 49-12, to fall to 0-2. The Rangers seek their first win Friday at 1-1 Noble. The teams have no history.
Falmouth senior Drew Chamberlain registers one of of his three sacks during Friday’s 14-7 win at Westbrook.
Falmouth sophomore quarterback Jack Bryant looks for a receiver during Friday’s win. Bryant’s third quarter touchdown pass to his brother, senior Sean Bryant, was the difference in the 14-7 score.