Football notebook: Young Oak Hill makes big strides in win over MCI

MCI’s Braeden Kennedy, right, tries to tackle Oak Hill’s Hunter Drew (22) after Drew intercepted a pass that was knocked down by Oak Hill defensive back Adam Hinckley (11) during of a Saturday football match at the Stacen Doucette Memorial Stadium at Oak Hill High School in Wales . Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

The last time Oak Hill played at Maine Central Institute, the Raiders and Huskies were playing for a state championship. The first meeting between the two teams since that game seven years ago was very different.

After rocky starts to their respective seasons, Oak Hill and MCI entered Saturdaymeeting with 0-3 records. Rather than squaring off for the Gold Balls, which the Raiders and Huskies did in 2014 and 2015, the two were just desperate to win a game.

“We have recent history against them in a couple of state championships not too long ago,” said Oak Hill head coach Chad Stowell, an assistant for the Raiders in those title clashes. Class D. “That was when both programs were at their peak. They were fun games.

Just like it did in those two state championship fights, Oak Hill once again defeated MCI on Saturday afternoon at Stacen Doucette Memorial Field. The Raiders had a balanced effort on offense and recorded plenty of sacks and turnovers on defense in a 44-0 win.

Hunter Drew and Maverick Swan led the way at Oak Hill, the former rushing for 131 yards and the latter adding 100 on the ground. But the winning effort, Stowell said, was the product of much more than the successes of these two players.

“We had three different 80+ yard guards, three different guys with touchdowns and four different guys with 2-point conversions,” Stowell said. “As a team that doesn’t really have a ton of firepower, being able to have a balanced offense and a diverse offense is something we try to emphasize.”

There have been plenty of growing pains this season for an Oak Hill team that had to replace nearly all of its production from a year ago after graduating from a big senior class. Inexperience hampered the Raiders in Weeks 1 and 2 losses to John Bapst and Poland, respectively, before Lisbon beat them 48-6 in Week 3.

“When you add it all up, I would estimate that we lost about 95 per cent of football contact from last year,” Stowell said. “For these young kids to go from shutout two weeks ago and scoring six last week to what we did on Saturday is something to be proud of.”

THE REVENUE BATTLE often decides football matches. Waterville has now learned that in victory and in defeat.

In Week 3, Waterville came away with a critical road victory over Mt. Desert Island largely because he forced three fumbles and an interception from the Trojans and then capitalized on those errors. Meanwhile, the Panthers didn’t turn it over once in the 26-20 win at Bar Harbor.

Waterville never had a draw in Friday’s 50-32 loss to Spruce Mountain, but it did turn the ball over Phoenix once. The second of those turnovers proved costly as the Phoenix scored two plays after a missed punt to go up two scores, while Waterville failed to capitalize on Spruce Mountain’s lone turnover in the fourth quarter.

“We won that game against MDI because we went there and won the rollover battle,” Waterville head coach Isaac LeBlanc said. “We lost the game (on Friday) because we didn’t win the turnover battle, and they were able to capitalize and take advantage of that.”

Waterville’s next match will be against Morse in a rematch of last year’s Large School North eight-man championship game. The Panthers will initially have a week to focus on self-improvement as they enter the exemption, and LeBlanc knows there is work to be done before his team faces another test. hard.

“You can’t go against these good teams and lose the turnover battle and make the kinds of mistakes that we made,” LeBlanc said. “We also have to force our own turnovers. Otherwise, you’re not going to beat teams like this; it just won’t happen.

GARDINER CRUISE TO a 41-0 win over Brunswick Friday night at Hoch Field. The Tigers – who improved to 3-1 and won their third straight game – beat the Dragons offensively on the ground and in the air.

What may have come as a surprise to Tiger fans, however, is the number of times Gardiner has gone through the air. Quarterback Wyatt Chadwick completed 17 of 34 passes for 244 yards and a touchdown. Of those 34 assists, 26 came in the first half.

“It’s our new offense this year, trying to get the ball in the air,” Chadwick said.

The strategy certainly worked. Chadwick was able to take what the Brunswick defense gave him, hitting screens, flats and roads all evening. Chadwick managed to spread the ball to five different receivers.

“When we watched the movie, we noticed the turns and safeties were played out a bit,” Chadwick said. “Part of the game plan was going to be those fast (roads). With the wind we decided these fastballs were going to be effective.

Gardiner has also had success on the court. Chadwick rushed for 92 yards on nine carries, as well as three rushing touchdowns. Colton Dube added 89 rushing yards on 22 carries, with a touchdown. The Tigers will need the full offense on Friday night in their biggest test yet, against Skowhegan (4-0).

IT’S EASY TO Cony’s kicker Kam Douin was helped by the strong southerly breeze Friday at Cony’s Fuller Field. But how many other kickers, no matter the wind conditions, can kick off for touchdowns like Douin did?

Douin, a converted footballer, had two kickoffs on Friday that landed well behind the end zone in Cony’s 34-10 victory over Windham. And he can kick for placement, too: A line punt made under pressure in the third quarter rolled to the Eagles 13-yard line. He was 4 for 5 on extra points, each kick sailing deep into the night with and against the wind.

Douin joined the team as a weekend warrior, according to Rams coach BL Lippert, playing football during the week and donning the helmet and pads on Fridays. But this season he is traded football for full time football. He played wide receiver and cornerback on Friday and caught a pass for 12 yards.

“When he starts he’s a weapon,” Lippert said. “When he has the wind at his back, he will have touchbacks. Watching the 20 (yard line) is a big difference from starting 30 or 40 like some other teams have to. When he puts his foot in them, he can drive them deep.

Central Maine Newspapers staff writer David Bailey contributed to this report.

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