Boston High School: Josh Gray

Maine statewide football preview

September, 4, 2013
9/04/13
5:15
PM ET
The football landscape has changed with the addition of a fourth class and reorganization everywhere. Here's a look at the top contenders in each class in 2013:

Class A East
MaineAsk anyone outside of Lawrence Bulldog territory, and that person would probably tell you the two best teams in Maine high school football last year were Thornton and Cheverus. This year, under the new alignment, they have the chance to meet in the Class A state final.

Cheverus was undefeated last fall until losing to Thornton, 20-13, in the regional final. The Stags graduated Fitzpatrick Trophy-winning running back Donald Goodrich and quarterback Liam Fitzpatrick, but should keep rolling. The top returning runner is Cody O'Brien (76 carries, 400 yards, 5 TD), and he's backed by Joe Fitzpatrick and Will Hilton, and new quarterback Ethan Jordan. Kicker Patrick Mourmouras booted 48 extra points as a sophomore a year ago.

Offense will be a key for Portland, which scored a total of 13 points in four losses last fall. The Bulldogs may be able to solve that problem themselves, as they bring back Justin Zukowski (180 carries, 991 yards, 11 TD), Jayvon Pitts-Young (79 carries, 472 yards, 3 TD) and quarterback Ryan Ruhlin. Another one to watch is Ronald Hargrove, a transfer from Concord-Carlisle Regional in Massachusetts.

Bangor will be an interesting case this season. The Rams had the burden of high expectations every year – partly because of their history, and partly because of a school size that theoretically gave Bangor a much deeper pool of players than its opponents.

Those expectations were blasted away last year by a 30-point loss to Lawrence and a 34-point loss to Cony. Football is still a big deal in Bangor – the Bangor Daily News wrote a preview story on the Lawrence-Bangor preseason meeting, then covered the game (a 13-6 Lawrence win) as well – but how will the Rams fare against the bigger southern Maine schools?

In an interesting subplot, Xavier Lewis is back at Bangor. Lewis played for Bangor before helping Lawrence to the state final in football and the regional final in basketball during the past academic year.

Windham and Deering look to bounce back from graduation losses, while Edward Little, Lewiston, and Oxford Hills look to improve.

Class A West
Thornton went with a 1-2 punch last fall of Andrew Libby (151 carries, 1,008 yards) and Nick Kenney (164 carries, 940 yards). With Kenney graduated, Libby could easily get in the neighborhood of 25-30 carries per game, and none of Thornton's opponents are excited about that. On the down side, quarterback Eric Christense (973 yards passing, 402 rushing) has graduated, and the Golden Trojans didn't have shutdown defense even last year, when all but two of their opponents scored at least two touchdowns. Still, Libby and Cody Lynn are stalwarts on defense, and if Thornton averages 38.7 points per game again, a couple touchdowns the other way won't matter.

Scarborough didn't play Cheverus last year, but looked pretty good against every other team on its schedule save Thornton. The Red Storm lost 35-7 to Thornton in the regular season and 49-14 in the playoffs. Scarborough brings back Dan LeClair (69 carries, 353 yards, 5 TD) and running/receiving threat Charlie Raybine.

Bonny Eagle could make a leap from last year's 2-6 record. The Scots opponents had a combined record of 43-21, but they still never lost a game by more than 17 points. Now they've added running back Jon Woods as a transfer from Gorham, along with some experienced talent like Zach Dubiel and Joe Bissonette. You can make an argument that Bonny Eagle's season might have turned out much differently if the Scots hadn't been plagued by bad snaps and turnovers in an early-season loss to Thornton last year. This season might show what Bonny Eagle is capable of.

Sanford had one of the best backs in the state last season in Alex Shain (201 carries, 1,426 yards, 27 TD), but the Redskins still scored a total of 32 points in their four losses, including a 42-16 first-round playoff setback to Scarborough. If Josh Schroder (86 carries, 457 yards, 6 TD) and new quarterback Chase Eldredge can't find a way to score against the top teams, a defense led by linebacker Colby Perigo may spend too much time on the field.

(Read full post)

New England Roundup: Maine

November, 27, 2011
11/27/11
10:12
PM ET
State football championships in three classes were decided at Fitzpatrick Stadium on Saturday with two teams repeating titles.

MaineCheverus extended its win streak to 24 games with its win against Lawrence in the Class A game while Yarmouth also ran its win streak to 24 straight with a win against Bucksport for its second Class C title in a row. Wells went to the wire against Leavitt before capturing its first
Class B championship since 1997.

The victories complete a sweep for Western Maine teams for the second year in a row. Here’s rundown of the games with video provided by DVM Sports, MBR.org and the Maine Sports Network.

Class A - Cheverus 49, Lawrence 7
With injured senior running back Spencer Cooke playing all but a few token minutes for Cheverus, it appeared the Stags might be challenged by a tough Lawrence defense. They weren’t as Don Goodrich scored five touchdowns, including a 92-yard kickoff return, and the Stags rolled up 509 yards of offense.

Goodrich rushed for 143 yards on 17 carries while fellow running back Brent Green picked up 179 yards on 20 carries. Wide receiver Louie DiStasio caught four passes for 130 yards.

The Bulldogs, who finished at 11-1, were hurt by five turnovers, four of which the Stags turned into scores. A fumble and an interception led to a pair of first quarter touchdowns by Green and Goodrich. Goodrich added a score early in the first quarter to make it 21-0. The Bulldogs got on the scoreboard when Anthony Sementelli scored on a 52-yard run midway through the second quarter, but Goodrich returned the ensuing kickoff 92 yards to make it 28-7 at the half.

Cheverus put the game away with 21 points in the third quarter, highlighted by a 52-yard scoring run from Goodrich. The Stags’ defense, which held opponents to 71 points in 12 games this season, limited Lawrence to 167 yards of total offense. The score was the most lopsided in a Class A title game since Cheverus beat Lewiston 65-13 in 1985.

Cooke, who sustained an injury late in the regular season and missed all of the Western Maine playoffs, carried the ball nine times for 18 yards, all in the second half. Cooke scored four touchdowns in last year’s state championship game.

(Read full post)

SPONSORED HEADLINES