Special teams play and defense powered Cheverus and Lawrence to key Class A victories last week over previously unbeaten teams.
Cheverus intercepted two passes and blocked two punts in beating Bonny Eagle, 23-20, to take sole possession of first place in the competitive North division of the Southern Maine Activities Association. Lawrence, meanwhile, rallied in the second half to stop Bangor, 21-14, and take over first place in the Pine Tree Conference’s Northern division.
The win for Cheverus was one of the biggest in years for the Stags who have rebuilt over the past four season under legendary coach John Wolfgram. Zach Dulac blocked two punts, the second recovered in the end zone for the game-winning touchdown in the fourth quarter.
The Stags also downed a punt on the 1-yard line in the second half that led to a safety. The visiting Scots, who have won four Class A state titles since 2004, took a 20-14 lead in the second half on a 46-yard run by Ethan Thorne. Quarterback Matt Rollins also threw touchdown passes of 60 and 45 yards to Cam Cooper.
The Stags also got a 65-yard scoring run from Evan Jendrasko who finished with 132 yards on 18 carries. Cheverus scored its first touchdown after recovering a fumble on the opening kickoff.
Lawrence trailed Bangor 14-7 at the half but its defense took over in the second, holding the Rams to 32 total yards. The Bulldogs took the lead on two plays in the third quarter just 1 minute, 53 seconds apart.
Blair Blaisdell with a 3-yard run, then after holding the Rams on down, Shawn Carroll swept 80 yards for a score.
Bangor pulled off a 79-yard flea flicker from Joe Seccareccia to Nick Sherwood on the first play of the game but it was called back. Undeterred, the same pair hooked up later in the opening drive for a 59-yard scoring play. After Blaisdell tied the score with a 21-yard run, Bangor’s Joe Stanivicz returned the ensuing kickoff 90 yards to make it 14-7.
Lawrence, at 7-0, is the only unbeaten team in the PTC and will have home field advantage in the playoffs. The Bulldogs also have allowed a conference low 39 points this season.
Jamie Ross, Deering, 3 rushing TDs, 1 passing in 42-7 victory against Westbrook.
Cody LeBerge, Windham, 245 rushing yards, 1 TD; 129 passing yards, 2 TDs in 20-14 win over Portland.
Sam Meklin, Rockland, 203 passing yards, 4 TDs in 24-20 win against Calais.
Keenan Knox, Messalonskee, 246 rushing yards, 2 TDs in 45-12 win over Skowhegan.
Justin Tinsman, 2 TD passes, 1 rushing TD, field goal and six extra points in 45-12 win against Skowhegan.
Jason Dutton, Old Orchard, 214 passing yards, 3 TDs, one rushing TD in 33-0 win over Sacopee.
Football Top 10:
3. Bonny Eagle
6. Mountain Valley
Key games this week:
Leavitt at Gardiner: The host Tigers (6-1) were upset two weeks ago at Belfast but this one is for first place in the Pine Tree Conference’s Class B division. Junior Alonzo Connor leads the Tigers with over 1,300 yards rushing while junior quarterback Jordan Hersom is the playmaker for the defending state champion Hornets (7-0).
Deering at Cheverus: This one could decide home-field advantage in the Class A playoffs. Cheverus (7-0) is coming off a huge win over Bonny Eagle while Deering (6-1) has been the hottest team in the SMAA since an early-season loss.
Thornton at Biddeford: Not only are both teams 6-1 in the SMAA south, but this rivalry between the neighboring schools dates back to 1893. Thornton leads 49-34-8.
A proposed reclassification of Maine’s three football classes into four has hit a sticking point. The Maine Principals’ Association reclassification committee has tabled any recommendations at the request of the football committee which will review concerns next month. Among the issues is a proposal to divide the Double A class, which includes the state’s 18 largest schools into three divisions.
Northern schools are feeling crowded out and some prefer two divisions. Also at issue is the competitive balance for some new football programs which would essentially move up in class.
Former Bangor running back Lonnie Hackett is one of five recipients of the National High School Football Scholar/Athlete Award. Hackett was selected recently from a pool of 31 finalists and will be honored in New York City on Dec. 7. Now a freshman at Bowdoin College, Hackett set school records for rushing yards (2,257) and touchdowns (28) last season . . . Former Lisbon High and Bates College coach Joe Woodhead died this week. At Lisbon where he coached for 27 years, Woodhead led the football team to state titles in 1960, ‘61, ‘68, ‘71 and ‘78.
State team and individual golf championships were decided recently at 36-hole Natanis Golf Course in Vassalboro. Gorham was a surprise winner in Class A, winning in a three-way tiebreaker over Brunswick and Deering. The Rams won based on the score of their fifth man. Falmouth won the Class B title with the lowest four-man score of the day, 315, while Houlton repeated as Class C champ, beating St. Dominic by one stroke.
Gorham senior Mike Arsenault won the Class A individual title, shooting even par 72 in cold and windy conditions. The Class B title went to Ellsworth junior Greg Martin who shot 77 while Madison junior Seth Sweet won the Class C championship with 73. Fort Kent freshman Ali Prescott won the schoolgirl championship with 79.
The state field hockey playoffs are under way. Skowhegan entered the playoffs as the only unbeaten team in the state. Last season, the Indians saw their streak of eight straight Class A state titles end with a loss to Scarborough.
Miss Maine field hockey candidates were announced this week. They include Gardiner’s Becca Paradee, Mt. View’s Hayleigh Kein, Scarborough’s Kristen Felt and York’s Hannah Keating. The winner will be announced Dec. 5.
BOYS' SOCCER TOP 10
8. Cape Elizabeth
10. Camden Hills
GIRLS' SOCCER TOP 10
CROSS COUNTRY COACHES POLLS
Boys' top 10
5. Cape Elizabeth
6. Mt. Ararat
9. Mt. Blue
Girls' Top 10
2. Cape Elizabeth
3. Mt. Ararat
4. John Bapst
7. Bonny Eagle