Ryan Gullikson led No. 4 Fryeburg Academy downfield in the final five minutes, capped by his quarterback sneak with 23 seconds remaining, to give the Raiders a 36-29 home victory over No. 5 Spruce Mountain in the Class C South football quarterfinals.

Gullikson picked off Spruce Mountain quarterback Caulin Parker deep in Fryeburg territory as time expired to preserve the fifth consecutive victory for the Raiders (6-3). It also was the first-ever playoff win for Fryeburg, which will travel to No. 1 Yarmouth for the semifinals on Friday.

Spruce Mountain’s season ends at 4-5.

Each team scored twice in a wild fourth quarter.

Dillon Webster scored on a 9-yard run after a blocked punt, and Devon Pomeroy’s extra point put the Phoenix in front 21-20 with 10 minutes to go.

Fryeburg stormed back on a touchdown pass from Gullikson to Nick L’Heureux-Carland from 25 yards. The Raiders rushed for the two-point conversion to grab a 28-21 lead.


The Phoenix weren’t done. They caught a break when Oscar Saunders’ apparent interception was nullified by a roughing-the-passer penalty.

That gave Spruce an automatic first down. Parker promptly rushed for another, then fired a strike to Webster, who broke a tackle at the 20-yard line and barreled all the way to the 5.

Webster fittingly finished the drive two plays later with a 3-yard TD. 

Spruce Mountain, which went for two points after most touchdowns during the regular season, elected to play for the lead instead of the tie. The first attempt fell incomplete, but Fryeburg was whistled for pass interference.

That moved the ball half the distance to the goal line, between the 1 and the 2. Parker took the snap and pushed it across for a 29-28 advantage.

Trailing for the third time in the game, Fryeburg was undaunted. The Raiders converted a fourth down to keep their season alive when L’Heureux-Carland caught an offering from Gullikson just off the turf at the Spruce Mountain 27.


Ethan Dow stopped Gullikson for a loss to set up third-and-short at the 20. Gullikson connected with Jabraun Johnson to the 10, with Austin Henault recovering from a momentary slip to make a touchdown-saving tackle.

Gullikson ran it inside the 5, and a facemask penalty moved it to the 2, where Fryeburg called timeout with 30 seconds remaining. Spruce stopped Gullikson at the goal line on the next play, necessitating another Raiders’ timeout, but the senior quarterback wouldn’t be denied on the ensuing try.

He connected with younger brother Cody for the two-point conversion.

The Phoenix recovered the ensuing squib kick at their own 46, leaving them with a puncher’s chance. Parker dropped one into Andrew Darling’s hands at the 32. His next pass incomplete, however, and Gullikson grabbed the final desperation heave before running out of bounds at the horn.

Spruce Mountain jumped out to a 14-0 lead in the first quarter before Fryeburg answered with three consecutive scores.

Darling exploded for a long touchdown on his first carry. Parker also threw a 40-yard TD to Henault.

It is the second season-ending loss for Spruce Mountain at Fryeburg in the past four years. The Raiders edged the Phoenix in the 2012 regular-season finale, denying Spruce a playoff berth.

Spruce Mountain lost to Leavitt in the 2013 regional finals and Wells in the 2014 semifinals.


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