WALES — Oak Hill’s defense didn’t have a ball at practice this week, but it sure had one Saturday at homecoming.

The Raiders prepared for Boothbay’s double-wing by practicing without a ball. It was exactly what they needed to shut down the Seahawks in the first half of a 40-6 win to snap a two-game losing streak.

Kyle Flaherty rushed for 177 yards and three touchdowns and Alex Mace added 135 yards and three scores on the ground for the Raiders (4-2), who didn’t miss a beat despite losing starting QB Parker Asselin in the first quarter to a recurring shoulder injury.

The Raiders took control in a first half in which they outgained the Seahawks, 156-14. The defense provided excellent field position throughout the half and Flaherty and Mace, running behind pulling H-back Luke Washburn, each scored twice.

“We really worked this week on weak side, and I don’t think they were prepared for it,” Flaherty said. “I think they thought we were going strong side every time and that wasn’t the case. Our linemen never let anybody in and our backs could get to the second level.”

“That big No. 88 (Washburn) helps them out a lot,” Boothbay coach Bryan Dionne said. “He’s a very physical player and a good player. We didn’t have an answer for him.”

Boothbay (3-3) had enough answers to stop Oak Hill on downs at its own 37 on the game’s opening series. The Raiders then allowed the Seahawks to venture into their territory for the only time in the entire half, but buckled down and forced a punt.

Taking over at their own 28, the Raiders went 72 yards on eight plays, all runs, and took a 7-0 lead on Flaherty’s 9-yard run up the middle and Adam Merrill’s PAT. Asselin went to the sideline after a four-yard run on the drive and never returned.

But it was the Seahawks who would soon feel some pain, albeit partially self-inflicted. An 18-yard punt return by Oak Hill’s Kyle Tervo and a 15-yard personal foul on Boothbay set up the Raiders 13 yards from the end zone. After Mace ran for nine, Flaherty scored from four yards out on the first play of the second quarter for a 14-0 lead.

Boothbay fumbled a pitch on its next play and Kyle Tervo recovered for the Raiders at the 17. Dalton Therrien, Asselin’s replacement, completed a 5-yard pass to Washburn, then Mace scored on a 12-yard run to make it 21-0.

“We practice a lot with Dalton, and we trust him a lot. He’s just as good as Parker in my eyes, so we weren’t worried at all,” Tervo said.

Boothbay’s most effective weapon in the first half was kick returner Julian Aponte. The junior appeared to break a 93-yard return for a touchdown, but it was called back for a block in the back.

The Seahawks couldn’t make up the lost ground on offense. Led by Tervo, Washburn and Samson Lacroix, the Raiders pushed them back for -6 net yards in the second quarter but following their assignments.

“Everyone had a person to look at. We pretty much didn’t use a ball all week in practice because you have to read your keys and not watch the ball,” Flaherty said.

“It was just about discipline, where you’re positioned. But the guys figure out what the play is, so they know,” Oak Hill coach Stacen Doucette said. “If they’re stuck looking at the football, they get beat.”

Mace’s 5-yard touchdown run made it 27-0 Raiders just before halftime.

Boothbay started the second half with its only scoring drive, a 12-play, 61-yard much capped by a one-yard TD plunge by Jason Maddocks (16 carries, 72 yards). The Raiders responded by driving 78 yards in five plays, with Mace’s seven-yard TD run making it 34-6.

Flaherty finished off the scoring with the longest run of the day, a 56-yarder, in the fourth quarter.


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.