YARMOUTH — It’s been two weeks since the Spruce Mountain Phoenix were stunned to learn of a mid-season coaching change. They’ve responded by pitching back-to-back shutouts.

Last week, Spruce Mountain blanked Poland, 46-0, three days after head coach Walter Polky resigned for unspecified reasons. On Friday night, it was Yarmouth that the Phoenix kept off the scoreboard in a 41-0 victory.

“We’ve just come together,” senior running back/safety Austin Darling said. “The last three weeks of practice, we’ve really pushed each other. We’ve just been working well together.”

“We run a lot of the same stuff now, and we know exactly what we’re doing,” senior fullback/linebacker Dillon Webster said. “We’re really focused with the senior captain leadership. We’re just trying to help out (new head coach David) Frey, and we’re doing a lot more than we used to.”

Webster rushed 19 times for 101 yards and two touchdowns to lead the Phoenix. Darling (81 yards rushing) and Caulin Parker also scored a pair of touchdowns and Parker threw for one.

Since losing to Cape Elizabeth in Week 3, 55-12, the Phoenix (4-2) have outscored their opponents, 138-6.

Spruce Mountain forced a three-and-out by Yarmouth on the game’s opening possession and took advantage of good field position, Yarmouth’s 43, after an 18-yard punt to take a quick 6-0  lead on Parker’s four-yard QB keeper for a touchdown.

After forcing another three-and-out, the Phoenix took over at midfield for their second series and converted on 4th-and-6 to keep the drive alive before Webster ran it in from eight yards for a 14-0 lead.

“It’s always nice to not have to drive the whole length of the field,” Webster said. “It makes it a lot easier and takes a lot of pressure off of you. When we’re inside the 40, it’s already four-down territory, so it makes it a lot easier (to have) an extra play.”

Yarmouth (3-3) drove to Spruce’s 22 late in the first quarter, but a bobbled snap on third down effectively snuffed out the threat.

The Phoenix kept the ball on the ground with Webster and Darling before Parker connected with Darling in the back of the end zone on a 14-yard touchdown pass that made it 20-0.

Webster scored his second touchdown of the half from two yards out to make it 26-0. Then Darling got the defense involved in the scoring with the play of the night, ripping the ball away from Remi Leblanc on a second-down carry and taking it back 67 yards the other way for a touchdown.

“I was looking to strip the ball because his knees weren’t on the ground. He was falling forward,” Darling said. “I just grabbed it and made a play out of it.”

“Defensively, we’ve come along the last few weeks. They’ve been playing well,” Frey said. “We just changed it a little bit, made it basic, so they play comfortable out there. That’s what they’re doing.”en

Parker connected with Brett Frey on the two-point pass to give the Phoenix a 34-0 lead going into halftime.

Parker capped the scoring with a 32-yard touchdown run in the third quarter.

“It starts with the senior leadership,” Frey said. “We had a talk and they’ve just taken over like true leaders. Caulin, Dillon, Austin, Devan Pomeroy, they’ve just been great. They’ve stepped up and they’ve been a big help.”


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.