Oak Hill quarterback Gavin Rawstron fires a pass downfield over the head of Poland defenders for a long completion during Saturday’s game. (Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal)

Oak Hill’s playbook is getting thicker by the week, which is bad news for Class D South defenses.

A week after putting up a then-season high 34 points in a 13-point loss at Madison, the Raiders obliterated that mark in Saturday’s 51-23 win over Poland. They totaled 506 yards on offense, 338 in the first half, and were fairly balanced, collecting over 200 yards apiece passing and rushing.

Oak Hill coach Stacen Doucette said with sophomore quarterback Gavin Rawstron at the controls, the Raiders can give opposing defensive coordinators a lot to think about the rest of the season.

“The bubble wrap is off of Gavin,” Doucette said. “We’re basically a full offense. I really like where our offense is right now. We’re doing a lot of different things, a lot of different concepts, a lot of different adjustments (and) formations.”

Rawstron, who accounted for 386 total yards passing and rushing against Poland, is excited about the possibilities in his offense’s expanding repertoire.

“It’s later in the season so now we’re opening up the playbook,” Rawstron said. “We’re putting in a lot more new formations, powerhouse runs, spread it out, empty sets. We’re going to have fun the next few weeks.”

Everyone in D South will make the playoffs this year, but the Raiders (3-3) face a couple of tough obstacles to improving their seeding, with games at Spruce Mountain and home against Lisbon to wrap up the regular season.

Not only is the offense expanding, but the Raiders’ depth has improved in recent weeks, with backups stepping up for players sidelined by injuries or academic ineligibility. Doucette expects to have a full complement next week.

“I feel like after (Saturday’s) game, we may be deeper than most teams,” Doucette said. “We’ve had to use our depth for many reasons, but we’ll be back to playing 24 kids, hopefully, in a varsity game next week.”

The defense could use the infusion more than the offense. The Raiders have given up an average of 42 points per game over the last three games (the first game being a 56-13 loss to unbeaten Wells).

“We’ve been very young (on defense) the last two weeks, but we are getting better,” Doucette said.

ONE STEP CLOSER

Nate Quirion and his much-improved Mt. Blue Cougars have moved one step closer to reaching their goal of becoming a playoff-caliber team.

The Cougars (3-3) rolled over Westbrook with a 42-6 victory at Caldwell Field on Friday night.

Quirion has turned his Cougars into a hard-hitting team on defense and strengthened their offensive skills.

“It gives us one step closer to solidifying the playoffs and that’s been the goal all along,” Quirion said. “With all our hard work in the offseason is to be a playoff team, to get Mt. Blue back in the playoffs, special games for seniors and an extra week of practice to get better in the long run.

“That’s our ultimate goal. We took one step closer tonight.

“Certainly, we are still in the growth phase. Certainly, we are not where we want to be. Even if we were undefeated, there is always something to work on, but we could’t be more prouder of our guys. Their conviction and determination to get better and the commitment to the program — so we are coming.”

SENIORS STEER VIKINGS’ SHIP

It’s one thing to expect success. It is another to know how to handle it.

Following his team’s 31-22 win over previously unbeaten Bonny Eagle, Oxford Hills coach Mark Soehren said his underclassmen can learn to do both if they just follow the 13 seniors’ lead.

“They’re kids who have won in the past,” Soehren said. “Colton (Carson) is a (future) Division I pitcher. Janek (Luksza) and Jonny Pruett played in the Babe Ruth World Series and championship games. These guys aren’t fazed by (the big moment). I think in the past, there’s no question we would have been.”

The Vikings (5-1) host Portland (5-1) on Friday night in a game that will likely decide home field advantage in the Class A North playoffs. Because of his senior leadership, Soehren isn’t worried he will have to talk his team down from the high of the Bonny Eagle win to refocus on the Bulldogs.

“We told the kids enjoy the victory. Beating Bonny Eagle is great. But it’s not like we didn’t think we could win,” Soehren said. “With these seniors, we’ll talk about letting this one go, but I don’t think I have to say much to them. They really are pretty even-keeled. They just want to come out and compete and play.”


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.