Oak Hill’s Liam Rodrigue runs with the ball being pursued by Mountain Valley’s Matt Averill during Friday night’s football game in Rumford. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Oak Hill defeated Mountain Valley on Friday in a clobbering 36-0 win. 

Oak Hill’s victory is even more impressive when you take a look at the Raiders’ roster sheet and notice just five seniors on the team and just eight juniors, including quarterback Gavin Rawstron. 

“I liked the leadership and chemistry,” Rawstron said. “This team is a lot of new kids and young kids, not a lot of seniors, so some kids stepped up that were younger and we had some returners that made some big plays and led by example.”

Rawstron had 200 yards of total offense and scored three rushing touchdowns, but was using his weapons just as much. Tiger Hopkins scored a touchdown and had over 50 total yards, and he is only a sophomore. Junior Sam Lindsay did some damage on the ground as well. 

You might say the Raiders’ offense is ahead of schedule with this young core, and coach Stacen Doucette was impressed by how the offense was run. 

“I was very happy with the way we came in and out of the huddle,” Doucette said. “I thought the kids were quick to diagnose what we were doing and did a good job.”

On defense, Ramon Spearman intercepted two Mountain Valley passes, and should be doing so for two more years as he is just a sophomore.

THE WEIGHT OF EIGHT

Who says eight-man football can’t be power football?

Uninitiated observers look at the high scores and assume having two fewer linemen on offense and three fewer players on defense entices offenses to go to the air. And some teams are finding success doing just that.

Teams with a lot of size up front can still move the chains and put up points from the ground in eight-man. Even with only three linemen, Telstar has plenty of beef (and experience) on the line of scrimmage with linemen Devin Cole-Mason, Matt Rice and Jack Mallory, who check in well over a combined 700 pounds. They also have a pair of physical runners in junior quarterback Davin Mason and sophomore Brayden Stevens.

Mason and Stevens teamed up with running backs Shane Ojeda and Jacob Lyman to rip Sacopee Valley for 255 yards on 44 carries in Saturday’s 36-0 win over Sacopee Valley. It was the Rebels’ first win in eight-man football and their first non-forfeit win on a gridiron since late in the 2013 season.

The Rebels controlled the ball and the clock for nearly 30 of the 48 minutes.

“I think we wore them down,” Telstar coach Tim O’Connor said. “Our theme this week was we played much better at Old Orchard (in a 44-28 loss) in the second half last week, so we took that as a building block for this week.”

Next week, the Rebels travel south on Route 26 to face another team that snapped a long losing streak over the weekend, Gray-New Gloucester.

“We’ll build on this,” O’Connor said. “We do have things to work on on offense, defense and special teams, but we’ll definitely build on this.”

DEVILS IN DETAILS

Lewiston coach Darren Hartley was fine with trading a less stressful Friday night for the growth he saw from the Blue Devils in their 32-27 win over Bangor.

“It wasn’t perfect, but we’re trying to teach the guys accountability. It means a lot,” he said. “I don’t want to steal this from (Patriots) coach (Bill) Belichick, but you’ve got to do your job.”

The Blue Devils trailed 14-0 just 2:09 into the second quarter, then reeled off 32 straight points in an impressive 22-minute stretch of football. Lewiston was then able to hold off a late charge by the Rams with two turnovers forced by the defense.

“These guys are talented but they’re still green,” Hartley said. “They just lack experience, especially like this.”

“They hung in there. The adversity was a big deal for us,” he added.

The coach was particularly pleased with the focus and energy his team played with in the middle quarters. Both were a concern coming out of their 40-0 loss to Oxford Hills in Week 1.

“I think that’s another little step in the right direction for us,” Hartley said.

Helping to lead the Blue Devils in the right direction is junior co-captain Deon Hunt. Hartley said when he first met Hunt the day after Hunt’s basketball season ended last February, Hunt promised to be in the weight room the next day. He kept that promise and rarely missed a lifting session.

“His participation’s been about 97 percent,” Hartley said. “He’s quiet. He’s unassuming. He’s all business. He’s just a tremendous leader.”

Hunt is well on his way to becoming a tremendous football player. The 6-foot-1, 217-pound Hunt is a threat to quarterbacks at defensive end and a friend to Lewiston quarterbacks, particularly in the red zone, as their tight end.

Hunt caught the go-ahead touchdown on a 5-yard pass from sophomore quarterback Kameron Caron late in the first half.  But coaches have already noticed the amount of attention his mere presence near the goal-line draws and are looking to exploit it.

“We’ve actually built some stuff in to put him in spots where we think they’re going to jump him and then throw to other kids,” Hartley said.

BRUNSWICK’S BULLDOZER

Open a gaping hole on Brunswick’s offensive line and watch senior running back Owen Richardson muscle his way down field.The elusive two-way starter bullied his way into the end zone four times against Edward Little in Friday night’s football game. The Dragons made it clear that they are the real deal, and Richardson with spearheading the offense Brunswick is proving it is still one tough customer.

— Sun Journal staff writers Adam Robinson and Randy Whithouse and editor Tony Blasi contributed to this story.


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