Oak Hill quarterback Gavin Rawstron fires a pass against Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale in September 2019. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Hopefully the scoreboard at Oak Hill High School stretches properly before Saturday’s Class D South matchup between the Raiders and visiting Spruce Mountain.

It could be a busy day for the digital numbers, as well as the scoreboard operator.

Spruce Mountain’s Jack Bryant gets taken down by Mountain Valley’s Keegan Davis in Livermore Falls last season. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

Two experienced, competent quarterbacks and two creative offensive coaches means Saturday’s battle could be a scoring fest.

The Phoenix (5-1) have the second-best offense in the region, in terms of points per game (37). Oak Hill’s output doesn’t look as prolific (23.8 points per game), but against D South competition the Raiders (3-3) average 35 points per game.

And Oak Hill’s .500 record is deceiving. The Raiders opened the season against Class C heavyweight York, and last week nearly knocked off D North-leading Bucksport on the road.

“They’re 3-3, but they’re a lot better than 3-3,” Spruce Mountain coach David Frey said.


Having three-year junior starting quarterback Gavin Rawstron gives the Raiders a chance in Saturday’s matchup. Rawstron is equally adept at passing and pulling it down and running the ball. And the Raiders seem to always have a plethora of skill-position players to either throw to or hand the ball off to.

“We got stop the quarterback,” Frey said. “Very good athlete. Runs very well, throws very well. We have to have good coverage.”

Caden Thompson, Tiger Hopkins and Quentin Pelkey have split time in the backfield, while Liam Rodrigue (also a reliable and strong kicker) and Sam Lindsay have been favorite targets out wide for Oak Hill.

Jack Bryant has been orchestrating the Phoenix attack. The second-year starting senior is also a dual-threat quarterback, and he makes up half of a dynamic duo with classmate runner/receiver Brandon Frey.

“It starts with Jack and Brandon really. We have to get them touches, and when we get them touches we do good things,” Frey said. “The thing with our offense, you just don’t know when we’re going to score. … We could score almost at anytime.”

The Phoenix have other complementary runners receivers who have contributed to the quick-strike offense, whether it be Brandon Coates, Owen Dow, Trevor Whelpley or someone else.

Frey said turnovers obviously will play a factor in the game, and that his team usually has been good about not committing them. Line play will also help determine the outcome, in regard to how big the running holes are or how much time the quarterbacks have to throw.

The teams enter the weekend No. 2 (Spruce) and No. 3 (Oak Hill) in D South. A win for either could vault them up a spot by the end of the regular season.

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