Starting Offense: Front Row (left to right): Hal Edwards (End), Ron Somers (Tackle), Gary Cummings (Guard), Paul Ricci (Center), Brad Stanley (Guard), Jerre Bryant (Tackle), Bill Brooks (End) Back Row (left to right): Reggie Olmstead (Halfback), Peter Brown (Fullback), Brad Cummings (Quarterback), Larry Durgin (Halfback)

 

Starting Defense: Front Row (left to right): Roby Baker (End), Paul Ricci (Tackle), Steve Raasumaa (Middle Guard), Dave Daniels (Tackle), Jerre Bryant (End) Middle Row: Peter Brown (Outside Linebacker), Ron Somers (Middle Linebacker), Rick Micklon (Outside Linebacker) Back Row: Larry Durgin (Cornerback), Bill Brooks (Safety), Hal Edwards (Cornerback)

This is the fifth installment in a series recapping the 50th anniversary of the Oxford Hills 10-1 1971 football season. Oxford Hills paraded to its third Pine Tree Conference victory and fourth of the season at Madison Area High School on a rare Saturday afternoon date for the Vikings, staying undefeated by a 40-20 count. The Vikes, off to the best football start in the history of the school, blasted to a 26-0 halftime lead and hung up two more third-period touchdowns before calling in the reserves.

“I played everybody.” said Coach Bob Fallon, “This is the first time I remember getting everybody in the game in all the years I’ve coached. All 57 of them.” Reggie Olmstead had his best day at halfback for OH, grinding out 113 yards in nine carries, including a 60-yard touchdown scamper.

Reggie had logged only 11 carries, good for 44 yards previous to his big day against the Bulldogs. After a scoreless first quarter, the Vikes broke into the scoring column on a 40-yard scoring jaunt by fullback Peter Brown. Dave Daniels added the extra point for a 7-0 lead. The next time they had the ball, OH went 75 yards in four plays, with Brown slamming it into the end zone from the one-yard line.

Center Paul Ricci, playing defensive tackle, got the lineman’s dream when he recovered a Madison fumble at the M-38 and ran it back for the third Viking touchdown. The next possession saw Olmstead turn in his scoring gem. Daniels added the point after. Quarterback Brad Cummings, who completed five of 10 pass attempts on the day, hit left end Billy Brooks on a 50 yard scoring pass early in the third quarter and came back with a 15 yarder to halfback Larry Durgin on the next series. Daniels added both kicks for a 40-0 lead. At that point, Fallon started substituting.

The Bulldogs got all 20 of their points in the final quarter against the reserves. Besides using a bevy of offensive and defensive players, the Vikings employed three quarterbacks and ten running backs on the day. The team ran 60 plays for nine first downs and 439 yards, a total that did not include Ricci’s fumble return. Besides that recovery, fumbles were also picked up by linebackers Peter Brown and Jack Pike.

In addition, cornerback Hal Edwards and defensive end Roby Baker each had interceptions for the Vikings. Looking ahead, the Vikings return home for a Friday night conference game against another squad of Bulldogs, this time from Lawrence High of Fairfield. Adding to the excitement at Viking Field will be a new scoreboard as well as new sections of bleachers, courtesy of the Oxford Hills Booster Club.

Bob Moorehead covered the 1971 Oxford Hills football team as a general assignment reporter for the Portland Press Herald and Sunday Telegram. He later served the Guy Gannett Newspapers as a sports editor, city editor, managing editor, and general manager. Paul Ricci and Brian Partridge (both OHHS Class of 1972) conceived the idea for the series and provided extensive research. Readers who would like to share any favorite memories or stories from the 1971 season are encouraged to E-Mail either of them at [email protected] or [email protected]

PLAYER PERSPECTIVE
By Brian Otterson (sophomore cornerback on the 1971 team, writing about the Winslow game)

Coach Fallon continued his favorite sound effect during the week of practice. “If you let Stan Lapointe get around you, he’s fffeetttt, gone for six.” With about 2 minutes left in the game, the quarterback (Pete Siviski) faked a dive play to the fullback and then pitched the ball out to Lapointe. I charged towards him at full speed with the intent to drop him for a loss. Suddenly he stopped and cocked his right arm to throw a pass. In the event of a pass play, I was supposed to cover any receiver that was in the “flat”.

The “flat” was a loosely-defined area from the line of scrimmage to about 10 yards deep and from the hash mark to the sideline. I was nowhere near it and I had to think fast. Maybe I could hit Lapointe before he released the ball? I lowered my shoulder and hit him a fraction of a second too late. I never saw what happened, because I was face down on Stan’s chest, until the film session on Monday.

The pass sailed to a wide-open fullback a couple of yards in the end zone. He dropped it. It went right through his hands. God works in mysterious ways. 4 years later, when I was a sophomore at the University of Maine, I lived on a floor with Billy Brooks. Across the hall was a guy named Gary Zemrak. Billy pulls me aside one day and says “You know who Gary Zemrak is, don’t you?” “Um, no.” I said.

“He’s the guy that dropped that pass in the Winslow game,” said Billy.

I wanted to knock on his door and kiss him. If he had caught that pass the whole season would have been different and I would have been demoted to fourth string Junior Varsity.

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