Tag Archives: Oscar Saunders

Fryeburg Academy overwhelms Mt. Ararat 49-7

Fryeburg’s Isaak McKenney with blocker Reese Kneissler

Cal Southwick (20) sacks Mt. Ararat quarterback Nolan Blessington in the first quarter

(Fryeburg ME) Anytime a team causes the adjusted timing rule to kick in, they’re having a good day.

And that was the way it was for Fryeburg Academy as they overwhelmed Mt. Ararat, 49-7, on a sunny/warm Saturday afternoon.

“Any time you can have balance like we did today, it puts defenses in a difficult situation,” said Coach Dave Turner afterwards.

The 1-2 Eagles struggled on both sides of the ball. Blame it on the 70-0 trouncing by Kennebunk last week?  “There was no carryover from that loss,” according to Co-Head Coach Matt Haskell.  “We had a good week of practice.”

The Class C South Raiders (2-1) did almost everything right all afternoon. Very noticeable was their hole-opening and pass protecting.

Nate Knapp escapes the final Eagles tackler

That protection gave FA quarterback Oscar Saunders time to beat Mt. Ararat defenders deep twice in the first quarter.  Senior Nate Knapp was on the receiving end of both scores.

In the second quarter that good blocking keyed a persistent ground game that led to rushing scores by Cal Southwick and QB Oscar Saunders.

A wonderful half of offense and shut-down defense gave the home team a 27-0 halftime advantage.

“They had two big plays over the top at the beginning,” recalled Coach Haskell.  “We were in a zone and they had time to get behind our defenders.”

The Class B South Eagles didn’t make it any easier on themselves by contributing two first-half turnovers.  Raiders Dawson Jones (interception) and Jack Campbell (fumble recovery) capitalized for Fryeburg.

Quarterback Oscar Saunders had plenty of time behind blockers Kempton Maillett (55) and Josh Frye (73)

“We were after a certain matchup on the two passing touchdowns and we got them,” remembered Coach Turner.  “We had very good pass protection on both plays.”

The adjusted timing rule was activated late in the third quarter.  It goes into effect when a team gets down by 35 points in the second half.  The clock only stops thereafter on timeouts, injuries, penalties, and scores.

A two-yard plunge (Cal Southwick) and extra point (Eddie Thurston) made it 34-0.  Later in the 3rd period Liam Harriman intercepted a Nolan Blessington pass and then he was rewarded with a two-yard carry to the end zone.

Austin Damon tallied the Eagles touchdown in the final quarter

Now up, 41-0, the timing rule was activated.  Believe me, things started moving a lot faster for the rest of that quarter.

However, in the first minute of the final quarter Mt. Ararat QB Nolan Blessington connected with senior Austin Damon and suddenly the score was 41-7.  That deactivated the timing rule.

Next series senior Liam Chisari zigged and zagged his way past would-be Eagles tacklers to boost FA back to the timing rule range, 49-7, with 9 ½ minutes left.  That turned out to be the final score.

Coach Matt Haskell: “Fryeburg really limited our offense.  They absolutely shut down the outside.  They applied good pressure on defense.  They changed the looks of where they were coming from and even when we had time their coverage was good.”

Liam Chisari dodged several Eagles on his way to a score

I asked Coach Haskell about how the Co-Head Coach thing had come about and how it was working.  “The head coach resigned the second week of preseason.  On an interim basis, the offensive coordinator and the defensive coordinator are running the team together.  I think it’s working out okay.”

The team from Topsham was 5-11 over the past two seasons.

Some sort of serious situation on Route 302 today.  Coming from Bridgton on that route I was detoured into Lovell at Shawnee Peak.  Later, during the end of the football game, two Fryeburg rescue vehicles went by the football field with sirens on.  Life isn’t all fun and games!

Sophomore Eddie Thurston kicked four extra points.  His first try was blocked by Austin Damon.

Nice crowd on hand.  Plenty of sun for everyone!

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Nate Knapp beats Hunter Lohr for the first FA touchdown

Liam Chisari scores with Kyle Graffam hanging on

Relaxed atmosphere along the FA sidelines

Eddie Thurston (65) kicked four extra points

Dawson Jones returns an interception

Junior Cal Southwick

Cal Southwick uses a block by Dawson Jones

Cal Southwick scored twice

Cal Southwick (20) escapes Austin Damon (34)

Tucker Buzzell (50)led an excellent Raiders defense today.

Reese Kneissler (51) is part of the pressure on QB Nolan Blessington

Oscar Saunders grabs a face mask.

Oscar Saunders (11) find a huge hole

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Lisbon holds off Fryeburg Academy 36-14

Isaiah Thompson (28) scored three times for Lisbon

Lisbon, led by QB Lucas Francis, had a three-touchdown lead early in the second half

(Fryeburg ME) Momentum can change.

And it sure did on a sunny afternoon/evening of Friday high school football.

The visiting Lisbon Greyhounds had, what appeared to be, a comfortable 22-0 lead over the home Fryeburg Academy Raiders two minutes into the second half.

“The kids played hard the whole game,” recalled FA coach Dave Turner afterwards.

It was his team’s defense that put the brakes on the Lisbon domination.  In two straight second-half possessions the Raiders’ defense created fumbles by Lisbon quarterback Lucas Francis.  Those cough-ups led directly and then indirectly to Fryeburg scores.

Tucker Buzzell (50) returned a fumble for a touchdown

It was an ugly three minutes of football for the visitors, as the D3 South Raiders were now only down, 22-14, with 1:40 left in the third quarter.

Momentum, however, is a funny thing.  It can come, and it can go.  And that’s what happened.

“They got some momentum in the second half,” said Lisbon coach Chris Kates, “but we were able to get it back.”

On the Greyhounds next possession, after consecutive FA scores, senior Isaiah Thompson (3 touchdowns) struck from midfield.  Isaiah started right and then cut back into the middle.  He found a ton of daylight and scored as he looked around for FA pursuit.

The D4 South team from Lisbon Falls had a two-touchdown lead back (28-14) early in the final quarter and finished strong.

Lucas Francis threw for a touchdown and ran for another one.

Quarterback Lucas Francis (Sun Journal Player-of-Year last season) added a touchdown and a 2-point rush to close the scoring.

“I think that our conditioning helped,” said Lucas after the game.  “We didn’t take any days off. (Some schools cancelled practices because of the heat.) We were in full pads every day.”

Coach Kates also referenced his team’s conditioning: “Out conditioning enabled us to be physical up front against a strong FA defensive front.  We opened some big holes for our backs.”  (Several of my pictures reveal the size of the running room that Lucas and Isaiah found on occasion.)

Fryeburg coach Dave Turner faulted his team’s execution for the loss.  “We made way too many mistakes.  We missed open guys and we had a lot of turnovers.”

Isaiah Thompson finds an open field ahead

Coach Turner said that the Lisbon secondary played a key role in the loss. “We had receivers open, but their defensive backs were very fast to the ball.”

That poor execution Coach Turner referred to bit FA early.  In the middle of a scoreless first quarter, Raiders wide receiver Nathan Knapp got behind the Lisbon defense.  Quarterback Oscar Saunders hit the senior in stride and in Nathan went for a touchdown.  Not so fast!  Nathan had lined up incorrectly and instead of six points the Raiders were assessed a five-yard penalty.

Nathan Knapp turned defender three minutes into the second quarter and intercepted a pass intended for Isaac Burnell on the FA 5.

Robbie Dick holds up an interception.

Unable to get anywhere, FA was forced to punt, and a nice Daytona McIver runback set up Lisbon on the FA 29.  Several plays later Isaiah Thompson tore off right tackle 20 yards to the end zone.  QB Lucas Francis rushed right for 2-points.

On Fryeburg’s next possession, tall and talented Hunter Job intercepted a pass.  An immediate strike by Lisbon followed.  Junior Robbie Dick ran under a beautifully thrown pass by Lucas to score.  Fittingly the 2-point conversion was another connection between Lucas and Robbie.  The visitors had vaulted to a 16-0 lead in the first half.

The Lisbon momentum carried into the second half.  Another interception (Colin Houle) set the Greyhounds up in Fryeburg territory.  Isaiah quickly followed strong blocking for a 36-yard score.  The rush failed but Lisbon was in charge, 22-0, two minutes into the second half.

Calvin Southwick tackled by Lucas Francis

However, two Lisbon fumbles later, FA was back in the game.  Linebacker Tucker Buzzell picked up a fumble and went fifty yards to the EZ.  Later it was teammate Jack Campbell making a recovery that led eventually to QB Oscar Saunders’ 3-yard score.  Eddie Thurston kicked both extra points.  We now had ourselves a ballgame!  But not for long.

Isaiah Thompson took Lisbon’s next possession in for a score to break the momentum.  The Lisbon defense, especially the secondary, kept the home team contained.

A final TD by Lucas Francis finished off the Raiders.

This was the opener for both teams.

Lucas Francis swarmed by the FA defense

Lisbon was 7-2 last season.  “This was the first time we’ve played a Class C team since we moved to Class D,” explained Lucas.  “It feels good to take down a contender from that division.”

Coach Turner was disappointed with the loss but was also optimistic about the future: “We executed poorly but we played hard.  The execution can be remedied with practice.  When we play well, we’re a pretty good team.”

FA captain Tucker Buzzell was impressive.  Coach Turner called him, “relentless.”  Tucker ran a fumble back for a touchdown to turn the momentum FA’s way.  In the second half, he kicked off and then made a touchdown-preventing tackle on that play.

Jaycob Lindgren (11) returns a kickoff

I always imagine high school games being quick.  No TV timeouts and the other delays we tolerate with televised games.  This, however, turned into a long game time-wise.  Halftime was twenty minutes long.  There were “water break” timeouts and there were plenty of clock-stopping passes.  It took as long as an NFL game!  But I whine!

Good crowd considering the 3-day weekend ahead.

If you’ve read this far, you’re probably wondering why a game held on Friday doesn’t get coverage until Monday night.  One of my problems was the pictures I took.  I had all sorts of trouble getting them set up for a blog entry.  Days and hours later I think I’ve figured things out.  I also like to wait until someone with actual stats does a story so that I can use some numbers to back things up.  Google revealed nothing but the score.  The Bridgton News story won’t be out until Thursday.

(All of the pictures above and below should enlarge if you click on them.)

Battle in the trenches

Cam Bourget (33) and Nathan Knapp (3)

Daytona McIver catches in front of Nathan Knapp

Hunter Job blocks a pass

Hunter Job

Isaiah Thompson (28) celebrates with teammates

Isaiah Thompson

Isaiah Thompson (28) finds a hole

Lucas Francis (5) finds an opening

Lucas Francis

Oscar Saunders (11) and Riley Quatrano (8) chase a pass






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Leavitt stays undefeated in Class C South with 17-14 win over Fryeburg Academy

Leavitt’s Eli Lind steps into a successful 26-yard field goal

Nothing but open field for Jason Chisari (TD, 112 yards) in the first quarter

(Fryeburg ME) On a very hot afternoon it was crucial to stay cool.  (I enjoyed the shade of pine trees before the game and during halftime.)

The Fryeburg Academy Raiders (3-1) lost their cool in the second quarter and in the process set up visiting Leavitt (4-0) for what turned out to be a decisive field goal.

The final was 17-14 with all the points coming in the first half and Leavitt is now the only undefeated team in Division C South.

Caleb Bowen set up the first Leavitt score with a leaping 36-yard pass reception

Senior Caleb Bowen tallied both Hornets’ touchdowns on short passes (9,2 yards) from quarterback Tim Albert.

Seniors Jared Chisari and Scott Parker scored untouched TDs for Fryeburg.

Jared answered Leavitt’s grinding first touchdown with a first-play dash around the right side that covered sixty-nine yards.

As the first half was in its final minute, Scott Parker, lined up on the left side and broke about as free as you can get into the Hornets secondary.  QB Oscar Saunders put the pass where it needed to be and teammate Scott took a lonely route to the Leavitt end zone.

Those were the touchdowns.  Both teams had the weapons to put up points but the heat was a key factor in the scoreless second half.

The heat got both teams but it really was the FA penalties that cost them this game.  In the second half, the Raiders had a first-down pass to Scott Parker called back, a 67-yard TD run by Jared Chisari called back, and a pass interference call on Scott Parker to extend Leavitt’s final possession.  And that wasn’t even the most costly of the Raiders’ rule violations.

FA Coach Dave Turner’s team ran into three straight unsportsmanlike conduct penalties

The most costly?  A collection of three penalties in a row.  In the second quarter, the Hornets started at the Fryeburg 41 after a Caleb Eklund punt.  And that’s when the trouble started for the Raiders.  Junior Josh Frye complained about an earlier penalty long enough to get an unsportsmanlike penalty.  FA coach Dave Turner stepped in to defend his player and also earned the same penalty.  When the FA coach persisted, he was assessed a second unsportsmanlike penalty.  When the flags stopped flying, the visitors had remarkable field position (Fryeburg 11) after those thirty yards of penalties.

Leavitt didn’t turn the gift into seven points but they did get three as Eli Lind connected from twenty-six yards out to give the Hornets a 17-7 lead with 2:42 remaining in the first half.

Credit FA for bouncing back during the remaining time in the half to get the Scott Parker score but the Raiders would never get back the three points that were set up by the unsportsmanlike penalties.

Leavitt’s first score was at the end of 5 ½ minute drive to open the game.  The big play in the march was a lofted pass by senior Tim Albert that Caleb Bowen outleaped Ryan Hewes for.  That catch set the Hornets up on the Fryeburg 4.

Jared Chisari tries to fend off Bryce Hudson

Jared Chisari showed terrific speed in FA’s quick response to the Leavitt TD.  Once Jared broke into the secondary there was no pursuit anywhere to be seen.  Jared was on his own the final forty yards of a 69-yard run.

On the Hornets next possession, they put together a 68-yard drive to regain the lead.  The key play this time was a nice slant pass from Tim Albert to junior Oren Shaw that put Leavitt at the FA 4.  Tim avoided the Fryeburg rush, bought time, and found Caleb Bowen several plays later for his second TD from the FA2.

Eli Lind delivered kicks for Leavitt after both scores.  Eddie Thurston did the same for Fryeburg after their two scores.

Eli Lind kicked what turned out to be the winning field goal

The winning field goal was interesting because in the series prior to it, in the second quarter, Hornets’ coach Mike Hathaway had opted to pass the ball on 4th down from the FA 2.  After the trio of penalties in the next series Coach Hathaway went for the three and Eli Lind delivered.  The kick barely got over the crossbar but it counted big-time ultimately.

Best player on the field may have been FA linebacker Tucker Buzzell.  His tackle count had to have been large.  He was also the FA center on offense, so on the hottest of hot days there wasn’t much time to rest.

Allen Peabody intercepted a pass intended for Scott Parker in the second quarter.

Fryeburg QB Oscar Saunders recovered a high snap in the second quarter deep in his own territory.

Punter Caleb Eklund tried a fake punt in the 3rd quarter but Leavitt’s Cole Morin kept the play from working.

Cody Gullikson recovered a Hornet’s fumble in the final quarter.

Junior Brad Moreau turned the left corner for a first down late in the game that was good for a first down and allowed Leavitt to run out the clock and leave with a 3-point victory.

Good crowd on hand for both sides.

Surprised that there was no charge for anyone to watch the game.  Being from Massachusetts, I expected otherwise.

(All of the pictures above and below will enlarge considerably if you click on them.)

Oscar Saunders had a touchdown pass in the first half

Cody Gullikson (7) comes up with a fumble recovery

FA quarterback (12) faces Leavitt defensive lineman Riley Parmenter (75)

Scott Parker pleads his case

Cole Morin (2) and Scott Parker (33) battle for a pass

Caleb Bowen scored two touchdowns

Brad Moreau (31) flies for a first down late in the game

Quarterback Tim Albert (two TD passes)

Scott Parker after scoring touchdown

Scott Parker runs uncovered into the end zone in the second quarter

Jared Chisari (22) gets blocks from Josh Frye (73), Tucker Buzzell (50), and Cody Gullikson (7)

Allen Peabody runs back an interception

Leavitt QB Tim Albert sets up behind linemen Nolan Cabral (54), Cole Melanson (50), and Riley Parmenter (75)

Eli Lind nails one of his two extra points as Will Krug skies in an attempted block



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