(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.
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.
“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.
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.”
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.)