Falmouth sails past Raiders, 41-6

TIGHT COVERAGE — Falmouth's Connor Aube (#28) tips a pass away from Raider receiver Brandon Ludwig during Friday's contest at Converse Field. (Rivet Photo) FALMOUTH 41 RAIDERS 6 First Downs: FA 8, FAL 14 Penalties: FA 5-35, FAL 5-35 Turnovers: FA 4, FAL 1 Rushing: FA 23-78, FAL 35-262 Indiviudal Rushing: FA, Kyle Bennett 8-21, Ryan Gullikson 14-57, Ben Southwick 1-0; FAL, Brandon Martinn 3-3, Nick Wisseman, 7-26, Sean Bryant 3-5, George Gilbert 5-75, Connor Aube 9-145, Jack Zinn 2-5, Noah Nelson 6-3. Passing: FA 11-18-169; FAL 13-25-225 Receiving: FA, Nicholis L’Heureux-Carland 2-8, Brandon Ludwig 3-81, Ben Southwick 4-48, Kyle Bennett 2-32; FAL, Connor Aube 5-559, Nick Wisseman2-43, Austin Wheeler 1-30, George Gilbert 3-36, Brock Welch 1-9, Matt Edmonds 1-48 Tackles (solo, assist, total): Nick L’Heureux-Carland 1-0-1, Cody Gullikson 4-1-5, Nick Armstrong 3-1-4, Kyle Bennett 4-2-6, Matt Boucher 2-1-3, Donovan Brown 2-0-2, Baha Demir 3-2-5, Eli Thompson 3-0-3, Ryan Gullikson 2-0-2, Isaac Wakefield 2-2-4, Ben Southwick 1-0-1, Brandon Ludwig 1-0-1, Caleb Eklund 1-0-1

TIGHT COVERAGE — Falmouth's Connor Aube (#28) tips a pass away from Raider receiver Brandon Ludwig during Friday's contest at Converse Field. (Rivet Photo)
FALMOUTH 41
RAIDERS 6
First Downs: FA 8, FAL 14
Penalties: FA 5-35, FAL 5-35
Turnovers: FA 4, FAL 1
Rushing: FA 23-78, FAL 35-262
Indiviudal Rushing: FA, Kyle Bennett 8-21, Ryan Gullikson 14-57, Ben Southwick 1-0; FAL, Brandon Martinn 3-3, Nick Wisseman, 7-26, Sean Bryant 3-5, George Gilbert 5-75, Connor Aube 9-145, Jack Zinn 2-5, Noah Nelson 6-3.
Passing: FA 11-18-169; FAL 13-25-225
Receiving: FA, Nicholis L’Heureux-Carland 2-8, Brandon Ludwig 3-81, Ben Southwick 4-48, Kyle Bennett 2-32; FAL, Connor Aube 5-559, Nick Wisseman2-43, Austin Wheeler 1-30, George Gilbert 3-36, Brock Welch 1-9, Matt Edmonds 1-48
Tackles (solo, assist, total): Nick L’Heureux-Carland 1-0-1, Cody Gullikson 4-1-5, Nick Armstrong 3-1-4, Kyle Bennett 4-2-6, Matt Boucher 2-1-3, Donovan Brown 2-0-2, Baha Demir 3-2-5, Eli Thompson 3-0-3, Ryan Gullikson 2-0-2, Isaac Wakefield 2-2-4, Ben Southwick 1-0-1, Brandon Ludwig 1-0-1, Caleb Eklund 1-0-1

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

FRYEBURG — Turn the ball over against a bad or mediocre team, there is still a chance to pull out a win.

Lose the turnover battle (4 to 1) against a talented football team, there is little chance of spinning an upset.

Two first half miscues resulted in 14 points as Falmouth improved to 5-1 with a convincing 41-6 victory over Fryeburg Academy last Friday afternoon.

The Yachtsmen hurt the Raiders on all fronts as junior running back Connor Aube had quite a day, rushing for 145 yards and two touchdowns while also making five catches including a 26-yard TD strike from quarterback Noah Nelson.

Nelson completed 12-of-23 passes for 198 yards as Falmouth rolled up 487 total yards.

Yet, the Raiders were able to move the football, but just couldn’t complete drives to keep pace on the scoreboard. Junior quarterback Ryan Gullikson completed 11-of-18 passes for 169 yards. But, he had one pass picked off, and a receiver had the ball stripped for another turnover.

“Turnovers hurt. You can’t lose the turnover battle against a team that is that good,” FA Coach David Turner said. “We played hard. We moved the ball. We did get some stops. And, we did some things better today than we have the last couple of weeks. We moved the ball effectively, but then had a couple of drops here and there. They had a couple of big plays in the first quarter, which we didn’t tackle very well. When you are playing a good team, you have to take advantage of opportunities you have, and we didn’t.”

Falmouth struck just two minutes into the game when Aube rumbled off left tackle and zipped 23 yards untouched into the end zone. Jared DeWolf added the extra point for a 7-0 lead.

After going 3-and-out in their first possession, which gave Falmouth a short field to work with (3 plays, 51 yards), the Raiders found soft spots in the Yachtsmen pass defense as Gullikson connected with Brandon Ludwig and Ben Southwich for back-to-back 21-yard strikes. At the FAL-39 facing a third-and-one, Gullikson followed solid blocks by Matt McLaughlin and Kevin Ventura to spring free for a 39-yard scoring jaunt. A low snap botched the extra point try, leaving FA down 7-6 with 6:35 left in the first.

Falmouth’s offensive line stood tall to the challenge, opening up gaping holes on their team’s next possession, including a counter-play which George Gilbert bolted 42 yards for a TD with 4:50 on the clock. Gullikson showed good burst off the edge and blocked the PAT try.

Gilbert made another big play, recovering a Raider fumble at the FA-25. Three plays later, Nelson showed a nice touch, lofting the ball over FA defender Donovan Brown’s head to Aube for a 26-yard score. Again, Gullikson blocked the extra point try, leaving Falmouth up 19-6.

OFF THE EDGE — Twice, Fryeburg's Ryan Gullikson blocked extra-point attempts by Falmouth.

OFF THE EDGE — Twice, Fryeburg's Ryan Gullikson blocked extra-point attempts by Falmouth.

Fryeburg had a chance to keep the game close when Gullikson completed a 17-yard pass to Southwick and later moved the Raiders to the FAL-22. But, on fourth down, an incompletion ended the FA threat.

After stopping Falmouth twice (Brown redeemed himself with a nice tip away of a sideline pass intended for Aube), the Raiders appeared ready to make a move when Kyle Bennett busted away from the line of scrimmage and bounced off a couple of defenders for 12 yards. But, Aube knocked the ball loose from behind and recovered it.

Falmouth cashed in as Nelson hooked up with Austin Wheeler down the middle for a 30-yard TD pass. Aube added the two-point conversion for a 27-6 with 2:09 left in the half.

The Yachtsmen nearly added another score, recovering another FA fumble at the FAL-49 with just over a minute left. But, Isaac Wakefield and Baha Demir sacked Nelson for a six-yard loss to stymie Falmouth.

There would be very few highlights for the Raiders in the second half.

Falmouth scored on its second touch to start the third as Aube broke loose for a 54-yard gain, stopped just shy of the goal line by Eli Thompson. But, Nick Wisseman finished the deal with a one yard burst. FA junior Matt Boucher stopped Wisseman on the extra point try.

DROPPED FOR NO GAIN — Fryeburg Academy linebacker Matt Boucher wraps up Falmouth's George Gilbert for no gain.

DROPPED FOR NO GAIN — Fryeburg Academy linebacker Matt Boucher wraps up Falmouth's George Gilbert for no gain.

Although down 33-6, the Raider defense continued to play hard, and at times, it paid off, especially for Isaac Wakefield who sacked Nelson for a 7-yard loss, and later in the series pounced on a high snap that Nelson was unable to handle.

Fryeburg looked to take advantage of the miscue as Gullikson found Ludwig along the sideline, resulting in a 53-yard play. But, a penalty and then a sack by Brad Robaczewski pushed the ball back 10 more yards to the FAL-20. Gullikson again looked Ludwig’s way, but this time, Sean Bryant picked off the pass.

Fryeburg hoped to keep Falmouth pinned, but on 3rd-and-9, Nelson launched a bomb to tight end Matt Edmonds, good for 48 yards. Six plays later, Aube made a couple of nice cuts and sprinted 23 yards for another score with 10.9 seconds left in the third quarter. He added the two-point conversion for the final points of the game.

Falmouth chewed up most of the fourth quarter clock with a long drive, featuring mostly second-level players. FA’s Caleb Eklund and Kyle Bennett made big stops inside the 5-yard line. Falmouth briefly pondered attempting a field goal, but then went with a run that fell short.

It was a frustrating afternoon for the Raiders, partly because they showed competitive flashes, but couldn’t quite put it all together.

“Sometimes, you know when it is coming, but you still have to make the play. Often times, it depends upon who you are lined up against. They were better than us up front, so even though we knew they were going to run certain plays, they executed very well and we had trouble making plays. That’s a very good team,” Coach Turner said.

Next: The Raiders (2-4) travel to York Friday night to meet the top-ranked, undefeated Wildcats (6-0).

“They are physical and run right at you,” Coach Turner said. “We need to get better this week.”

York beat Greely last week 31-12. Over six games, the Cats have scored 187 points or 31 per game while allowing just 74 points, or 12.3 per game.

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