Football: Greely jets past Raiders 54-18

 

JUST OUT OF REACH — Fryeburg Academy receiver Nick Armstrong was unable to come up with this pass during last Friday's game against Greely. (Rivet Photo) GREELY 54 RAIDERS 18 First Downs: FA 10, GRE 9 Turnovers: FA 2; GRE 0 Penalties: FA 9-51, GRE 5-35 Rushing: FA 20-137, GRE 27-323 Individual Rushing: FA, Ryan Gullikson 10-70, Ben Southwick 4-3, Kyle Bennett 5-18, Cody Gullikson 6-38, Jeremy Pellitier 2-minus 4, Jared Chisari 1-8; GRE, Sam Peck 10-162, Matt Pisini 6-118, Nick Dubois 2-3, Andrew Ray 4-12, Nick Gauvin 4-28, Tim Coyle 1-0 Passing: FA, 10-20-139; GRE 4-5-91 Receiving: FA, Nick Armstrong 1-1, Brandon Ludwig 4-108, Ben Southwick 4-25, Donovan Brown 1-5; GRE, Nick Dubois 2-75, Nick Gauvin 2-16 Tackles (solo, assists, total): FA, Ryan Gullikson 2-0-2, Brandon Ludwig 2-0-2, Ben Southwick 1-0-1, Angel Escalante 2-1-3, Kyle Bennett 3-1-4, Isaac Wakefield 1-0-1, Tyler Hall 2-1-3, Baha Demir 1-1-2, Cody Gullikson 3-0-3, Matt Boucher 2-0-2, Donovan Brown 1-0-1, Jeremy Pellitier 0-1-1.

JUST OUT OF REACH — Fryeburg Academy receiver Nick Armstrong was unable to come up with this pass during last Friday's game against Greely. (Rivet Photo)
GREELY 54
RAIDERS 18
First Downs: FA 10, GRE 9
Turnovers: FA 2; GRE 0
Penalties: FA 9-51, GRE 5-35
Rushing: FA 20-137, GRE 27-323
Individual Rushing: FA, Ryan Gullikson 10-70, Ben Southwick 4-3, Kyle Bennett 5-18, Cody Gullikson 6-38, Jeremy Pellitier 2-minus 4, Jared Chisari 1-8; GRE, Sam Peck 10-162, Matt Pisini 6-118, Nick Dubois 2-3, Andrew Ray 4-12, Nick Gauvin 4-28, Tim Coyle 1-0
Passing: FA, 10-20-139; GRE 4-5-91
Receiving: FA, Nick Armstrong 1-1, Brandon Ludwig 4-108, Ben Southwick 4-25, Donovan Brown 1-5; GRE, Nick Dubois 2-75, Nick Gauvin 2-16
Tackles (solo, assists, total): FA, Ryan Gullikson 2-0-2, Brandon Ludwig 2-0-2, Ben Southwick 1-0-1, Angel Escalante 2-1-3, Kyle Bennett 3-1-4, Isaac Wakefield 1-0-1, Tyler Hall 2-1-3, Baha Demir 1-1-2, Cody Gullikson 3-0-3, Matt Boucher 2-0-2, Donovan Brown 1-0-1, Jeremy Pellitier 0-1-1.

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

CUMBERLAND — Greely’s Sam Peck and Matt Pisini turned Friday night’s football game against Fryeburg Academy into a track meet.

The two juniors seemingly were shot out of a cannon, streaking past Raider defenders for 162 (Peck) and 118 (Pisini) yards respectively as the Rangers put up 41 points in the first quarter to trounce Fryeburg 54-18.

It proved to be a very frustrating night for the Raider defense as players rarely put a mitt on the two speedsters, and when they thought #5 and #7 were in their sights, they fell victim to quick cuts and no contact.

“We didn’t play particularly well, but at the same time, when you have the kind of speed they do, any error turns into a very big error. A minor mistake turns into a huge play because they have speed all the way across the line,” FA Coach David Turner said. “It’s tough to emulate in practice and watch it on film, it’s just not the same. The cut backs really killed us. You’re fighting to pursue and to get to the ball carrier and then he cuts back and you can’t make a play. It looked like one of those NFL films.”

Greely was eager to bounce back from an opening game loss to Marshwood, and did it in a big way — early and often.

The first Ranger series saw Peck gain 26 yards off an option play, and quarterback Pisini finished it off with a 35-yard keeper. A Raider offside penalty moved the ball closer to the goal line, so the Rangers decided to go for the two-point conversion and scored with Peck bursting through a hole off tackle, untouched.

After Fryeburg was stopped on three plays, punter Brandon Ludwig lined a kick, which was caught by sophomore Andrew Ray, who sprinted 36 yards for a touchdown.

Greely fans instantly started to chant, “I believe we will win!”

They were right.

But, the Raiders made them think twice for a few minutes as Ryan Gullikson launched a spiral deep down the right sideline, which was caught by Ludwig for a 54-yard gain to the Ranger 15. On third down, Gullikson zipped an 8-yard bullet to Ludwig for a touchdown. A bad snap on the kick try saw Gullikson land short of the goal line.

Greely quickly responded. On the first play from the GRE-35, Pisini found running room on the right side and scooted past the FA defense for a 65-yard TD.

Gullikson tried to work the sidelines once more, but this time Ray picked off the pass on a ball that was under thrown and returned it 24 yards for a score.

Down 27-6, Fryeburg went to the air but found little success leading to a punt. Peck showed off his shifty moves, making four different cuts en route to a 41-yard TD jaunt with 4:51 left in the first quarter. Isaiah Richardson, a 320-pound sophomore, connected on his second PAT kick to push the score to 34-6.

“I thought something like this may happen but I didn’t think it would be quite like that, especially all in the first quarter,” Coach Turner said. “The good thing was we responded. We scored a couple of times. I thought we moved the ball. We had some things in the air. But, we just couldn’t make a play defensively. Boy, oh boy, they took advantage of their speed.”

The Raiders engineered a five-play, 71-yard scoring drive as Gullikson and Ludwig hooked up for a 45-yard connection and Gullikson found Ben Southwick in the end zone for a 7-yard scoring strike with 2:25 left.

Pisini seemingly answered the Raiders with a 70-yard run, but the touchdown was erased by an illegal motion penalty.

No problem, Pisini fired an 11-yard strike to Nick Dubois, and then went to the senior receiver again, this time for a 58-yard TD. Again, the PAT kick was good, 41-12.

The Rangers added a 21-yard TD run by Peck and an electric 67-yard punt return by Peck, who tracked down a boom kick by Kyle Bennett that initially sailed over his head.

Fryeburg scored with 57.9 seconds left until halftime as Gullikson found a little daylight and beat a Ranger safety for a 24-yard score.

As the teams prepared to take the field for the second half, the bank of lights along the Raider sideline went out, causing about a half-hour delay.

Well, the party was long since over, but Coach Turner found a silver lining on a tough night.

“What I liked was when we came out to start the second half, it was 1s against 1s, we had more zip defensively. The speed thing was still a problem, but we made tackles. We were better doing our assignments,” Coach Turner said. “We are an inexperienced, young football team in a number of places so there will be some ups and downs. We just need to keep playing. We’ll get better regardless of the scoreboard, which is why we went 1s against 1s for a couple of series in the second half. We competed. Hopefully, that will help us get better.”

Coach Turner also felt his players learned a valuable lesson.

“We came off a big win last week and we wanted to keep things rolling, but then you run into something like this — it’s frustrating. You start to scoreboard watch and see that they lost to Marshwood. But, they had a bunch of guys out and Marshwood is really good. So, it’s tough to compare scores,” he said.

Which is a perfect lead in to this week’s assignment. The Raiders (1-1) host Mt. Ararat this Saturday at 1:30 p.m. The Eagles are 0-2 — 43-12 defeat to Skowhegan and 38-14 loss last week to Westbrook — but had the same mark a year ago and beat the Raiders in Topsham.

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