Football: Lakers unable to match Capers

CATCH by Dawson Smith

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

Although the scoreboard read, Home 16, Guest 47, Coach Mike Shea didn’t feel too bad about his first varsity football loss.

“That was the best feeling I’ve had after a loss because I know our guys fought hard, showed they were tough, and weren’t afraid of Cape Elizabeth,” the coach said. “We didn’t do everything correctly on the football field, but our energy and tenacity were there at all times. That’s why I am impressed with our guys.”

The defending conference champs had a little too much firepower for the Lakers to contend with Friday night at Art Kilborn Athletic Complex.

By the time fans finished off their cheeseburgers or hot dish of American chop suey, the Capers had raced to a 21-7 lead after a quarter.

The margin bounced to 34-7 midway through the second quarter as speedy backs found some running space outside and over left tackle for touchdown runs.

LR responded as junior quarterback Ethan McMurray connected with newcomer Paul Vigna for an 18-yarder and zipped a spiral to the outside for senior wideout Chase Weese, who bolted 33 yards before being knocked out of bounds at the CE-2. After Brandon Sargent gained a yard, McMurray flicked a laser to Vigna for a touchdown with 4:48 left until the half. Vigna’s extra-point boot was wide left.

TIPPED AWAY by Ethan McMurray

Cape answered with an eight play, 66-yard drive as senior quarterback Andrew Hartel launched a deep ball 35 yards on fourth down to Matt Conley for a touchdown. Weese intercepted Hartel’s point-after toss.

Capers 40, Lakers 13.

With the Lakers unable to move the ball and erase the final 2:17 on the clock, Cape first teamers put the finishing touches on their night, as Hartel put the ball in the air six straight times, moving the Capers from their own 35 to the LR-30. With 4.6 seconds left, Hartel pulled the trigger on a 30-yard scoring strike to Matt Laughlin, just a tick before LR defensive lineman Nicholas Hall gave the 6-foot-7 quarterback a shot. The extra point kick was good.

Capers 47, Lakers 13

Despite the score, the Lakers kept airing it out — and with some success. McMurray completed three straight passes to Weese for 13, 9 and 11 yards. Two McMurray scrambles (7 and 5 yards) moved the ball to the CE-2. The drive stalled as an offensive pass interference call pushed the ball to the CE-16. Two passes failed to gain a yard, and a field goal attempt turned into a Weese run as a low snap forced the senior holder to take off, gaining eight yards.

Cape moved the ball into LR territory and Coach Aaron Filieo turned the controls to his second teamers. LR stopped the surge as the third quarter ended.

BIG GAIN by Peter Vigna

Starting at their own 14, LR showed a nice balance of run and pass, resulting in a 22-yard field goal by Vigna. McMurray was 4-of-5 on the drive for 49 yards, including tosses of 13 and 25 yards to Vigna. Junior running back Brent Massey gained 11 and 22 yards.

Capers 47, Lakers 16

Cape ran out the clock with nine rushes, covering 31 yards. LR lineman Dante Adams was busy, recording four tackles.

Although the final score was one-sided, Coach Shea liked what he saw from his Lakers.

“I haven’t seen the stats yet, but I know we threw the ball for over 200 yards. Ethan had a phenomenal game. He threw the ball very well,” LR Coach Mike Shea said. “Chase Weese was one of the best athletes on the field and made some plays for us, catching the football and moving it up the field. I thought our offense was designed well, and we executed most of it, not all. We haven’t thrown the ball a lot here for a while, so to see us have some success was very encouraging. Ethan is very good at throwing the short and intermediate routes.”

First-timers Dawson Smith and Paul Vigna made some big catches and fought through contact quite well.

“They are really taking off. They’ve embraced what we want to do, and are catching the football — that’s what it comes down to. They are really working hard,” Coach Shea said. “We showed we can move the football, and it was against a very good team. We can improve our line play, but for a first time out, not bad. It hurt to lose Colby (Chaplin, a junior lineman, who suffered an ankle injury) so early. It’s not easy to fill his spot.”

Coach Shea expected trouble from Cape’s towering quarterback, Hartel, who was a key cog in the team’s state championship bid a year ago.

“Defensively, we have some work to do. They’re a good ball team. Their quarterback (Andrew Hartel) is big, he has a big arm and he is accurate,” Coach Shea said. “We are teaching our kids that every time out, we’re going to be in a dog fight. They came out ready to fight, and realized it is a long football game. No matter what happens, they need to turn the page and keep fighting. Tonight, they focused on doing their jobs and kept fighting, start to finish.”

Up next: The Lakers host Spruce Mountain this Friday at 7 p.m. The Phoenix throttled the Ramblers of Winthrop, Monmouth and Hall-Dale by a 38-6 count.

Spruce managed to score in a variety of ways, including three big plays — a 101-yard interception return, an 80-yard kickoff return and a 53-yard keeper by the backup quarterback in the fourth quarter.

The Ramblers lone score came on a 32-yard TD pass in the fourth quarter.

“We know we have to fix some things on defense. I think with more experience, we’ll get better each week with more time and teaching,” Laker Coach Mike Shea said.

Please follow and like us: