Raiders dominate Pats, 43-0; prep for Wildcat rematch

CODY GULLIKSON hauls in a touchdown toss from Oscar Saunders to put the Raiders up 6-0. (Rivet Photos)
First downs: 9
Penalties: 4-45
Turnovers: 1
Rushing: Isaak McKenney 5-35, Liam Chisari 4-16, Jared Chisari 5-67, Brad Kruger 5-18, Scott Parker 2-16, Justin Daniels 4-37, Oscar Saunders 2-27, Cody Gullikson 1-30, Nathan Knapp 1-5, Eddie Piessinger 1-3. Total: 31-253
Passing: Oscar Saunders 2-of-4, 43 yards, 1 TD; Nathan Knapp 1-of-1, 3 yards
Receiving: Cody Gullikson 1-22, Cobey Johnson 1-3, Scott Parker 1-21
Tackles (solo, assist, total): Liam Chisari 3-1-4, Jack Campbell 4-2-6, Joe LeBrun 1-0-1, Caleb Eklund 1-0-1, Reese Kneissler 1-0-1, Cody Gullikson 2-0-2, Nathan Knapp 1-0-1, Dawson Jones 1-1-2, Arnold Jaber 0-1-1, Josh Frye 0-1-1, Calvin Southwick 2-1-3, Eli Mahan 0-1-1, Oscar Saunders 1-0-1, Justin Daniels 0-1-1, Isaak McKenney 2-0-2, Brad Kruger 0-1-1, Charlie Stokes 1-0-1, Jaycob Lingren 1-0-1
Record: 6-2
First downs: 3
Penalties: 3-20
Turnovers: 2
Rushing: 21-44
Passing: 1-10-6
Record: 0-8

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

FRYEBURG — Facing a winless Gray-New Gloucester team on Senior Day Saturday, Raider Coach David Turner had three main objectives.

#1. He wanted his team to play well.

“They (the players) read the papers and see records, and sometimes no matter what you tell them, they can start to think they need simply to show up,” Coach Turner said. “We told them we just need to play our game, and it doesn’t matter who the opponent is. We want to do our assignments and take care of our business.”

#2. It was also a chance to sharpen up a few things prior to next week’s quarterfinal playoff game against York.

#3. And, stay healthy.

Fryeburg checked off two of the three boxes — all before halftime.

In less than 20 minutes of play, the Raiders scored 43 points, blocked a punt and returned the loose ball for a touchdown and saw a reserve running back turn second effort into a 20-yard score.

The one box left unchecked was staying healthy. After taking a 8-0 lead, Raider kicker Caleb Eklund pooched a drive toward the left sideline. Hustling downfield, FA senior Ryan Hewes put a big stick on G-NG’s Riley Belanger, enabling Raider teammate Cody Gullikson to recover the loose ball.

The hit carried a big cost as Hewes injured his right arm and was sidelined the rest of the game. His status for Saturday’s playoff was uncertain following the game.

“Not sure exactly what’s he’s dealing with,” Coach Turner said. “We’ll have to wait and see.”

Belanger didn’t return either.

Although the Raiders could not improve upon their tourney seeding — dropping out of the second seed to third after the loss to Cape Elizabeth last week, and the Capers beating York this week — they wanted to put on a good showing before the home crowd.

The Patriots certainly focused on FA speedster Jared Chisari, who bolted for 17 yards on his first touch of the day. With G-NG defenders up tight to the line, Gullikson raced passed the Patriot’s safety and was all alone down the middle for a 22-yard TD strike from Oscar Saunders. Holder Nathan Knapp picked up the snap and fired a bullet to Cobey Johnson for the 2-point conversion.

Fryeburg wasted Gullikson’s recovery off the kickoff, driving the ball to the GNG-2 before fumbling and Patriot Ben Ingalls falling on the loose ball.

With the Raiders dominating up front, GNG quarterback Connor Myatt flicked a pass to the outside, where FA defender Scott Parker was awarded an interception. FA seemingly caught a break on the play as it appeared the ball touched the turf.

The “gift” turned into points as Saunders showed some nifty cuts, slicing through two GNG defenders for a 19-yard scoring scamper. Eddie Thurston booted the extra point. The FA freshman was perfect on the day, 5-for-5.

Next Patriot possession featured a fake punt with up-man Isaiah Thongsavangh looking to hook up with Hunter Bryant on the sideline, but it was incomplete.

After Gullikson galloped 30 yards to the GNG-16, Chisari scored easily, untouched, on a sweep to the right for a score. With 4:36 left in the first, the Raiders were up 22-0.

After a 3-and-out by the Pats, the Raiders went back to work. Chisari for 10. Saunders to Parker for 31. Saunders for 8. Chisari for 5, touchdown!

BIG BLOCK, Calvin Southwick blocks a Gray-NG punt, which the loose ball was scooped up by Jared Chisari for a touchdown.
Playoff Preview
When: Saturday, 1:30 p.m.
Where: Fryeburg Academy
Who: The third-ranked Raiders (6-2) host sixth-ranked York (4-4).
What to watch: The Raiders beat York in Week 2 by a 20-0 score. The Wildcats lost their regular season finale, 29-3 to Cape Elizabeth.
• Fryeburg has a 3-1 home mark, while the Cats are 3-1 on the road.
• Coach’s View: “We need to be sound — assignment sound, technique sound. This is Randy (Small’s) last year of coaching (at York) and having coached against him as an assistant and head coach, when you beat them the first time, they come back the next time — they remember those things. They will come up here ready to play. They have experience. We have to be ready to match their intensity and match their physicality,” FA Coach David Turner said. “Our kids have playoff experience and will be ready, but this is high school sports, and the two teams are pretty even in ability. Anything can happen. A break here or there, and you can be headed home.”
Turnovers will be key on both sides.
“We had a lot of penalties the first time we played. In the playoffs, turnovers, mistakes and big plays often make the difference, especially when you have two teams that are pretty even,” Coach Turner added.
• The winner advances to the Class C South semis next week against the winner of the Lake Region (5-3)/Cape Elizabeth (6-2) game.

29-0 after one quarter.

With the Patriots unable to pick up a first down, things went from bad to worst as the second quarter began. A punt attempt was blocked by sophomore Calvin Southwick, and the loose ball was scooped up by Chisari inside the 20 for an uncontested score.

Fryeburg showed no sign of letdown as the Raiders pushed GNG back on their next possession for minus 2, minus 8 and minus 2.

Taking over the Patriot 37 with 8:40 left in the half, Coach Turner called upon his second offensive unit. The reserves didn’t skip a beat. Running back Justin Daniels showed good balance and force, breaking free from tacklers to score from 20 yards out with 4:41 left in the half.

Since the margin was more than 35 points, the officials signaled for “running time” for the remainder of the half (and ultimately, the game).

GNG recorded its first first down when Hunter Brown discovered some daylight against the Raiders’ second team defense, bolting for 31 yards before being tackled by sophomore Isaak McKenney.

GNG quarterback Andrew Topham looked to the right, but had a hard time throwing over the outstretched arms of FA lineman Josh Frye as the pass skipped incomplete with 24 seconds left. Brown rushed for 8 yards, but was stopped at the FA-12 by sophomore Jack Campbell. On the half’s final play, Topham threw incomplete.

That was as close as the Patriots came to scoring. With running time in the second half, the Patriots ran just six plays, while the Raiders took all 12 minutes off the clock in the third quarter, rushing the ball 11 times and gaining three first downs. For the game, the Patriots managed just 50 total yards.

“It’s hard to manage games like these because I don’t like putting 50 (points) up on someone. You try to get everybody in, and keep everyone safe at the same time. Sometimes, it is extremely difficult to do,” Coach Turner said.

For the second straight year, the Raiders finished with a 6-2 record and a tourney berth.

“These guys have put in a lot of time in the off-season lifting (weights), and we continue to do it during the season. 6-2 shows those types of things can pay off,” Coach Turner said.

Now, FA will look to keep the season rolling against the Wildcats this Saturday.






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