Raiders lose their cool early, unable to rally at Falmouth

 

CATCH OVER THE MIDDLE — Aaron Ludwig snags a pass from Ryan Gullikson. (Rivet Photos)

CATCH OVER THE MIDDLE — Aaron Ludwig snags a pass from Ryan Gullikson. (Rivet Photos)

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

FALMOUTH — Talk is cheap in football, especially when your team is behind.

Falmouth won the battle of the words and on the field Friday night as the Yachtsmen blistered the Raiders 40-14.

Each team had over 80 penalty yards, as trash talk spilled into “chippy” play that at one point led an official to warn some players to clean up their acts.

“We weren’t focused on what was going on during the play, we were focusing on what was happening after the play,” FA Coach David Turner said. “We made too many mistakes. We had one play where two guys went to the same gap, they ran the other gap and no one was there. They scored a long touchdown.”

Falmouth scored on its first touch, taking advantage of a good line surge to roll seven plays for 48 yards capped off by a Tyler Rolfe 14-yard score.

Down 7-0, the Raiders appeared ready to answer as Ryan Gullikson threaded a pass to Ryan Buzzell for a 26-yard pickup, but the play was erased by a holding penalty. Unfazed, Gullikson connected with Cody Loewe for 12 yards. Gullikson appeared to get off a pitch on a scramble to Buzzell, which would have gone for a big gain, but an official blew his whistle, stopping the play, saying Gullikson’s forward progress had been stopped before the pitch.

“They ruled that Ryan’s forward progress had been stopped, but I didn’t see that. I did see that with the pitch, we had a lot of room to run the ball,” Coach Turner said. “It summed up our first half. Big gains stopped by a whistle or penalty — we had a big pass play down the seam, but it was called back because of a holding penalty. We just couldn’t get out of our way, and they took advantage of it.”

LOWERING THE BOOM — Fryeburg Academy lineman Winston Richards sacks Falmouth quarterback Noah Nelson.  FALMOUTH 40 RAIDERS 14 First Downs: FA 15, FAL 9 Penalties: FA 9-80, FAL 6-85 Turnovers: FA 4, FAL 0 Rushing: FA 52-183, FAL 32-275 Passing: FA 7-18-144, FAL 4-12-98 Total Offense: FA 327, FAL 373 Individual Rushing: FA, Billy Rascoe 18-92, Ryan Gullikson 14-56, Ryan Buzzell 1-6, Ben Southwick 1-1, Isaac Wakefield 3-7; FAL Storm Covens 6-85, Tyler Rolfe 14-89, Connor Aube 7-109, Noah Nelson 5-(8) Tackles (solo, assist, total): FA, Aaron Ludwig 2-1-3, Kyle Provencher 0-2-2, David McLaughlin 2-2-4, Willy Macfawn 1-1-2, Greg Harmon 0-5-5, Ryan Buzzell 6-0-6, Cody Loewe 0-1-1, Matt Boucher 1-0-1, Greg Sargent 2-1-3, Andrew Lyman 2-1-3, Ben Southwick 2-0-2, Donovan Brown 1-1-2, Isaac Wakefield 2-0-2

LOWERING THE BOOM — Fryeburg Academy lineman Winston Richards sacks Falmouth quarterback Noah Nelson.
FALMOUTH 40
RAIDERS 14
First Downs: FA 15, FAL 9
Penalties: FA 9-80, FAL 6-85
Turnovers: FA 4, FAL 0
Rushing: FA 52-183, FAL 32-275
Passing: FA 7-18-144, FAL 4-12-98
Total Offense: FA 327, FAL 373
Individual Rushing: FA, Billy Rascoe 18-92, Ryan Gullikson 14-56, Ryan Buzzell 1-6, Ben Southwick 1-1, Isaac Wakefield 3-7; FAL Storm Covens 6-85, Tyler Rolfe 14-89, Connor Aube 7-109, Noah Nelson 5-(8)
Tackles (solo, assist, total): FA, Aaron Ludwig 2-1-3, Kyle Provencher 0-2-2, David McLaughlin 2-2-4, Willy Macfawn 1-1-2, Greg Harmon 0-5-5, Ryan Buzzell 6-0-6, Cody Loewe 0-1-1, Matt Boucher 1-0-1, Greg Sargent 2-1-3, Andrew Lyman 2-1-3, Ben Southwick 2-0-2, Donovan Brown 1-1-2, Isaac Wakefield 2-0-2

Falmouth went up 14-0 as quarterback Noah Nelson (4-of-12, 98 yards) connected with wide receiver Justin Rogers for a 21-yard TD.

Fryeburg moved the ball again as Gullikson completed passes of 10 yards to Aaron Ludwig, who made a nice grab over the middle, and 24 yards to Loewe. But, the drive stalled on a penalty, erasing a 3rd-and-1. On fourth down, Gullikson was unable to complete a pass to Buzzell.

Falmouth struck quickly to start the second quarter as Storm Covens took advantage of a big hole off tackle, turned on the jets and raced 50 yards for a touchdown.

Connor Aube showed off his breakaway speed as well, bursting up the middle, making a few cuts and then sprinting for a 69-yard TD with 9:23 left in the half.

Frustrated after a three-and-out, the Raiders self destructed with a late hit penalty, opening the door for a 21-yard run by Covens, and a 16-yard play off tackle by the senior running back for a score.

Down 34-0, FA senior lineman Sulo Burbank strode up and down the sideline with one message for his teammates, “Let’s have a little pride and self respect.”

His teammates responded. After Gullikson scrambled for 10 yards, he found Loewe all alone on the left sideline and made a perfect toss, good for a 78-yard TD with 4:56 left.

“At halftime, our seniors told their teammates let’s just go out and play football. We did that. I told the guys that when you are getting beat, the other team can talk it up. We needed to shut up and play, which I thought we did in the second half. No sense to talk when you are behind,” Coach Turner said. “I’m sure their kids are good kids, and I know our kids are good kids. It was just one of those nights.”

Indeed, the Raiders played a better game over the final 24 minutes. With Falmouth keeping their regulars on the field for the entire game, the Raiders actually held an 8-6 scoring advantage, despite three interceptions.

Falmouth capitalized on the second interception as Nelson found Aube for a 28-yard strike at the 4:19 mark.

Fryeburg took nearly eight minutes off the clock with a 15-play, 68-yard drive capped off by a Rascoe 1-yard plunge. Key plays included a 13-yard pickup by Rascoe on fourth down and a 14-yard run by Gullikson. Ben Southwick caught the two-point conversion pass.

“I am proud of the way we played in the second half. We were focused, we didn’t worry about the other stuff going on, and we played football. We made stops and moved the football,” Coach Turner said. “They kept their guys in until the end. If it hadn’t gotten so out of hand in the first half, we may have given them a game, maybe.”

Next: It is Homecoming Saturday at the Academy, and the Raiders (1-5) will face a tall task when they take on York (4-2). The Wildcats have won four straight including a 35-24 win over Greely and a 34-0 victory over Mt. Ararat. The Cats sport one of the conference’s biggest rosters with 76 players, including senior quarterback Russ Hogan, who rushed for over 1,000 yards last year, and senior Sean Kelly, a 1,200-yard back in 2012. Game time is 1:30 p.m.

Please follow and like us: