Raiders put up a fight

By Wayne E. Rivet
Staff Writer

FRYEBURG — For 24 minutes, Fryeburg Academy put up a very good fight against a very talented Cape Elizabeth squad.

IN PURSUIT — Raider junior Bobby Ramsay looks to tackle Cape Elizabeth running back Vin Dell’Aquilla during Saturday’s game. The Capers blanked Fryeburg 34-0.

Early on, the Raider defense bottled up the high-powered Cape offense, limiting the visitors to 3-and-out on their first two possessions and thwarting a second quarter drive inside the FA 20.

The Capers enjoyed a 7-0 lead at halftime courtesy of a Austin Shields interception and a 22-yard return for a touchdown with 4:49 left until intermission, yet the Raiders had traded hit for hit for the first 24 minutes.

Unfortunately, a football game is 48 minutes.

Cape Elizabeth (3-0) posted its third straight shutout, blanking the Raiders 34-0 Saturday afternoon at the Academy. Fryeburg fell to 0-3.

The Capers scored on four of their five possessions in the second half, behind fleet footed quarterback Derek Roberts (6 carries, 53 yards) and bruising fullback Jack McDonald (two 1-yard runs).

While the Cape offense was more efficient in the second half, it was the defense that dominated. Cape linebackers McDonald and John Harrison stuffed the FA running game, allowing just one first down (late into the game on a Kyle Bonner 33-yard run) in the second half while forcing a fumble. The Cape defense has yet to be scored upon this season.

Meanwhile, the Raider defense simply ran out of gas.

“We just couldn’t get into any type of rhythm. If we could have made a few first downs to change field position, we could have opened things up a little more. We were always deep in our own end, trying to work our way out, which really limited what we could do,” FA Head Coach David Turner said. “In the end, we were just too tired. We had ends who couldn’t get wide. We really needed to get some people rest, but our depth is a real problem right now.”

Fryeburg’s offense struggled to stretch the field as freshman quarterback Ethan Jordan was relegated to short patterns.

“They (Cape) were smart. They knew there were some things we weren’t going to be able to do (like spread the field and pass long), which made us somewhat one dimensional,” Coach Turner said.

Turner gave credit to his rookie quarterback for showing poise under difficult circumstances. With starter Andrew Rascoe unavailable, Jordan received a crash course late in the week.

“Learning Thursday, he had limited reps and certainly he wasn’t comfortable. It takes a while. When you’re a freshman who wasn’t playing, it takes time to get use to the speed of the game as opposed to practice,” Coach Turner said. “It limited things we could do, but at the same time, we needed to make some plays out there.”

The Fryeburg line was able to open some cracks in the Cape wall in the first quarter as Bonner picked up two first downs off tackle. But, FA’s second drive stalled at the CE-41 when Jordan was picked off by Shields with 1:57 left.

Cape’s offense found its rhythm near the end of the quarter as junior Donald Clark ripped through for gains of 9 and 8 yards into FA territory. However, Clark injured his left ankle after being tackled by FA’s Ian Sundgren, and did not return. Cape quarterback Derek Roberts broke a 0-for-3 stretch passing the football when he connected with Kyle Danielson for a 21-yard gain to the FA 16. But, the Raiders stood tall as Sundgren knocked Vin Dell’Aquilla for a yard loss, Raider lineman Bobby Ramsay (13 tackles on the day) stopped a run for 2 yards, and the FA secondary held on three passing attempts.

Cape finally got on the board when Shields intercepted a Jordan pass, which as thrown behind the receiver. Shields bolted to the outside and picked up a couple of blocks on his way to the end zone.

Cape punter Patrick Tyler pinned the Raiders back on their own 4-yard line in the closing minutes. FA managed a first down as Bonner rushed for 5, 2 and 6 yards to close out the half.

If Cape Coach Aaron Filieo read his club the riot act at intermission, the Capers heard it loud and clear. Cape took a 13-0 lead when Roberts broke free for an 8-yard score to finish off a five-play, 40-yard drive.

A fumbled kick-off put the Raiders back to their own 10 yard line. Cape’s defense knocked Bonner for a yard gain on third down pass. CJ Bartlett’s punt was then fielded by Jake Lynch, who returned it 34 yards to the FA 11.

Showing their pride and grit, the Raider defense made an outstanding stand. Ramsay saved a touchdown by stopping Dell’Aquilla at the FA 2, setting up a 4th-and-1. Dell’Aquilla got the call, but was stonewalled by a sea of navy as Nate Hill, Colby Locke, Ian Sundgren and Brandon Daigle clogged the lane for no gain.

FA managed just a few yards, and was forced to punt. Roberts gave Cape good field position with a 28-yard return to the FA 4. Using 6-foot-1, 215-pound linebacker Jack McDonald as a battering ram, Cape punched it in on a third down play with 21.8 seconds left. Tyler’s kick made it 20-0.

Cape capitalized on a poor option pitch, recovering the ball at the FA 23 and scoring five plays later behind McDonald for a 27-0 lead.

Robbie Martin closed out the scoring with a 2-yard run with 2:28 left in the game, completing a 13-play, 47-yard drive.

“We wore down. We really lack depth right now, compared to the past couple of weeks. There should be guys we can put in there to give some of the starters a break, but we don’t have them right now,” Coach Turner said. “We’re getting a few kids back this week. That should help.”

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