Raiders take care of business, hammer Gorham

ISAAC WAKEFIELD nearly blocks a Gorham pass attempt.

ISAAC WAKEFIELD nearly blocks a Gorham pass attempt.

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

FRYEBURG — With high school athletes, one can never be entirely sure whether or not they are “ready to take care of business” at hand.

Coach David Turner hoped his Fryeburg Academy football team was ready to seize an opportunity before them and would not fall victim of overconfidence.

At 3-3, the Raiders continue to climb in the Crabtree Rankings, and could be in line for a home playoff game if they finish 5-3 and get some outside help. If the season ended right now, the Raiders would be the fourth seed and would host fifth seed Spruce Mountain (3-4).

But, there is still work to be done. The Raiders hold only a slight tourney index lead over the Phoenix — 103.5286 to 101.8286. FA has Lake Region left on its schedule, while Spruce plays Mountain Valley. Gray-New Gloucester is sixth at 99.9571 and could dart up the chart if they beat #7 Poland.

So, the playoff picture won’t be totally clear until Sunday.

OSCAR SAUNDERS celebrates a long-scoring touchdown pass with Caleb  Eklund (#44). RAIDERS 40 GORHAM 14 First Downs: FA 8, GOR 11 Penalties: FA 4-30, GOR 2-15 Turnovers: FA 2, GOR 4 Rushing: FA 25-160, GOR 47-168 Raider Rushing: Tucker Buzzell 2-2, Oscar Saunders 2-7, Cody Gullikson 7-24, Caleb Bowles 2-3, Nathan Knapp 1-minus 1, Ryan Gullikson 11-125 Gorham Rushing: Calvin Riiska 2-15, Adam McKenny 37-158, Stephen Burns 6-2, Jack Niles 2-minus 7 Passing: FA 9-18-199, GOR 3-9-28 Raider Receiving: Nick L’Heureux-Carland 1-15, Oscar Saunders 3-100, Caleb Eklund 3-39, Cody Gullikson 1-27, Cobey Johnson 1-18 Total Offense: FA 359, GOR 196 Raider Tackles (solo, assist, total): Oscar Saunders 3-1-4, Gage Fowler 1-2-3, Matt Boucher 2-4-6, Baha Demir 3-2-5, Alex Ehrensberger 2-5-7, Caleb Eklund 1-7-8, Nick L’Heureux-Carland 1-1-2, Cody Gullikson 4-7-11, Ryan Gullikson 1-1-2, Jahmi Seeley-Brown 1-0-1, Tucker Buzzell 0-3-3, Isaac Wakefield 1-2-3, Scott Parker 1-0-1, KevinVentura 1-2-3, Cam Mailman 1-0-1, Josh Frye 2-1-3, Nathan Knapp 2-1-3, Gavin Smith 0-1-1, Braydon Bartlett 0-1-1, Reese Kneissler 1-1-2 Up next: The Raiders (4-3) head to Lake Region (1-6) this Friday night for a 7 p.m. game.

OSCAR SAUNDERS celebrates a long-scoring touchdown pass with Caleb Eklund (#44).
RAIDERS 40
GORHAM 14
First Downs: FA 8, GOR 11
Penalties: FA 4-30, GOR 2-15
Turnovers: FA 2, GOR 4
Rushing: FA 25-160, GOR 47-168
Raider Rushing: Tucker Buzzell 2-2, Oscar Saunders 2-7, Cody Gullikson 7-24, Caleb Bowles 2-3, Nathan Knapp 1-minus 1, Ryan Gullikson 11-125
Gorham Rushing: Calvin Riiska 2-15, Adam McKenny 37-158, Stephen Burns 6-2, Jack Niles 2-minus 7
Passing: FA 9-18-199, GOR 3-9-28
Raider Receiving: Nick L’Heureux-Carland 1-15, Oscar Saunders 3-100, Caleb Eklund 3-39, Cody Gullikson 1-27, Cobey Johnson 1-18
Total Offense: FA 359, GOR 196
Raider Tackles (solo, assist, total): Oscar Saunders 3-1-4, Gage Fowler 1-2-3, Matt Boucher 2-4-6, Baha Demir 3-2-5, Alex Ehrensberger 2-5-7, Caleb Eklund 1-7-8, Nick L’Heureux-Carland 1-1-2, Cody Gullikson 4-7-11, Ryan Gullikson 1-1-2, Jahmi Seeley-Brown 1-0-1, Tucker Buzzell 0-3-3, Isaac Wakefield 1-2-3, Scott Parker 1-0-1, KevinVentura 1-2-3, Cam Mailman 1-0-1, Josh Frye 2-1-3, Nathan Knapp 2-1-3, Gavin Smith 0-1-1, Braydon Bartlett 0-1-1, Reese Kneissler 1-1-2
Up next: The Raiders (4-3) head to Lake Region (1-6) this Friday night for a 7 p.m. game.

Facing a 0-6 Gorham team, Coach Turner was leery of his guys taking the Rams too lightly.

The Raiders put those concerns to rest quickly and early.

Fryeburg scored 26 points in the first quarter, and torched Gorham through the air as senior quarterback Ryan Gullikson went 9-for-18 for 199 yards and two touchdowns as the Raiders manhandled the Rams 40-14.

“Up front, we were very good on both sides of the ball,” Coach Turner said. “I thought we did a nice job of taking care of business.”

Gullikson opened the scoring when he scored from 11 yards out, following strong lead blocks from linemen Kevin Ventura and Isaac Wakefield.

The drive was set up when freshman Oscar Saunders put a hit on Ram running back Adam McKenny, forcing a fumble, which Gullikson covered up at the G-37. Gullikson returned the favor, firing a nice ball to Saunders for a 20-yard gain to the G-20.

The Rams attempted to stack the box to slow Gullikson down, but #9 showed plenty of shake and bake, reversing direction, bouncing off tacklers and then turning the jets on for a 62-yard TD run.

The game got away from the Rams when they were unable to field squib kicks from FA’s Nick L’Heureux-Carland. Twice, the ball bounced the Raiders’ way, recovered by Jahmi Seeley-Brown. And twice, Fryeburg made it count.

Gullikson struck quickly, putting perfect touch on a deep ball down the middle to Saunders for a 41-yard score. The rookie receiver had quite an afternoon, catching three balls for 100 yards.

On the second Seeley-Brown recovery, Fryeburg moved to the G-6 when Caleb Eklund made a circus-like over-the-shoulder catch, which he muscled away from a Gorham defender for 23 yards. Gullikson scored from six yards out to push the lead to 26-0 with 26.4 seconds left in the first quarter.

Gorham took nearly eight minutes off the clock in the second, rushing the ball nine times. Quarterback Jack Niles completed two passes to wideout Stephen Burns for 15 and 10 yards, but a deep ball to the goal line was picked off by FA defender Scott Parker, who made a leaping catch.

Parker’s long return deep into Gorham territory was erased by an illegal block penalty.

Gorham had a chance to get on the board when Gullikson lost the handle on a ball at the FA-25, but the Raider defense rose to the occasion as Cody Gullikson (team-high 11 tackles) stuffed McKenny for no gain on a fourth down play at the FA-18.

Fryeburg tacked on another score with 43.9 seconds left until the half as Ryan hooked up with brother Cody Gullikson for a 27-yard TD strike.

FA scored on its first possession of the second half as Gullikson connected with Saunders on a slant pass, which the rookie took 39 yards for a score. Alex Ehrensberger booted the extra point for a 40-0 lead.

INTERCEPTED — Fryeburg Academy defensive back Scott Parker picks off a Gorham pass near the end zone. (Rivet Photos)

INTERCEPTED — Fryeburg Academy defensive back Scott Parker picks off a Gorham pass near the end zone. (Rivet Photos)

Gorham scored twice against the Raider reserves, McKenny breaking loose on the left side for 28 yards at 6:33 in the fourth, and McKenny added an 11-yarder with 3:08 left.

FA tried to run out the clock with their second offensive unit, but turned the ball over to Gorham at the FA-34 with 30.4 seconds left. The Rams tried to get into the end zone one more time, but FA’s Josh Frye and Reese Kneissler combined to stop McKenny short of the goal line as time expired.

Now, the Raiders have one piece of business left to tend to — beat rival Lake Region on the road this Friday night.

While the Lakers enter the game 1-6, Coach Turner again will be telling his players all week it is time “to take care of business.”

“I’ve seen the Lakers play a couple of times this year, and each time, they play hard, they play tough,” Coach Turner said. “They have a chance to end their season on a really positive note, and if we don’t show up ready to play, ready to match their intensity, you never know what might happen.”

 

 

 

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