Yarmouth too quick, too explosive for Raiders in semis, 54-12

 

Raider quarterback Ryan Gullikson had a hard time all night trying to shake Yarmouth defenders. (Rivet Photos)

Raider quarterback Ryan Gullikson had a hard time all night trying to shake Yarmouth defenders. (Rivet Photos)

By Wayne E. Rivet

Staff Writer

YARMOUTH — To beat a perfect team, you need a perfect effort.

Fryeburg Academy made too many critical mistakes over the game’s first 12 minutes to give the Raiders any shot of upsetting top-ranked Yarmouth Friday night.

The Clippers were too quick, too explosive and too dominating up front as they rolled to a 20-0 first quarter lead and never looked back.

Senior running back Lucas Uhl rushed for three touchdowns and 103 yards on 12 carries, while the Clipper defense stifled the Raiders, limiting FA to just 38 yards rushing and 80 yards passing in a 54-12 Class C South semifinal rout.

Yarmouth, 10-0, advanced to face Wells, which defeated Cape Elizabeth.

“We couldn’t get out of our own way,” FA Coach David Turner said. “We were trying a few tempo things so just maybe they might back off a little. They play a lot of press coverage. Right off, we gave them the ball twice inside the 30, and they’re just too powerful for that to happen. They have just so many skilled guys, a lot of ways to beat you.”

The Yarmouth front rarely gave FA quarterback Ryan Gullikson any free lanes as the Raider senior was often hammered from the backside as he tried to scramble, resulting in six sacks for 37 yards.

FA lineman Isaac Wakefield was just a tad late to sack Yarmouth quarterback John Thoma.

FA lineman Isaac Wakefield was just a tad late to sack Yarmouth quarterback John Thoma.

The Clipper secondary blanketed FA receivers, allowing only a pair of tough over-the-shoulder touchdown catches by Cody Gullikson. In fact, Gullikson had seven of the Raiders’ eight completions, while senior wideout Nick L’Heureux-Carland often saw double coverage, closing out his high school career with zero receptions.

Fryeburg (6-4) hoped to get off to a fast start, using a hurry-up approach to try to create “tempo.” But, the drive stalled when a 15-yard Gullikson run was called back on an illegal formation penalty.

Penalties would haunt the Raiders throughout the first half as three big plays were nullified by penalties.

The half dragged as game officials had to start feeling they had cases of tennis elbow after tossing 22 flags — two penalties were declined.

“I would have to watch the film, something I’d rather not do, to find out what they kept calling. My guys were telling me they were on the line, yet the officials kept throwing flags saying we weren’t. Every time we did anything, it was called back,” Coach Turner said. “It was one of those nights that we were playing one of the best teams in Western C, and they are playing well and nothing is going right for us — if you add that up, it doesn’t add up well at all.”

Yarmouth scored first as Jack Snyder sprinted right, escaping the clutches of two FA defenders for a 12-yard touchdown.

Just 1:04 later, the Clippers went up 14-0 as quarterback John Thoma connected with Snyder over the middle for a 15-yard TD strike. The play was set up when FA quarterback Ryan Gullikson bobbled a snap, was unable to scoop up the loose ball, which bounced to the left and recovered by Yarmouth’s Cody Cook.

Raider running back Jared Chisari looks to stay inbounds with a Clipper trying to trip him up.

Raider running back Jared Chisari looks to stay inbounds with a Clipper trying to trip him up.

Needing a drive to improve field position and keep the ball out of the red hot Clippers’ hands, the Raiders seemed to get into a rhythm as Cody Gullikson broke free for 11 yards. But, the momentum was fleeting as two penalties, including one that negated an 11-yard run resulted in a punt.

Snyder had the Clippers right back on the Raiders’ doorstep when he returned a punt 52 yards before Ryan Gullikson made a saving tackle.

Yarmouth leaned on Uhl, who was stuffed for minor gains by FA linemen Wakefield and Baha Demir, scored from a yard out with 2 minutes left in the quarter as the Clips took a 20-0 lead.

Ryan Gullikson has been FA’s big play guy all season. Sensing his team needed some type of spark to get back into the game, the senior rolled the dice as the quarter was coming to an end. Back to punt from the FA-24, Gullikson hoped to catch the Clippers retreating for another big return. He tucked took a couple of steps forward, checked the defense, tucked the ball away and bolted.

The gamble fell a yard short.

Yarmouth capitalized — as they did all night — on the misplay as Synder ripped off 16 yards and Uhl scored from eight yards away. FA helped the cause with a penalty, which moved the ball inside the 10.

With six minutes until the break, Gullikson bought some time, dodging a few Yarmouth defenders before launching a deep ball down the sideline, which Cody Gullikson managed to haul in and keep one foot inbounds for a 35-yard completion.

After a Yarmouth penalty, Gullikson lofted a perfect fade pass to brother Cody, who managed to outleap a Clipper defender and snag the toss in the back of the end zone to put the Raiders on the board. The two-point try failed.

FINISHING WITH CLASS — Raider senior linebacker Matt Boucher shakes the game official's hand following a rough night at Yarmouth. YARMOUTH 54 RAIDERS 12 First Downs: FA 6, YAR 8 Penalties: FA 12-93, YAR 11-75 Turnovers: FA 2, YAR 1 Rushing: FA 24-38, YAR 28-235 Passing: FA 8-31-80, YAR 9-14-112 Total offense: FA 118, YAR 347 FA rushing: Ryan Gullikson 13-14, Jared Chisari 7-5, Cody Gullikson 4-19 YAR rushing: Lucas Uhl 12-103, Cody Cook 4-17, Henry Venden 2-23, Jack Snyder 5-86, Jack Riccardi 1-minus 1, John Thoma 2-8, Harry Steinharter 1-minus 2, Liam Harke 1-1 FA receiving: Cody Gullikson 7-71, Caleb Eklund 1-9 FA tackles (solo, assist, total): Isaac Wakefield 3-1-4, Oscar Saunders 3-1-4, Jared Chisari 1-2-3, Cody Gullikson 1-4-5, Kevin Ventura 1-0-1, Matt Boucher 0-2-2, Baha Demir 4-2-6, Ryan Gullikson 1-2-3, Gage Fowler 2-0-2, Scott Parker 3-0-3, Caleb Eklund 2-1-3, Alex Ehrensberger 1-1-2, Nick L’Heureux-Carland 1-0-1, Caleb Bowles 1-0-1, Ben Fraize 0-1-1, Tucker Buzzell 1-1-2

FINISHING WITH CLASS — Raider senior linebacker Matt Boucher shakes the game official's hand following a rough night at Yarmouth.
YARMOUTH 54
RAIDERS 12
First Downs: FA 6, YAR 8
Penalties: FA 12-93, YAR 11-75
Turnovers: FA 2, YAR 1
Rushing: FA 24-38, YAR 28-235
Passing: FA 8-31-80, YAR 9-14-112
Total offense: FA 118, YAR 347
FA rushing: Ryan Gullikson 13-14, Jared Chisari 7-5, Cody Gullikson 4-19
YAR rushing: Lucas Uhl 12-103, Cody Cook 4-17, Henry Venden 2-23, Jack Snyder 5-86, Jack Riccardi 1-minus 1, John Thoma 2-8, Harry Steinharter 1-minus 2, Liam Harke 1-1
FA receiving: Cody Gullikson 7-71, Caleb Eklund 1-9
FA tackles (solo, assist, total): Isaac Wakefield 3-1-4, Oscar Saunders 3-1-4, Jared Chisari 1-2-3, Cody Gullikson 1-4-5, Kevin Ventura 1-0-1, Matt Boucher 0-2-2, Baha Demir 4-2-6, Ryan Gullikson 1-2-3, Gage Fowler 2-0-2, Scott Parker 3-0-3, Caleb Eklund 2-1-3, Alex Ehrensberger 1-1-2, Nick L’Heureux-Carland 1-0-1, Caleb Bowles 1-0-1, Ben Fraize 0-1-1, Tucker Buzzell 1-1-2

Uhl stole any thunder the Raiders had by rushing through a big hole on the left side, and racing 65 yards for a touchdown — 11 seconds after the FA score. Uhl was barely touched.

The FA score seemed to give Yarmouth added incentive as the Clippers scored twice before halftime as Snyder zipped 47 yards on a counter play with 4:12 left and Thoma went to Snyder for a 31-yard TD strike with 2:07 left to make it 47-6.

The Raiders kept the ball for the final two minutes, moving into Yarmouth territory, but came up empty as Gullikson was sacked by Joey Fortin for a 7 yard loss, and he was intercepted by Noah Eckersley-Ray on a Hail Mary deep down the middle with 1.8 seconds left.

Refusing to roll over because of the 41-point deficit, the Raiders showed some grit as they opened the second half with a couple of pad popping hits, one by Wakefield which resulted in the ball popping free and recovered by Caleb Eklund.

The turnover set up a 12-yard pass from Ryan to Cody Guillikson — the only score of the quarter.

With their starters still in the ballgame, Yarmouth countered with a six-play, 56-yard drive with Thoma and Snyder combining for a 12-yard TD with 7:30 left.

“Everything that could go wrong did go wrong for us. When that happens, especially against an excellent football team, that’s the result. That half of football wasn’t what our season was about. We fought through lots of things all season. In the second half, down 47-6, we still had to play together, working through adversity (which we all do in life), forgetting the score and play inspired,” Coach Turner said. “I thought, at least, we did that. We did a better job playing. For them, it was over. But, we wanted to play hard and support each other. We knew we weren’t going to come back and win the game, but we wanted to end it not with a sour taste in our mouths.”

With the graduation of some key parts, the Raiders will look for the continued development of younger players — including some who saw plenty of prime time this fall and will take on bigger roles next season.

“I believe the main reason we were able to stay healthy and saw some young kids step in and contribute was because of the work our kids put in during the summer with our strength and conditioning program with Pat Daly,” Coach Turner added. “We’re going to need for that to happen again because we saw what the top of Class C is like. To get to that point, we need to sacrifice and if we do, who knows what might happen, we could be back here again.”

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