CAPE ELIZABETH – Donald Clark scored on a punt return and a 23-yard run to lead Cape Elizabeth to a 28-17 victory over York in a Campbell Conference football game Friday night at Hannaford Field.

Both teams are 1-1.

Quarterback Connor Maguire completed his first four passes, including three to Derek Roberts on Cape Elizabeth’s second drive, which ended on a 7-yard Roberts touchdown catch.

Andrew Lavallee, a 300-pound lineman used occasionally in the backfield, rumbled 57 yards for a touchdown that made it 20-0.

Lavallee finished with 98 yards on nine carries to lead all rushers. Clark added 83 yards on 15 carries.

An emotional game filled with hard hits took an abrupt turn when the game stopped with five seconds left in the first half so York sophomore Ross Hogan could be taken on a stretcher to a waiting ambulance.

Hogan and Lavallee, who plays middle linebacker on defense, collided after an incomplete pass with Hogan slanting toward the middle. York Coach Randy Small said Hogan likely suffered a concussion, one of three Wildcat players so afflicted in the game.

The game’s opening play from scrimmage — an incomplete pass — set an uncomfortable tone when two Cape Elizabeth defenders crunched the intended receiver, York senior Jared Petruzzella.

To the dismay of the York coaching staff, no penalty flag was thrown. Small used a timeout two minutes into the game after a second hard hit not to speak with his team, but to the officials.

“I said the next one that gets hit is going to the hospital,” Small said afterward. “And where’s the third one? He’s in the hospital. It has nothing to do with football. Kids are kids no matter who they are or where they come from.

“These kids are my babies. They’re my responsibility. … Something’s got to be done, immediately. Or some kid’s going to be eating out of a straw some night.”

Ross gave a thumbs up signal as he was wheeled off the turf, and after the delay, York’s Ben Lawlor kicked a 29-yard field goal to make it 20-3 at halftime.

Small and his coaches debated whether or not to continue playing in the second half or forfeit “for the safety of the kids,” he said. “It had nothing to do with the game. We’ve been in enough street fights in our lives. We’re not afraid of contact or anything else. I asked the kids, and they wanted to (play).”

He made pains not to single out any Cape Elizabeth players, who seemed clearly more subdued after the break. The Wildcats forced a punt on Cape’s initial possession and drove 56 yards on five running plays, the last a broken play that saw Sean Kelly skirt the left end for a 10-yard touchdown.

Cape Elizabeth responded with a scoring drive covering 63 yards in nine plays. Clark, who ran back a punt for 29 yards and a touchdown after York was pinned inside its 5 in the first quarter, covered the final 23 yards on a counter.

A fake kick on the point-after attempt saw Roberts, the holder, roll to his right and hit Billy Brooks with a conversion pass that made it 28-9.

York scored the final touchdown when tight end Austin Miller caught a pass and broke two tackles for a 14-yard score. Warner ran for the conversion to complete the scoring at 28-17.

“It’s obviously a little emotional,” Cape Elizabeth Coach Aaron Filieo said. “It’s a fast sport. It’s bang-bang. My guys certainly wouldn’t head-hunt.”

“I understand,” said Lavallee, who outweighs Hogan by 130 pounds, of the anguish on the opposing sideline. “I had absolutely no intention of hurting anyone. I was just trying to play the game.”

Staff Writer Glenn Jordan can be contacted at 791-6425 or at:

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