OLD ORCHARD BEACH — It didn’t take long for the Traip Academy Rangers to put their first loss behind them.
With 24 second-quarter points they also put Old Orchard Beach in the rear-view mirror and rolled to a 37-6 Class C win on a chilly windswept Friday night.
Traip improved to 6-1 with the win, using Corey Aldecoa’s touchdown runs of 2, 22 and 31 yards to take an 18-6 lead.
The Seagulls entered on a five-game win streak, scored on their first possession and then were stymied by the Rangers’ shutdown defense which intercepted four passes and held dangerous junior back Joe Gildrad to 32 yards on 13 carries.
Old Orchard Beach is now 5-2.
Traip lost last week to Dirigo, a hard-hitting affair replete with penalties.
“We were really thinking about that loss,” said Aldecoa, who broke numerous tackles en route to 150 yards on 19 carries. “We knew we had to keep our heads up and come back from it and what a great night tonight to come back and put a W on the scoreboard.”
Traip outgained the Seagulls 369-141. First the Rangers’ defense, led by outside linebacker Nick Ovington and Ben Castellano in the interior, shut down the Seagulls’ rushing attack. With a blustery wind and solid coverage by Traip, the quarterback combination of Matt Parks (2-of-8, 26 yards) and Bryan Roberts (2-of-11, 56 yards, 3 INTs) had little success as the game wore on.
“(Traip’s) not a deep team, but it’s a complete team,” Old Orchard Coach Dean Plante.
In the first quarter it was actually the Seagulls that came out quicker. Big defensive tackle Quincy Grace sliced through the line to throw Aldecoa for a loss on the first play, and later on the same possession, Chandler Leask stopped Aldecoa on fourth-and-one for a 4-yard loss.
The Seagulls then moved smartly down the field for the opening score. Gildard showed his shiftiness with 20 yards, Roberts took a misdirection play 28 yards to the Traip 2 and Nick Carlin powered in standing up.
It was around this time that Traip Coach Ron Ross challenged his veteran linemen to “figure it out,” and adjust their blocking assignments to get Aldecoa some space.
“Last week our line actually got beat up by (Dirigo’s) line and we’re supposed to have one of the best lines in the state,” Ross said. “If you think you can do something and make changes and you talk to each other, then do it. Tonight they played outstanding.”
Traip ground out an 87-yard drive to answer the Old Orchard score, with Aldecoa ripping off runs of 16, 16 and 14 yards.
On the ensuing kickoff, Traip pinned Old Orchard inside the 20, forced a three-and-out and then benefitted from a 4-yard punt into the wind to take over at the Gulls’ 28. Two plays later Aldecoa was rolling through defenders for a 22-yard run.
Then the sequence was repeated: Bad kick return. Good Traip defense. Short punt. Aldecoa touchdown run, this one from 31 yards.
“Honestly I think our special teams let us down in the second quarter,” Plante said.
Traip’s final score of the first half was an 83-yard slant pass and run from Chris Czachor to Atencio Martin.
In the second half, with Aldecoa playing only a few minutes, Traip finished things with an 8-yard scoring run by Nate Henderson and a 2-yard run by Matt Graham, part of a 16-play drive executed by Traip’s second-team running backs with select substitutions across the offensive line. Martin had two interceptions in the second half.
Staff Writer Steve Craig can be contacted at 791-6413 or at: