Bonny Eagle and Sanford both learned lessons in their football game Friday night.
The undefeated Scots (3-0) know they are a good team, but not so good to cruise along. They trailed Sanford 6-0 at halftime.
“The beginning of the game, we didn’t respect our opponent, to tell you the truth,” Bonny Eagle quarterback Zach Dubiel said. “We weren’t that tough. We came out flat.
“The second half we played our butts off. This (game) made us tougher.”
Meanwhile, the Spartans (2-1) can take solace in playing toe to toe with the Scots, possibly the best team in Western Class A.
Both teams were equal in yardage. Both teams made mistakes. Sanford’s miscues came at more critical moments.
“They’re a very good team. But I think we’re pretty good, too,” Sanford Coach Mike Fallon said. “The game reflected that.
“You’re going to make mistakes sometimes. You hope your mistakes are smaller than theirs. Tonight, our mistakes were just a little bit bigger.”
Sanford gets to measure itself Saturday at defending state champion Thornton Academy (2-1). Bonny Eagle will play host Friday to Scarborough (1-2).
YORK TACKLE Ethan McDonough says he enjoys blocking for Sean Kelly, who ran for 153 yards and two touchdowns Friday night in the Wildcats’ 34-0 win at Falmouth.
“He’s fast off the ball,” McDonough said. “Plus, it’s always nice to block for a guy the size of a lineman.”
That’s no exaggeration. York’s starting line averages 5-foot-10 and 190 pounds. Kelly stands 6 feet and tips in at 205. Once he gets a head of steam and starts lifting his knees, it’s bad news for opponents.
SINCE INSTALLING lights at Hill Stadium in 2011, Thornton Academy has hosted night games for soccer, field hockey and lacrosse.
On Friday night, football joined the club. The school decided to schedule one night game in Saco — on a weekend when nearby Biddeford was out of town — and a robust crowd of 1,698 showed up to see the Golden Trojans come from behind to beat Scarborough, 19-15.
“They had a bunch of people here and we had a good amount,” said Scarborough senior captain Dan LeClair, who ran for 86 yards. “It was just a good game in general. I give them props for what they did.”
What the Trojans have done is win two straight games after losing their best player, Andrew Libby, to a season-ending knee injury in an opening-night 26-13 loss at South Portland. They may have gained fewer rushing and passing yards against Scarborough, but they won the turnover battle 5-1 and sported an impressive goal-line defense.
“We found a way to win, that’s the bottom line,” said Coach Kevin Kezal.
“I give our kids credit. They’ve had to overcome a huge setback early in the year and they’ve shown great resiliency.”
In attendance was 91-year-old Esther Anderson, whose husband, Lloyd “Swede” Anderson, was captain of the 1938 Thornton squad that beat St. Louis High of Biddeford in a night game made possible by lights mounted on fire-truck ladders.
Mrs. Anderson was a cheerleader at Westbrook High. Her husband went on to play center for Harvard and was later a trustee for Thornton Academy.
HARD TACKLES, battles for 50-50 balls, even free kicks blasted at opponents are all standard fare when the Cape Elizabeth and Greely girls’ soccer team face off. The players delivered again Saturday night, when the Capers (4-1) handed Greely (4-1) its first loss of the season, 2-1.
If players are supposed to revel in the emotional atmosphere, then coaches are expected to manage it. It was a first-time experience for both coaches, each in their first season at their schools.
“The girls told me, ‘Coach, this is a big game,”‘ said Greely’s Josh Muscadin. “I said to them, ‘Every game is a big game. What’s so special about this one?”‘
Well, for one thing, Cape ousted Greely from the Western Class A semifinals last season with a 3-0 victory. Both teams are now in Class B.
“That may have had a (lingering) effect,” Muscadin said. “But you learn things when bad things happen. That’s life. We can’t look back all the time and worry about what is behind us. This was a learning experience. I have no doubt the girls will bounce back.”
Cape Coach Craig Fannan was pleased with the win, which came on the heels of the Capers’ first loss the season, 2-0 against Falmouth on Wednesday.
“You can see the girls were pumped up for (Saturday), and that they tackled this game in the right way,” Fannan said. “Our seniors really led the way. Nerves didn’t get the better of them. They settled in and played a nice style of football.”
After one particularly trying sequence for the Capers, Fannan called out to center back Phoebe Shields, “Are you all right?”
Shields waved him off. “I’m fine,” she said. “I’m just a little hungry.”
– Staff Writers Kevin Thomas and Glenn Jordan and Correspondent Greg Reid contributed to this report.