Late in Saturday’s game with Sanford, Thornton Academy Coach Kevin Kezal sent in Michael Laverriere, a freshman, to play quarterback. Austin McCrum, the sophomore starting quarterback, was moved to receiver on the outside.
It gave the Golden Trojans another offensive look.
Running the spread offense, Laverriere called his number on every play, faking to the running back and carrying the ball. Starting from the Sanford 26 after a long interception return by C.J. Michaud, Laverriere carried five straight times, weaving and powering his way to the goal line. He scored on a 2-yard run for Thornton’s final touchdown in a 25-9 victory.
McCrum, who is 6-foot-4 with a strong arm, has started all four games. He is entrenched as the starter but it’s nice for Kezal to know he has a capable backup in Laverriere.
“They’re two good ones,” said Kezal. “It’s going to be nice having them. They’re both great kids, leaders and students of the game.”
McCrum, who missed his freshman season with a balky knee, has made great strides in his first four varsity games. Against Sanford, McCrum threw a touchdown pass, a 2-point conversion and passed six times to tight end Cody Lynn for 91 yards.
With his height, McCrum can easily look over the defense to spot receivers.
“Austin has the ability to run the ball, too,” said Kezal.
Kezal said Laverriere is the freshman team quarterback but moves up to practice with the varsity when it shifts to offense. At 6 feet, 195 pounds, Laverriere can handle the physicality of Class A football.
“Michael worked hard in the weight room in the offseason,” said Kezal.
Over the next 21/2 seasons, Laverriere likely will be used in a variety of roles and by the time he’s a senior, will be the starting quarterback.
It’s a nice luxury for the Golden Trojans to have.
GREELY (3-1) HAD some question marks when the season began, but no longer. The Rangers have improved each game. They face their second straight big game Friday night with a trip to unbeaten Kennebunk (4-0) in Western Class B.
The Rangers, who beat Westbrook 41-8 last week, opened the season with a 41-16 loss to Marshwood that proved a good learning experience. Greely found itself trailing the Hawks 27-0 before cutting it to 27-16 at halftime.
“After we got over the shock factor, we gave them a good game,” said Greely Coach Dave Higgins. “The kids started to believe we could play with Marshwood.
Now comes Kennebunk, which beat Marshwood 21-14 last week.
The Rangers have some good skill players along with a veteran line comprised of co-captains Dylan Rasch and Hal Baston, with Ryan Pomeroy, Sean McKeone and Kyle Wood.
THE NEWLY formed Portland High Football Hall of Fame will hold its first induction banquet at 7 p.m., Nov. 27 at the Italian Heritage Center in Portland.
The inductees also will be introduced the next day at halftime of the Thanksgiving game against Deering at Fitzpatrick Stadium.
The seven inductees as chosen by a selection committee are Ed Bogdanovich, John “Giant” Conroy, James J. Fitzpatrick, Willie Greenlaw, Shaun Hawkins, Quinton Porter and Mike Rutherford.
Bogdanovich, the Bulldogs’ all-time leading scorer, was a big running back with speed. He also was a state champion shot putter who went on to an outstanding track career at the University of Pennsylvania.
Conroy was a longtime teacher-coach at Portland and before that, an outstanding lineman for the Bulldogs. He went on to play at Fordham, where he was one of the original “Seven Blocks Of Granite.”
Fitzpatrick was a legendary three-sport coach for the Bulldogs in the 1920s, ’30s and ’40s. Before that he was a standout at Boston College. The Fitzpatrick Trophy is named for him.
Greenlaw was a football, basketball and baseball star for the Bulldogs. He led Portland to the 1952 Class A football title and went on to play at Nebraska, where he is in the school’s football hall of fame. Greenlaw played in the Orange Bowl for the Cornhuskers and later was a standout for the semipro Portland Sea Hawks.
Hawkins was a standout pass receiver-kick/punt returner for Portland and a member of the 1982 Class A state title team. He won the Fitzpatrick Trophy in 1983 and went on to a standout career at Cornell.
Porter was an all-state quarterback for the Bulldogs who went on to start at quarterback for Boston College, then played in the Canadian Football League.
Rutherford led Portland to the 1982 state title as a quarterback, winning the Fitzpatrick Trophy that season. Rutherford has been a longtime assistant football coach for the Bulldogs and was the baseball coach at the school for several years, winning the state title in 1998.
The public is invited to the induction banquet. Tickets are $25 per person and can be purchased by calling Portland Coach Jim Hartman at 329-5224 or by e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE LISBON at Traip Academy game was rescheduled from Saturday afternoon to 7 p.m. Friday. As in the past, the school will bring in portable lights.
Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at: