Kennebunk is the latest football team looking to adjust to a season-ending injury to a top player. Tyler Elkington, the Rams’ standout running back/defensive back, will have surgery to repair torn ligaments in his left foot.
Elkington, injured in the Marshwood game two weeks ago, sat out last week’s game against Greely. Coach Joe Rafferty said Elkington will require a six-month recovery after an MRI confirmed the injury.
“It’s a big loss, not only from a playing standpoint but from an emotional one as well,” said Rafferty. “Tyler has been a two-way starter since his sophomore year. It’s a close senior class, so the loss is tough on his classmates. We’re on a good train ride and Tyler was sort of the engineer.”
The Rams got a taste of playing without Elkington against Greely, a 42-14 win. Rafferty said players filled in nicely. Now they will be expected to do it for the rest of the season.
Harrison Vosburg got the bulk of the carries in Elkington’s absence. Liam Studley also got some carries. Donny Dubois has been at Elkington’s spot at cornerback.
Kennebunk (5-0) plays at Morse (3-2) on Friday night. The Rams’ remaining games will be at home against Westbrook on Oct. 19 and at Brunswick on Oct. 25. The Kennebunk-Brunswick matchup could pit unbeaten teams in a possible Class B state final preview.
But there’s a lot of football to be played, with Marshwood, York and Westbrook having a say in the West, and Cony, Hampden Academy and Lawrence in the East.
THORNTON ACADEMY standout Andrew Libby’s season-ending injury has been well-documented. Another player lost for the season is Capen Macomber of Biddeford, who tore his ACL two weeks ago in a 32-30 win over Lewiston.
Macomber is the prototypical Biddeford fullback of the past.
“It’s a huge loss,” said Coach Brian Curit. “Capen was our physical presence. We had the ball twice inside the 10 in the first half against Scarborough and didn’t score. Football is a game of adjustments and we’ll have to do that this time.”
Macomber will have surgery Oct. 23.
Curit said he can’t remember a season with so many losses of standout players.
The Tigers lost inside linebacker Chris Couillard before the season. Biddeford was practicing in the gym because of rain prior to the opening scrimmage when a player fell on Couillard’s ankle and broke it.
CHEVERUS (5-0) AND Thornton Academy (4-1) have developed one of the state’s top rivalries the last two seasons. They will meet at 12:30 p.m. Saturday at Cheverus.
The schools have played in the last two Western Class A finals, with the winner taking the state title a week later. Cheverus beat Thornton Academy in 2011, and the Golden Trojans got their revenge last season, halting the Stags’ Class A record winning streak at 34. Cheverus beat Thornton last year in the regular season.
The difference now, of course, is that Cheverus has been put in Eastern Class A as part of the state’s football realignment.
The top two teams in each region get a first-round playoff bye. With eight teams in each league, six teams in each region qualify for the playoffs.
The West is tightly bunched, with three teams having the best chances of getting the bye. The top two advance to the regional semifinals.
“With four wins, we know we’re in the playoffs,” said Thornton Coach Kevin Kezal. “There are still some excellent matchups left, Sanford and Biddeford being one. There are teams thinking they could be in position to get a first-round bye but also knowing they could end up the fourth or fifth seed.”
After Cheverus, Thornton will be home Oct. 19 against unbeaten Bonny Eagle (5-0).
“It’s good,” said Kezal of playing the top teams in the East and West back-to-back. “It will show us where we’re at.”
BIDDEFORD WILL honor its 1994 Class A state championship team at halftime of its game against Sanford. That team, which beat Waterville 35-28 in overtime at Fitzpatrick Stadium, is Biddeford’s last state championship football team. Curit, the current coach who rejoined the team this season, was in his first year as head coach in 1994. Players on that team included Randy Petit, Joel Loranger, Steve Tardif, Minho Choi, Mike Ruel and Wes Rhames.
ONE PLAYER receiving good injury news is South Portland receiver Hayden Owen, who was hurt early in the Sanford game last week and didn’t return. Coach Steve Stinson said Owen received a bone bruise but will play Friday night against Scarborough.
Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at: