Tuesday, March 11, 2014
By Mike Lowe firstname.lastname@example.org
YORK - Joe Rafferty may not keep track of the wins and losses of his 35-year coaching career at Kennebunk High. Good thing others do.
The Rams celebrated Rafferty's 150th career victory Friday, overpowering York 38-14 in a Western Class B football game played in fog, driving rain and sunshine.
Nicco DeLorenzo set the tone by taking the opening kickoff 89 yards for a touchdown -- one of the four he scored on the day.
He also ran in for touchdowns of 1, 57 and 11 yards on an afternoon in which he finished with 97 yards rushing.
"That was huge," said DeLorenzo. "This was for him. It was incentive for us to win this game. He's deserving of it."
Rafferty had stressed getting off to a quick start. "Every game we're in, we say we just want to set the tone, this kickoff, or kickoff return, the first opportunity to play," he said. "We work all week, talk all week, it's about coming out and getting it.
"We were very fortunate. The kids executed and it went."
DeLorenzo took the kickoff and ran untouched up the sideline. "He called it," said DeLorenzo of Rafferty. "I've got to credit my blockers. I just ran."
York then fumbled on its second play, the ball recovered by Ben Bath of Kennebunk.
That led to a 27-yard field goal by Jake Lary and the Rams were up 10-0 just 3:25 into the game. With field conditions being muddy and slippery, that was huge.
"We wanted to prove to everybody that we're here to play and here to stay," said DeLorenzo. "My whole team came to play today."
Conversely, the Wildcats' start had Coach Randy Small wondering what team he was watching.
"I had no idea who that team was," he said. "Obviously we didn't start well. You create your opportunities and we didn't create any today."
York lost three fumbles and had difficulty handling Kennebunk's big front, led by David Jackson, Richie Platt and Bath.
"We thought they would try to do what they tried to do," said Rafferty. "Our guys, I think, responded pretty well."
DeLorenzo scored two touchdowns in the second quarter, his 57-yarder coming as he cut back against the grain and found a wide-open field.
Kennebunk led 24-0 at halftime.
York came back with a nice drive to start the third quarter, capped by a 4-yard run by Sean Kelly. But DeLorenzo got an 11-yard touchdown run late in the third and Tyler Elkington scored on a 49-yard run early in the fourth.
Rafferty -- who, according to assistant coach Brian Dill (the school record keeper) also has 159 losses -- shrugged off the milestone. "All I want to do is win every one," he said.
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