November 8, 2013

High School Football Notebook: Familiarity among foes makes for exciting playoffs

Rivalries continue into the regional semifinals.

By Tom Chard tchard@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

(Continued from page 1)

Jack Drinan

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Jack Drinan, Cape Elizabeth: A tailback, Drinan got the call in last week’s Western Maine Class C quarterfinal against Yarmouth and responded. He carried the ball 30 times for 198 yards and two touchdowns as the fifth-seeded Capers advanced with a 27-14 win. Drinan scored twice on runs of 10 yards as Cape scored 27 straight points to take charge.

HONORABLE MENTION

Nick Love, Sanford: Love, a fullback, scored on a 1-yard run with 50 seconds left in the first half to give the Spartans a 27-8 lead. He finished with 148 yards on 24 carries as Sanford upset South Portland, 33-32.

Brendon Smith, Scarborough: Smith, a tight end, caught touchdown passes of 8 and 60 yards to help the Red Storm beat Biddeford 45-19 in the Western Class A quarterfinals.

Duncan Preston, South Portland: Preston passed for four touchdowns and ran 66 yards for another as the Red Riots’ comeback fell just short against Sanford in the Western Class A quarterfinals.

“There’s that familiarity,” he said. “It takes any sort of surprise out of it. You know what you’re getting. It comes down to who has the better game plan and who executes.”

CHRIS PINGITORE has resigned after two seasons as Yarmouth’s head coach. The Clippers finished 6-3 after losing to Cape Elizabeth 27-14 in the Western Class C quarterfinals. Yarmouth went 2-7 in Pingitore’s first season. Pingitore is a foot surgeon and owns a medical practice with two partners.

“It’s something I knew I was going to do,” said Pingitore. “I needed to start spending more time on my professional side. Being a head coach is very time consuming. I was doing it all. I’m extraordinarily busy at work and didn’t think I could do both. The time and effort was catching up with me.”

As one of the founders of the Yarmouth program, Pingitore has been involved with Clippers football for 13 years. When Jim Hartman left Yarmouth as head coach for the Portland High job, Pingitore, an assistant under Hartman, took the Clippers’ wheel, wanting to maintain continuity and see the current senior class through.

“I feel the future remains bright for Yarmouth football. The sophomore class is as talented as the senior class was when they were sophomores,” said Pingitore.

“This season was a very good team, They were highly capable of going all the way. We just ran into a highly motivated Cape Elizabeth team”

Pingitore said he will likely stay close to the football program.

JUSTIN ZUKOWSKI of Portland overtook Joe Fitzpatrick of Cheverus for the rushing title in Eastern Class A in the last regular-season game.

In eight games, Zukowski, a senior, ran for 1,531 yards and 19 touchdowns on 169 carries. Fitzpatrick, a junior, had 1,444 yards on 146 carries – just under 10 yards per attempt – and led the league with 24 touchdowns. Logan Lanham of Bangor was third with 919 yards on a league-high 207 carries and scored nine touchdowns.

Eddie Emerson of Lewiston was the league’s top passer with 853 yards and nine touchdowns. He completed 59 of 114 passes. Tyler Johnson of Windham was second with 695 yards and six touchdowns on 48 completions in 79 attempts. Deering’s Max Chabot was third with 550 yards and three touchdowns.

Ricardo Delgado of Deering led the league in receiving yardage with 343 yards.

Eric Webb of Windham was second in kick returns with an average of 25.53 yards. Hunter Martin of Edward Little led in kick returns with an average of 27.71.

Fitzpatrick and Jordan Talbot of Portland each punted only seven times in eight games, but both had impressive averages. Fitzpatrick led the league with a 40.57-yard average. Talbot was third with a 36-yard average.

Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or at:

tchard@pressherald.com

Twitter: TomChardPPH

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