Monday, December 9, 2013
By MARK JEANNERET Special to the Press Herald
CUMBERLAND - Joey Spinelli kicked a 45-yard field goal with 1:34 remaining Friday night as fifth-seeded Wells knocked off fourth-seeded Greely 9-7 in a Western Class B football quarterfinal.
Dante Fanning of Wells heads through a hole in the line Friday night before being taken down by Svenn Jacobson of Greely during their Western Class B quarterfinal. Wells advanced with a 9-7 victory.
John Patriquin/Staff Photographer
Wells quarterback Gavin Snapp attempts to get off a pass Friday night while pressured by Svenn Jacobson of Greely. Wells will take on top-ranked Marshwood in the semifinals.
John Patriquin/Staff Photographer
The winning kick came after three consecutive timeouts, which gave Spinelli the chance to think about whether he should even attempt it from that distance.
"When we called the (first) timeout Coach asked me, 'Can you make this?' " Spinelli said. "I was like, 'I don't know.' So he said, 'all right, we'll pass it'. Then after the Greely timeout I told him that I wanted the ball. I had faith in myself, but I was still a little worried about it."
Everything was clean, from snap to hold to kick, which barely cleared the crossbar.
"When was the last time you saw a 45-yard field goal?" said Wells Coach Tim Roche. "There weren't many of those in Maine high school football the last I saw.
"One of the things we talk about a lot in Warrior football is trust in each other. When a kid tells me he can do something, I trust him."
The victory moved Wells (7-2) into the semifinals next Friday at top-ranked Marshwood (8-1).
Wells, in a home game, handed the Hawks their only loss with a 36-6 victory Sept. 28.
The Warriors didn't manage much offense before the winning field goal, totaling only 21 plays in their first five possessions of the second half.
They started their winning drive after Greely missed a 22-yard field goal with 6:38 remaining.
The Warriors, seeking to defend their state championship, started on their 20 and rushed the ball five times before a 39-yard pass by Gavin Snapp to Dylan Stevens on a third-and-long pushed the ball to the Greely 25.
On fourth down after losing ground, the field-goal unit came on and won it.
The Rangers (7-2) answered the field goal with their most effective drive of the half in their own attempt to win it.
Quarterback Drew Hodge got the ball to the Wells 23 before Spinelli intercepted him in the end zone.
In a matchup of two talented offensive teams, defense reigned. Greely was limited to 171 yards and Wells managed 152.
The teams traded touchdowns in the opening half.
Greely set the tone with an opening drive that covered 67 yards and led to a 7-0 lead.
Hodge's 18-yard pass to Matt Pisini on a fourth-and-6 kept the drive alive, and James Ferrar capped the 11-play march with a 5-yard run.
"I thought we'd be able to do some things offensively and they just shut us down," said Greely Coach Dave Higgins.
"I think we caught them a little by surprise with some of our plays on the first drive, but they adjusted well. They just have great athletes and they did a wonderful job."
An interception by Stevens on the Greely 19 led to the Warriors' first-half touchdown, a 3-yard run by Jake Moody. Wells missed the conversion kick to leave Greely ahead 7-6 at the half.