November 2, 2012

Football Notebook: Postseason rife with opportunities for revenge

By Tom Chard tchard@pressherald.com
Staff Writer

PLAYER OF THE WEEK

Dillon Russo, Scarborough: Russo completed 14 of 23 passes for 284 yards and five touchdowns in the Red Storm's 42-16 Western Class A playoff win over Sanford. He also scrambled for 38 yards to keep a drive alive that led to the team's third touchdown and a 21-10 lead.

HONORABLE MENTION

Joey Spinelli, Wells: Spinelli kicked a 45-yard field goal with less than two minutes left to give the Warriors a 9-7 win over Greely in the Western Class B playoffs. Spinelli also stopped a Greely threat with an end-zone interception.

Cody O'Brien, Cheverus: O'Brien, a fullback, scored three touchdowns and rushed for 123 yards on 17 carries as the Stags beat Deering 49-0 in the Western Class A quarterfinals.

Justin Zukowski, Portland: Zukowski carried 32 times for 166 yards and a touchdown in the Bulldogs' 35-21 win over Windham in a Western Class A quarterfinal. He also returned an interception for a touchdown.

Portland, Scarborough, Marshwood and York are anxious to get second cracks against teams that beat them during the regular season in this weekend's Western Class A and B football semifinals.

There's one Western Class B playoff game Friday night and another Saturday. Both Western Class A semifinals are Saturday afternoon.

The lone Western Maine game Friday night has No. 5 Wells (7-2) at No. 1 Marshwood (8-1) at 7 p.m.

Back on Sept. 28, Wells beat Marshwood 36-6, handing the Hawks their only loss. Drew Shelley scored back-to-back touchdowns in the second quarter to break it open. Shelley finished with four touchdowns and rushed for 198 yards on 14 carries.

Marshwood sat three players that night because of disciplinary reasons, but now Wells will be missing some players for violating team and school rules.

In the other Western Class B semifinal, No. 3 York (7-2) is at No. 2 Westbrook (7-2) at 1 p.m. Saturday. On Oct. 5, Westbrook rallied from a 22-8 halftime deficit, scoring 28 straight points on the way to a 48-34 win. The Blue Blazes were hurt by penalties in the first half. Cale Bollig scored four touchdowns for Westbrook. The game was played at Fitzpatrick Stadium because the lights at Olmsted Field, which have since been removed, had worn-out attachments.

Top-ranked Cheverus (9-0), currently on a Class A record 33-game winning streak covering three seasons, hosts No. 5 Portland (6-3) at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. The Stags beat the Bulldogs 42-0 on Sept. 8, as halfback Donald Goodrich scored three touchdowns.

The Bulldogs are much improved, albeit somewhat unpredictable. In the last four games, the Bulldogs beat No. 4 Windham 35-21 last Saturday in the quarterfinals, lost to South Portland 19-6 in the regular-season finale, beat Scarborough 25-20, and lost to Biddeford 12-0.

"We're a young team still learning how to play football," said Jim Hartman, the first-year Portland coach who guided Yarmouth to Class C state titles in 2010 and 2011.

"I think the kids are beginning to feel that they have a good football team. We're going into the Cheverus game with a great attitude."

Hartman said the players had to get acquainted with his coaching style while learning a new offense. The Bulldogs' athleticism and toughness showed against Windham.

The other Western Class A semifinal is No. 3 Scarborough (7-2) at No. 2 Thornton Academy (8-1).

On Sept. 29, both teams were 4-0 when they played at Thornton's Hill Stadium. Thornton won 35-7 in a game that turned early. Scarborough drove from its 20 and was bidding to take the early lead, but faced with fourth-and-goal from the 10, the Red Storm couldn't handle a high center snap in shotgun formation. The ball deflected off quarterback Dillon Russo and was picked up by linebacker Bobby Begin of Thornton who ran 75 yards for a touchdown. The Golden Trojans led 28-0 before Scarborough scored.

IN WESTERN Class C, No. 4 Traip Academy (8-1) travels to Winslow to play the top-seeded Black Raiders (8-1) at 1:30 p.m. Saturday, and No. 3 Dirigo (7-2) is at No. 2 Oak Hill (8-1).

Traip didn't play Winslow during the regular season, but the Rangers did a year ago, winning 36-8 at Winslow.

"I've watched more film on Winslow than I've cared to," said Traip Coach Ron Ross. "They're good and fast and well-coached."

Traip lost to Yarmouth in last year's regional final.

"This is our third straight year in the playoffs," said Ross. "The first year we made it, we were a little nervous. The last two years, we've been ready for it."

Oak Hill and Dirigo played Oct. 19 at Dixfield in their regular-season finale with Oak Hill winning, 36-0.

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

tchard@pressherald.com

Twitter: TomChardPPH

 

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