Atencio Martin of Traip Academy pulls down a 23-yard touchdown reception in the second quarter Friday night between Brady Neujahr, left, and Race Morrison of Yarmouth. Traip Academy gave up its first points of the year but still earned a 27-6 victory.
By GREG REID Special to the Press Herald
YARMOUTH - Cory Aldecoa held up his right hand, firmly encased in the cast that protects the thumb he broke early in preseason.
Yes, he's right-handed and had to learn to carry the ball with his left hand. Didn't matter. Yes, he lost his backfield teammate Devon Draker in the first quarter. That didn't matter, either.
"Coaches tell us to keep our legs moving," he said. "Keep grinding until the wheels fall off. Just because we're hit doesn't mean we're going down."
No, it doesn't. Aldecoa rushed for 149 yards on 19 carries, including a 75-yard run in the fourth quarter, as Traip Academy pounded out a 27-6 win over Yarmouth in a Western Class C game Friday night.
Much of Traip's 237 yards rushing came after a runner's second effort.
"We just didn't tackle," said Yarmouth Coach Chris Pingitore. "Traip's a good team but I don't think they're that much better than us. How many times did we trap a guy in the backfield, only to let him off?"
Far too many to slow the Rangers (4-0), who outscored opponents 111-0 entering the game.
Traip came out with running back tandem of Devon Draker and Aldecoa following their blocks and battering Yarmouth defenders. Draker left in the second quarter with an ankle injury after gaining 28 yards on seven carries.
The Rangers lost Draker but not momentum. The drive continued when Chris Czachor hit Atencio Martin for a 25-yard pass in a crowd that put Traip on the Yarmouth 2. Three plays later Aldecoa plowed in for a 1-yard touchdown run. Christian Montembeau's kick was good and the Rangers led 7-0.
"(Draker) has a high ankle sprain. He'll be fine," said Traip Coach Ron Ross. "He's a big loss for us but we've got backups who can cover for him, and we've got that big line that can give us a push 3, 4 yards."
Czachor made it 13-0 in the third quarter, hitting Martin with a 23-yard strike with 7:10 left in the second quarter.
Nate Henderson electrified the Rangers' vocal supporters just after halftime, returning a bobbled kickoff 78 yards for a score. Montembeau's kick was good and Traip led, 20-0.
Despite that score, Yarmouth (1-3) came out strong in the second half. Mixing the pass and run, the Clippers put together an 18-play, 65-yard drive that ended with Brady Neujahr's 6-yard pass to Rhys Eddy in the end zone. The kick failed and the Clippers closed the gap to 20-6.
It was the first points the Rangers allowed in 16 quarters this season.
Still, Traip kept grinding. With 7:28 to play, Aldecoa was stopped in the backfield, pulled free and ran 75 yards for a second touchdown. Montembeau's kick was good and Traip led, 27-6.
"What can I say about that run? All effort, all second-effort, he never gave up," Ross said. "That's Traip football right there."
Neujahr completed 9 of 16 passes for 86 yards and a touchdown. Matt Woodbury had three catches for 50 yards. Matt Keplinger had six rushes for 43 yards. Tom Lord had five for 26.
"We have some juniors who are hurting," Pingitore said, referring to players who won back-to-back Class C state titles the last two seasons. "Our problems are fixable. We need to change our practice habits, change our attitude in practice. We have the athletes to turn this around and I'm confident we will."Tweet
Nate Henderson of Traip Academy eludes a Yarmouth defender and heads down the field on a kickoff return during their Western Class C football game Friday night at Yarmouth. Traip won, 27-6.
Matt Woodbury of Yarmouth tries to break away from a tackle by Christian Montembeau of Traip Academy.