Wednesday, June 19, 2013
By MARK JEANNERET Special to the Press Herald
CAPE ELIZABETH - Dante Fanning waited a long time to be a featured back.
Fanning yearned for an opportunity to shine after being mired deep on the depth chart and only getting on the field for the occasional kick return last year.
The opportunity presented itself Friday night, and Fanning didn't disappoint.
The senior back ran 18 times for 158 yards and a touchdown to help Wells to a 21-7 win over Cape Elizabeth in a Western Class B football game at Hannaford Field.
"It feels amazing," said Fanning. "Being my fourth year and all, and to know I finally got the chance to go and do it. I enjoyed every moment of it."
Fanning set the tone with a 61-yard run on the Warriors' first possession. Wells didn't score on that drive, but the defending state champions did get on the board first when Fanning capped an eight-play, 71-yard drive with a 2-yard run in the second quarter.
"You know what, Dante is a kid that has bided his time, impatiently sometimes," said Wells Coach Tim Roche.
"But we want that out of a kid. I don't want a kid who's happy not to be playing. We talked a lot during the week that he was going to have a huge game on that turf and with his speed. He's a good kid, a hard worker, and he deserves this right now."
Fanning likely received more touches as a result of an injury to Joey Spinelli. According to Roche, Spinelli got banged up early in the game, and the Wells coach decided not to run him.
The senior back did line up regularly, handled kickoff duties and supplied three extra points, but he finished with only two carries for 26 yards.
Cape Elizabeth tied the game late in the first half.
Christian Lavallee set up the Capers in good field position when he intercepted Gavin Snapp's only pass attempt of the game to give Cape the ball on the Wells 14. A couple penalties -- a trend for the Capers in the opening half -- made things interesting, but Connor Maguire got the home side into the end zone with two key plays.
The Cape Elizabeth quarterback connected with Ethan Murphy on fourth-and-9 for a first down, and moments later he scampered free out of the backfield to score on a 10-yard run. Cam Wilson's point after evened the score at 7.
The opening half was a flag-filled affair, with a majority of the 12 infractions going against the Capers.
"I think penalties definitely hurt us in the game," said Cape Coach Aaron Filieo. "I think we had more than 60 yards in penalties. You can't give anybody, let alone a team like Wells, 60 free yards. It's hard to beat Wells period. It's even harder when you're playing against yourselves."
Wells closed out the scoring in the third quarter, getting touchdowns on a 1-yard sneak by Snapp and a 33-yard run by Drew Shelley.