CUMBERLAND — Greely turned York mistakes into three second-quarter touchdowns and held off the Wildcats for a 20-7 win in a crossover football game between playoff-bound teams Friday night.

It was the fifth consecutive win for the Rangers, who opened the season with lopsided losses to Class B South powers Kennebunk (26-0) and Marshwood (47-14).

“After those two games, we told the kids we know where we are and we know where we need to be,” Greely Coach David Higgins said. “The kids have worked hard all year long and they’ve improved.”

The Rangers came into the game ranked fifth in Class B South in the Heal point standings. The top eight teams qualify for the playoffs.

The loss snapped the Wildcats’ four-game winning streak but shouldn’t keep them from qualifying for a postseason berth. York has a solid grasp on one of the top eight spots in the Class C South standings.

“I scheduled a crossover game (with Greely) because these guys play physical,” York Coach Randy Small said. “We came up here and played a real physical game before the playoffs, and this will help us.”

All of the scoring took place in the first half, as both defenses stiffened in the second half.

York scored on its first possession, marching 43 yards in 15 plays following a punt. The Wildcats twice converted on fourth down to keep the drive alive. Quarterback Payton Small sneaked in from the 1 on a fourth-down play to finish it off.

After punting on their first two possessions, the Rangers turned two turnovers into a 14-7 lead early in the second quarter.

With more than eight minutes left in the first half, Joey Casella ran right 27 yards for a tying touchdown, just three plays after he returned an interception 30 yards to the York 40.

The Rangers moved into the lead two minutes later when fullback Tim Coyle ran 23 yards off right tackle for a score. That came three plays after linebacker Will Schumacher recovered a fumble at the York 44. On first down, quarterback Nick Male hooked up with tight end Shane DeWolfe for an 18-yard gain.

“We had a bad second quarter,” Small said.

With less than three minutes left in the half, Casella went 10 yards up the middle for a touchdown to cap a three-play, 34-yard drive after DeWolfe returned a punt 36 yards down the left sideline.

“We were very fortunate,” Higgins said. “We got a couple of good breaks and we took advantage of them.”

Statistically, Greely held a large edge in play.

The Rangers made 10 first downs while compiling 230 yards of offense. Casella rushed for a game-high 89 yards on 14 carries, and Coyle rushed for 77 yards on 13 carries.

The Rangers limited the Wildcats, who turned the ball over four times, to seven first downs and 83 total yards. Small completed seven of his 10 passes, but most of them came on screens that were turned into negative yardage by Greely’s hard-nosed defense.

“The second half was just a fist fight, and we have to learn how to get into one (of those),” Small said. “We’re going to learn some things from this (game). There’s no question about it.”

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