Football team caps Homecoming Week with dominant win over Hermon
The Foxcroft Academy football team rushed for 509 yards and scored touchdowns on its first nine possessions en route to an emphatic 66-13 win over Hermon in the Homecoming game at Oakes Field Friday night. Coach Danny White’s team has won three straight to improve to 4-1 in advance of a huge home game with undefeated Winslow on Friday.
All ten of the Ponies’ touchdowns came on the ground, with four players scoring and five rushing for at least 30 yards. Coming off a performance for the ages at Old Town last week, Pete Boyer again led the way, piling up 163 yards and four touchdowns on 14 carries. The senior tailback now has 787 yards and 14 touchdowns on the ground. Quarterback Hunter Smith made the most of his five touches, rumbling for 114 yards and three scores before giving way to Chris Storer late in the second quarter. The junior is up to 517 rushing yards, 256 receiving yards, and 12 total touchdowns. Sophomore Billy Brock burst onto the scene with 142 yards and two scores on just three carries and also added a 26-yard reception. Classmate David Salley had a 70-yard touchdown called back before exploding for a 42-yard score, the first of his varsity career. He finished with 59 yards on six carries while freshman Nick Clawson chipped in 31 yards on five touches. “Finishing with more than 500 yards on the ground as a team is a direct result of the play of the offensive line,” said Coach White. “They allowed the backs to get to the second level on nearly every play, and the ball carriers were able to take it from there.”
The defense forced four more turnovers and was paced by 13 tackles from Boyer, who also forced a fumble and picked off his third pass of the year. Billy Brock continued to be very active at outside linebacker, recording five tackles, an interception, and a fumble recovery. The Ponies also got strong performances from Carroll (forced fumble and 10 tackles to tie Boyer for team lead with 51), Gaige Pleninger (9 tackles), Isaiah Kennell (five tackles, interception), Talon Strout (four tackles, sack), and Brandon Brock (three tackles, sack).
The Ponies will have a huge challenge on their hands when undefeated Winslow comes to town Friday night. The Black Raiders, who have reached the state title game each of the last two years (falling to the Ponies in 2012), are coming off an eye-opening 62-6 win at Belfast and have outscored opponents 258-35 in 2014. “They’re as good as advertised–fast and aggressive on both sides of the ball,” said Coach White. “We’ll need to execute our game plan in addition to playing with an incredible amount of energy and passion.”
Field hockey improves to 10-1, ready for battle at Dexter on Wednesday
Coach Stephanie Smith’s Ponies defeated PCHS 5-1 in their Homecoming game on Tuesday and won 3-0 at Stearns on Friday to run their season mark to 10-1, good for fourth in the Class C East Heal Point standings.
Abby Simmons got the scoring started on Tuesday, and both Fern Morrison and Alli Bourget added first-half goals to put the Ponies up 3-0 at the break. Julia Annis had two assists in the half to run her team-leading total to 14. Morrison assisted Madison Fadley early in the second half and then capped the scoring when she broke away from the defense, carried the ball 35 yards, dodged a number of defenders, and shot the ball past the charging goalkeeper. “Fern’s efforts on the field have been tremendous,” said Coach Smith. “She is definitely dialed in this year!”
Morrison added two more goals at Stearns on Friday (assists from Emma Tetlow and Alli Bourget) to take over the team lead with 12. Tetlow, who now has seven assists, would later set up Fadley for her 11th goal of the season. “The girls played really well at Stearns considering the long ride and short warm up due to driving ten miles out of our way,” said Coach Smith. “It was also great to see the JV girls maintain their undefeated status by tying the game with 21 seconds left on the clock. All game I was thinking, ‘It is not meant to be,” as they had multiple shots on goal and nothing would fall, including a clunk off the post. The continued perseverance by the girls paid off.”
Foxcroft will host 3-8 Orono this afternoon at 4:00 and travel to Dexter Wednesday for a huge rematch with the undefeated Tigers, who dealt the Ponies their only loss on September 13.
Three Ponies qualify for Maine state golf championship
Coach Pete Caruso’s golf team closed out an excellent regular season with a three-team match at Hermon Meadows Golf Course in Old Town on Monday. The Ponies split the matches, defeating Dexter 193-209 and losing 164-193 to Old Town to finish with a mark of 11-5, a dramatic improvement from 2013. Bram Dennis paced the team with a 45 and was followed by Freddy Libby (46), Emily Turner (49), and Nick Decker (53).
On Thursday, the team headed north to the Jato Golf Course in Lincoln to compete in the PVC Championship against eight other Class B teams, with the top three qualifying for the state tournament. The Ponies played their best golf of the season and were narrowly edged out for the final qualifying spot by the MDI Trojans, who were three strokes better. All four of the FA scorers turned in outstanding rounds in the 18-hole, stroke-play tournament. Freddy Libby led the way with an 89, which qualified him for the state individual tournament; Bram Dennis fired a 94; Nick Decker shot a 96, and Emily Turner marked a 97. Both Turner and Raquel Bozzelli (100) earned a spot in the girls’ state individual tournament and will compete along with Libby at the Natanis Golf Course on October 18.
Coach Caruso is proud of the way his team battled all year. “I am very pleased with the overall season, as this team showed dramatic improvement over the 2013 season,” he said. “The seniors stepped up and almost pulled off a trip to the state championship. I appreciate the efforts of all the team members this season, and I would also like to recognize and thank Cory Campbell and Bobby Jo Nickerson for their support of the team. A special hats off to Joe Bozzelli and Ned Garner for their assistance with the Ponies throughout the year. All in all–an outstanding season by the Pony golfers!”
Cross country team does solid work at Festival of Champions
The cross country team traveled to Troy Howard Middle School in Belfast on Saturday to compete against more than 70 schools in the 2014 Maine Cross Country Festival of Champions. Gabe Piquette ran 19:08.94 to finish 269th out of a massive field of 870 runners. Noah Simpson (19:41.60), Nathnael Feleke (20:37.19), Kohei Kotani (20:40.53), Hunter Giacomuzzi (21:52.72), Peter Xue (21:55.32), and Ethan Poland (24:39.34) all performed solidly for the Ponies, who will next compete in the Pendale Invitational Meet Friday afternoon.
On the girls’ side, Jen Clawson set another personal best, navigating the 5K course in 23:30.82 to place 20th out 290 runners in the unseeded race. Virginia Macomber ran a solid 27:05.54, and Maria Cedeno shattered her personal best with a time of 31:59.13. “All of the kids did a great job, and I was particularly impressed with Jenny’s performance,” said former state champion coach George Rolleston, who filled in admirably for Coach Brett Almasi. Click here to see lots of great photos from the Sub 5 Track Club.
Coach Almasi missed the race in order to travel to Portland to compete in the Maine Marathon on Sunday. He completed the 26.2 miles in a very impressive 3:09:15, good for 34th out of 1028 runners and just under the 3:10:00 needed to qualify in his age bracket for the 2016 Boston Marathon.
“It was without a doubt the best race I ever ran in terms of comfort level,” said Almasi, who plans to compete in the Pocono Marathon in Pennsylvania this May. “My friend and I paced ourselves in the first half and really began to race around mile 14. I was happy with the result and more happy with the energy I sustained throughout the 26.2 miles even though I had never run a full marathon before.”
Boys’ soccer team holds its own against Class B elite
The boys’ soccer team dropped two tough matches to top-ranked opponents last week, falling 2-1 to #4 Old Town in the Homecoming game Tuesday and 2-1 at #2 Presque Isle on Saturday. The Ponies fell to 6-3 on the year and currently occupy the #9 spot in the Class B East Heal Point standings.
After a scoreless first half on Tuesday that featured great saves from both keepers, Old Town’s CJ Moody got his team on the board early in the second half. Dylan Harmon-Weeks set up Tino Ayala for a lovely equalizer before the Coyotes’ Drew Coulombe scored the game-winner with ten minutes to play. Butera finished with 13 saves for the Ponies.
After the long ride up to Presque Isle, Julian Zepeda assisted Ayala in the first half to give the Ponies an early lead they were unable to hold. Butera saved nine more shots for the Ponies, who will look to get back on track this week with a home game against Dexter on Tuesday and a trip to PCHS on Thursday.
Coach Ayala was pleased with his team’s effort against top-flight competition. “I am proud of how we played in our last couple of games,” he said. “We definitely would have loved to win these games, but we learned a lot about what we have to do to play with these high-caliber teams. We will continue to practice hard this week and get ready for our upcoming games. It’s not a time to feel sorry for ourselves because we know our opponents are not going to feel bad for us. It’s time pick ourselves up and get better. We still have a lot to play for.”
Ponies show a lot of heart in impressive performance at #1 Presque Isle
The girls’ soccer team also toiled against some of Class B’s best this past week, falling 4-0 to #12 Old Town, 5-0 to #6 MDI, and, impressively, just 3-1 to #1 Presque Isle.
Coach Chris Wesley’s Ponies fought hard in their Homecoming game against Old Town on Monday, firing eight shots on goal, three from senior captain Shayla Bickmore. Kiara Prescott came up with 16 saves on 25 shots, including a nifty one-handed save on a cross from her left. The Ponies once again played their best soccer in the second half, limiting the Coyotes to just one score after the break. “The improvement is there, and there is no denying the heart and determination that these ladies continue to show with their play,” said Coach Wesley.
The Ponies made their first of two consecutive long road trips when they journeyed to MDI on Wednesday. Prescott turned away 17 more shots, and the team again yielded just one second-half goal as the defense tightened considerably. The offense was led by Kendra Ewer’s two shots on net and strikes from Grace Bickford, Cassidy Panciera, and Jenna Clukey.
The Ponies played very well at top-ranked Presque Isle on Saturday, trailing just 2-1 at halftime and maintaining a great deal of intensity throughout the second half. Grace Bickford had her second goal of the season, and Prescott notched 16 saves on 25 shots. “This was a job well done by the ladies in a difficult place to play on unfamiliar turf,” noted Coach Wesley.
Next up for the Ponies are rivalry games at Dexter on Wednesday and versus PCHS on Friday.