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Catholic Memorial’s Brennan Williams stays grounded

Sport:   Posted: November 1st, 2008 by Tom Nolette

WEST ROXBURY - Catholic Memorial senior Brennan Williams humbly marches onto the field despite the reports about him on ESPN.com, a father who played in the NFL for more than a decade, and a spot on the Army All-American bowl game roster.

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Willis, Southie stay on roll

Sport:   Posted: November 1st, 2008 by Tom Nolette

With members of the coaching staff of defending Boston North champion East Boston looking on from the stands, Southie trounced Madison Park, 32-6, yesterday. The Knights improved to 7-1 overall and 2-0 in league play, tying them with the Jets and establishing themselves as a contender just one year after trudging through a 5-5 season.

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MDI holds off Panthers

Sport: Football  Posted: November 1st, 2008 by Tom Nolette

A scintillating game featuring at least 30 game-changing plays and numerous heroes that changed by the minute came down to simple biology: Terrence Jones’ two hands, Odane Gaynor’s foot, and Nolan Hall’s two hands gave No. 2 MDI a 28-27 win over the No. 7 Purple Panthers.

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OT win a real treat for Andies

Sport: Football  Posted: November 1st, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Whiting's interception in overtime silenced Jay's lone possession after only one play, and it made Chandler White's 10-yard touchdown run stand as the winning margin in a 21-14 triumph that snuck the Andies into the Campbell Conference Class C playoffs.

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Falmouth rallies, earns playoff berth

Sport: Football  Posted: November 1st, 2008 by Tom Nolette

By Michael Hoffer
Special to MBR

'Sponsored by Rivalries'
"Where every day is a victory celebration"

CUMBERLAND—Falmouth's football team punched its postseason ticket Friday evening in improbable fashion on the turf of its fiercest rival.

The Yachtsmen rallied from a 13-point halftime deficit, got an absolute gift fumble recovery in the final minute, then went ahead to stay with 4.5 seconds left on a TD pass from junior Stefano Mancini to senior Chip Clement.

After Greely's last-ditch final play was denied, Falmouth locked up the No. 4 seed in Western Class B with its 14-13 win.

“Wow!,” said Yachtsmen coach John Fitzsimmons. “That's the best of high school football.”

Falmouth had never even enjoyed a .500 season prior to 2008, but the program's rise began on Greely's field in 2006 when the Yachtsmen upset the playoff-bound Rangers. Falmouth won its first two games this year, played hard in shutout losses at Cape Elizabeth and York, then turned the corner for good with a thrilling 32-27 home victory over Wells. That was the first of three wins in four games which put the Yachtsmen on the playoff precipice.

Greely began 2008 with three successive wins, but lost five straight entering Friday's contest.

The Rangers got the ball first and quickly moved into Falmouth territory thanks to a 31-yard scamper from senior Erik Thayer, who would shine in his final game in a Greely uniform. The Rangers' drive stalled at the Yachtsmen's 30, however, and the visitors got their first crack with the ball.

After a Falmouth three-and-out, Greely got the ball at the Yachtsmen 49 and appeared end-zone bound after gaining a first-and-10 at the 12. A 4-yard run from senior Jake Dimick and a 5-yard Thayer rush put the ball on the 3, but a Rangers' holding transgression sent them backwards and forced a 25-yard field goal try. Sophomore Ethan Wyman's kick was short, however, and the visitors had dodged a bullet.

Greely held the ball for 10 minutes and 7 seconds in the first quarter and had a 76 to negative-1 edge in yardage over Falmouth, but the game was scoreless entering the second period.

The Yachtsmen then gained a pair of first downs before a Mancini run ended in a bruising hit by Rangers' senior Shaun Stayte which forced a fumble and Greely junior Dan O'Brion recovered it at the Falmouth 28.

Six plays later, the hosts were in the end zone when senior Nate Martin scrambled around right end and raced to paydirt for a 12-yard score. Wyman's extra point made it 7-0 with 5:49 to go in the half.

The Yachtsmen quickly went three-and-out and had to punt and the Rangers got the ball at Falmouth's 43 with 4:31 left before halftime. Eight plays later, Martin capped another drive with a 3-yard run (featuring a great second-effort after an initial hit at the line of scrimmage). Wyman's extra point was ruled wide left, much to the consternation of Greely's coaching staff, and the Rangers took a 13-0 lead into the half (and would long for that point later in the evening).

The Yachtsmen got the second half kickoff and began to show some life as Dunwoody ran three times for 17 yards before the drive stalled. Greely then got the ball at its 36, but two plays later, Martin fumbled and Falmouth senior Matt Beaton pounced on it at the Rangers' 48.

The Yachtsmen took advantage to get in the scoring column. It took Falmouth eight plays to score. A pair of 10-yard bursts by Dunwoody got the visitors close and Mancini capped the march with a 2-yard run. Dunwoody ran in the two-point conversion and with 4:25 to go in the third, the Yachtsmen were right back in it, down 13-8.

Greely drove into Falmouth territory as the third period became the fourth, but on 4th-and-3 at the Yachtsmen 36, Martin was thrown for an 8-yard loss, giving the visitors a chance to take the lead.

Falmouth couldn't gain a first down, however, and had to punt. The Rangers started at their 31 and promptly went three-and-out, but on the ensuing punt, the Greely punter was run into and the Rangers kept the ball. Three plays later, however, Martin's pass was intercepted by Beaton and the Yachtsmen began at their 29 with 5:13 to play.

Falmouth then drove methodically toward what it hoped was the go-ahead score. After Dunwoody's option pass was incomplete on first down, he carried six straight times for 38 yards. After sophomore Caleb Bowden gained 2 yards, Dunwoody carried twice more for a 1st-and-10 at Greely's 23 with under two minutes to go. After a Dunwoody rush for a yard, the Yachtsmen's hopes appeared to go down the drain when Mancini's pass was intercepted by Martin at the end zone and returned to the Rangers' 26 with 50.7 seconds left.

One play later, however, Falmouth's faith was restored when a fumbled exchange was corralled by junior Michael Kane at the Greely 24.

The Yachtsmen had just 43.7 seconds left and they needed almost all of them. After back-to-back incomplete passes, Mancini ran to the right sideline for 5 yards, then took a late hit that put the ball on the 9. Dunwoody then gained 5 yards and Falmouth took a timeout with 19.4 seconds showing. After an illegal procedure penalty, Dunwoody ran for 6 yards to the 3 and the Yachtsmen had to use their last timeout with 10.5 seconds left. After another illegal procedure penalty, Falmouth was on the ropes, but Mancini rolled right and threw a strike to Clement at the goal line to give his team the lead for the first time. Mancini's two-point conversion run was stopped, but with 4.5 seconds to go, the Yachtsmen were up 14-13.

On the ensuing kickoff, Greely tried a lateral, fumbled, then recovered, apparently ending the game, but Falmouth was flagged for a penalty, giving the Rangers one final crack from the Yachtsmen 45. Instead of trying a Hail Mary pass or a hook-and-ladder, Greely attempted a reverse, which was fumbled. After a Ranger recovered, Falmouth's defense swarmed and brought him down to end the contest, allowing the Yachtsmen to celebrate like no Falmouth team had done before.

“I was happy my defense saved me,” said Mancini. “I think all of us kind of got content and we didn't come out as energized as we should have. They showed they're a team that you can't do that against. I think last year we thought we had the line and skill people to do it. I thought we'd come out and surprise people this year.”

“We'll take it,” Fitzsimmons added. “It was unfortunate for them and really fortunate for us, but it still took  a tremendous effort to put the ball in. We're in the playoffs. It's a great experience.

“First of all, great credit to Greely. Boy, did they come to play. They had tremendous pride. They didn't give up. I knew it would be a tough game, but they were even better than I expected. We were down 13 and were so flat. We knew we could play better. We made some adjustments and the offense did its thing.”

The Rangers, who finished 3-6, were paced offensively by Thayer's 139 yards on 25 carries. Martin had 43 yards and two TDs on nine rushes. Greely had a 192-158 edge in total offense.

For Falmouth, Dunwoody led the offense with 156 yards on 29 carries.

“It wasn't easy at all,” said the running back. “We knew we could come back and it happened. We've come a long way. This year, we had guys working out in the offseason. Everyone just wanted a winning season. Everyone worked hard. You see the work on the field, but not the work in the weight room in the winter.”

“Sam's a workhorse,” Fitzsimmons added. “He did a phenomenal job. I'm proud of him and for the defense for stepping up in the second half. I was the youth coach when a lot of these kids were in the fourth grade. I'm proud to see them become great players. It's a cohesive team. We've worked hard in the weight room and all fall. We had to learn to believe in ourselves.”

The Yachtsmen (6-3) will be seeded fourth for the Western B playoffs and will go to top-ranked, undefeated powerhouse Mountain Valley (9-0) this weekend for their first-ever postseason contest. On Oct. 17, the Falcons won 42-7 at Falmouth, but the Yachtsmen hung tough in the early going.

“This is a huge step forward for our program,” Fitzsimmons said. “We'll celebrate and get ready for Mountain Valley. We had a good run with them the first time.”

“I think we're ready for it,” said Dunwoody. “We're not ready to give it up yet.”

“I'm not going to say we're satisfied,” Mancini added. “Come Monday, it's time for Mountain Valley.”

F- 0 0 8 6- 14
G- 0 13 0 0- 13
First quarter
No scoring
Second quarter
G—Martin 12 run (Wyman kick)
G—Martin 3 run (kick failed)
Third quarter
F—Mancini 2 run (Dunwoody run)
Fourth quarter
F—Clement 8 pass from Mancini (run failed)

Falmouth- Dunwoody 29-156, Beaton 3-9, Mancini 4-0-1, Mokarzel 1-0
Greely- Thayer 25-139, Martin 9-43-2, Dimick 7-17, Guidi 4-7
Falmouth- Mancini 2-10-15-1-1, Dunwoody 0-1
Greely- Martin 1-4-(-1)-1-0
Falmouth- Clement 1-8-1, Mokarzel 1-7
Greely- Thayer 1- (-1)
Falmouth- 158
Falmouth- 2
Greely- 3
Falmouth- 7-55
Greely- 4-43
Greely- 1 (Howland)

Falcons' flawless flight

Sport: Football  Posted: November 1st, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Quarterback Cameron Kaubris threw three touchdown passes, and seniors Justin Staires and Matt Laubauskas provided smash-mouth runs to enable the Falcons to pull away Friday night and remain unbeaten with a 34-6 triumph against Cape Elizabeth.

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Brunswick football rolls to 53-7 win over Mt. Ararat

Sport: Football  Posted: October 29th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

BRUNSWICK — To the victor goes the spoils. As the Brunswick High School football team broke its post-game football huddle, running back Shaun Tanner held his helmet in one hand and the "Battle of the Bridge" trophy in the other, sporting a smile of someone who knows the significance of the win, a 53-7 Pine Tree Conference thumping of Mt. Ararat on Friday.  For Full Story:  Click here 



Viking coach Parsons steps down after one season

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: October 29th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

SEARSPORT (Oct 28): The coaching vacancies continue to mount at Searsport District High School as boys varsity basketball coach Jim Parsons has stepped down after one season citing "family" as the reason For Full Story:  Click here

First round full of rematches

Sport: Football  Posted: October 29th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

The playoffs can provide intriguing rematches, but usually not in the first round. There are 11 rematches of regular season games in the quarterfinals around the state this week. The average margin of victory in the first meetings was 22.4 points. 

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Together for Cape football, and holidays

Sport: Football  Posted: October 29th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Numerous teams have brothers and cousins, but the Capers (8-0) can boast six sibling combinations. That's right, six. Five brother combinations, and a brother and sister. In six varsity seasons, Cape Elizabeth has become a Western Class B power. The team, 8-0 for the third straight year, will play Mountain Valley (8-0) in a regular-season finale Friday night at Rumford. For Full Story:  Click here

New coach for Scarborough boys basketball

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: October 29th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

 Following article courtesy of:

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Johnson played basketball at Portland High (class of 1992) and went on to play at the University of Maine at Farmington. After graduation, he spent four years teaching at-risk youth in North Carolina, but the desire to coach brought him back to Maine, where he joined his former coach, Joe Russo, on the Portland sidelines. After two years with the Bulldogs, Johnson spent four years at Thornton Academy, and then joined Karl Henrikson’s staff at the University of Southern Maine, where he’d been the past two seasons.  For Full Story:  Click here

Thornton completes perfect regular season

Sport: Football  Posted: October 26th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

BIDDEFORD — Thornton Academy showcased its defense Saturday to complete an undefeated regular season with a 23-6 victory against Biddeford in their annual showdown game at historic Waterhouse Field.

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Prep Profile – Worcester Academy

Sport:   Posted: October 25th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Two things were apparent upon visiting the Worcester Academy gym – this is the school’s most talented roster in recent years and this is a team of hard-working and ultra competitive players.

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Sean Connolly named Prep basketball coach

Sport:   Posted: October 25th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

Connolly, who has been the head coach at Bishop Fenwick for the past four years, has been named the new St. John's Prep boys basketball coach, replacing Dan Letarte. Letarte stepped down after 14 years in the top job (16 years total) to spend more time with his family.

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Step-sibling rivalry

Sport:   Posted: October 25th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

SAUGUS - Two brothers. Two teams. Same division. For the Santamaria/Barrasso family, the football season is split in their Saugus home. Joe Santamaria is the senior captain of Beverly High, while his stepbrother, Anthony Barrasso, is the senior captain of Saugus.

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