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Fairchild rebounds from elbow surgery

Sport: Baseball  Posted: September 23rd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

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(Massabesic) Mustangs dominate (Biddefords) Tigers

Sport: Football  Posted: September 23rd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

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Crusaders hold off Rockland

Sport: Football  Posted: September 23rd, 2008 by Tom Nolette

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Natick 34, Brookline 7: Red and Blue roll

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Polls point to Everett

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(Leavitt) Hornets swarm (Winslow) Black Raiders

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Confident (Dirigo)Cougars roll on (vs Traip)

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Blackwell runs table for Lisbon (over Boothbay)

Sport: Football  Posted: September 21st, 2008 by Tom Nolette

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That's the fact Jack!--Heary leads Deering to win at Gorham

Sport: Football  Posted: September 20th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

That's the fact Jack!--Heary leads Deering to win at Gorham

By Michael Hoffer
Special to MBR

'Sponsored by Rivalries'
10 Cotton Street in Portland's Old Port
"Where every day is a victory celebration"


GORHAM—If a lot of points, big plays and big performances from star players are your thing, Gorham High was the place to be Friday night for what will likely go down as one of the more memorable contests of the 2008 high school football season.

Recent rivals Deering and host Gorham both entered the game 2-0 and something had to give (ultimately, it proved to be Gorham's defense). The teams would combine for over 700 yards, went back-and-forth all night and gave those on hand countless thrills, but in the end, one special Ram wearing purple and white proved to be the difference.

Deering senior Jack Heary, a serious threat to win the Fitzpatrick Trophy, exploded for 300 yards on 25 carries, scored four times on the ground and also returned a kickoff for a score as the visitors erupted for 37 second half points to end Gorham's upset bid, 49-32.

“Whenever we play Gorham it's a battle,” Heary said. “They always come to play. We always come to play. It's just like an ultimate fight.”

Deering entered the 2008 campaign considered to be the team most likely to make a run at ending Bonny Eagle's reign over Class A. While much was expected from Heary, the Rams faced a major question mark at quarterback. Senior Regan Flaherty decided not to play this fall to rehab a knee injury he incurred last year. Flaherty plans to play baseball at Vanderbilt. As a result, sophomore Jamie Ross has been thrown into the fire, with senior Ernie Salamone as a backup.
Deering opened with a hard-fought 21-14 victory at Windham, then crushed Westbrook 55-0 in the Rams' home opener.

Gorham, meanwhile, was supposed to come back to the pack this season after graduating sensational running back Justin Villacci. The Rams defeated visiting South Portland 28-14 in their opener, then pulled away for a 40-19 win at Portland, setting the stage for the battle of unbeatens.

A year ago, Gorham ran roughshod over host Deering 50-35 in the regular season, but Deering got the last laugh in the playoffs, winning 27-14 at Gorham in the quarterfinals. The teams also met in the 2006 Western Class A Final with Gorham prevailing 9-7.

Friday night, Deering would have the final say, but Gorham fought the Rams just about every step of the way.

The contest actually began as a defensive struggle. Gorham got the ball first and gained just 5 yards on three downs. Then, on fourth-and-five, junior Kyle Butterfield attempted a fake, only to be stopped one yard shy of first down.

Deering began its first series at the Gorham 44, but two Heary runs gained just 1 yard and a Ross carry on third down picked up only 2, forcing the visitors to punt. Ross' 36-yarder pinned the hosts at their 5.

Gorham lost a yard on three plays and had to punt. This time, Butterfield did so and Deering again had great field position, at Gorham's 26. After back-to-back Heary 3-yard runs, Ross appeared to give his team the lead with a 20-yard TD run, but it was negated by a block in the back. The visitors then wound up turning the ball over on downs and Gorham took over at its 36 with 5:15 to go in the opening stanza.

At that point, offense became the story.

Gorham would drive 64-yards on six plays to take the lead. A 12-yard scamper by junior Connor Walker gave the hosts their initial first down. With 2:39 to play in the first, senior Doug Woods broke free and raced 43-yards to paydirt to allow Gorham to dent the scoreboard first. A 2-point conversion run by Walker made it 8-0.

Fourteen seconds later, Deering was on the board.

Naturally, it would be Heary doing the honors, but he would do so on special teams, taking a short bouncing kickoff at his 30, breaking a couple tackles, eluding other would-be-tacklers, then turning the corner and racing down the right sideline to complete the 70-yard return. Ross' extra point bid was stymied by an errant snap, but the visitors were right back in it, down 8-6.

Gorham began its next drive at its 14 and would drive 86-yards on 11 plays, spanning the end of the first quarter and the start of the second. A 21-yard run by junior Jonathan Day gave the hosts some breathing room. Walker then broke free for 39. As the second period began, Gorham (which had 135 yards of offense to negative 7 for Deering in the opening quarter) faced third-and-seven at Deering's 23. Woods picked up 4 yards, setting up fourth down, where Woods gained 10 more. Two plays later, on second-and-goal at the 11, Woods got free and ran into the end zone. Woods' two-point conversion run was stopped short, but Gorham had extended its lead back to eight points, 14-6.

After Deering went three-and-out on its next series (punctuated by an 11-yard Heary loss on third-and-8), Gorham took over at its 32 and soon appeared primed to extend its lead and seize control of the contest.

On first down, junior Matt Walrath raced through the line and down the left sideline for 45 yards to the Deering 23. Runs of 7 yards by Day and 3 by Walrath set up third-and-inches at the 13, but a false start, a hold and an illegal shift pushed the ball back to the 33. After Day got 6 yards back on third down, senior Ben Moody's fourth down pass fell incomplete, ending the threat and turning momentum.

“We made some mental mistakes,” Gorham coach Dave Kilborn said. “We've still got a lot of work to do. We're still young and we have some injuries. The penalties we had were mostly kids filling in for other kids. They were a little nervous with the atmosphere.”

Deering would capitalize on its good fortune, driving 73-yards on 10 plays. Heary ran on six of eight plays, gaining 40 yards and one play after Gorham sophomore Kyle Nielsen failed to intercept a Ross pass that hit him right in the hands, Ross rolled left and ran into the end zone from 18-yards out. A two-point conversion pass was no good, but with 1:03 to play in the first half, Deering was back within two, 14-12.

After Gorham went three-and-out and had to punt with 13.1 seconds to play. Heary returned the ball to the Gorham 28, but a Ross Hail Mary pass was intercepted by Woods, keeping the hosts in the lead at the break.

That lead would disappear for good in the third quarter.

After gaining just 57 yards on offense in the first half, Deering came out a completely different and almost unstoppable team in the second. Heary, who rushed for just 37 yards on a dozen carries, would soon prove to be simply invincible.

As was the case in the first half, the teams started slowly in the second. An unsportsmanlike conduct penalty shortcircuited Deering's first drive of the third period, forcing a punt. Gorham then gained just 2 yards on three plays and had to give up possession.

With 8:35 to play in the third, Deering began at Gorham's 34. Two plays later, the visitors were in the lead. Heary rushed for 12 yards on first down, starting right, then racing back to his left in Barry Sanders-like fashion. On the second play of the series, Heary raced up the gut, then cut to his left en route to a 22-yard TD scamper. Ross then hit senior Matt Alves on a two-point conversion pass for a 20-14 lead, Deering's first of the night.

Fourteen seconds later, Gorham had erased that lead. Junior Ryan Luxton took the kickoff at his 15 and roared through Deering's special teams before outrunning the pursuit to the end zone for an 85-yard score. Woods caught a pass from Moody on the two-point conversion, but he was stopped short of paydirt and the game was tied, 20-20, with 7:43 to go in the third quarter.

The ensuing kickoff resulted in a touchback, giving Deering the ball at its 20. One play later, Heary was standing in the end zone. He would ramble 80-yards, racing untouched up the right sideline to put the visitors ahead to stay. Heary then scored on a two-point conversion run for a 28-20 advantage.

“Everything started clicking in the second half with everybody,” Salamone said. “(Gorham) came out jacked up. It's their homefield. We knew that. We overcame and came out and definitely won the third quarter. Our offensive line did a great job blocking for Jack. He had five touchdowns. He's incredible.”

Deering's defense then roared to life, forcing a Gorham three-and-out.

The visitors then got the ball at their 46. Seven plays later, they had a little breathing room. This time, much of the damage was done through the air. After Ross found sophomore John Hardy for an 11-yard reception, Heary's running put the Rams on the doorstep. On first-and-goal from the 10, Ross dropped back and floated a TD pass to Salamone. Ross' PAT made it 35-20 with 2:16 to go in the third.

After a relatively quiet first half, the visitors gained 171 yards and scored 23 points in the quarter.
Gorham ended the third by driving from its 35 to Deering's 48. Then, the hosts finished the 65-yard, 12 play drive when Woods scored from the 2. Day set the score up with a 33-yard scamper to the 8 (Deering junior Travis Wade momentarily saved the TD when he made a diving tackle from behind). Woods' score was followed by a two-point conversion attempt, but Woods was stuffed and Deering remained in control, up 35-26 with 7:30 to play.

While Gorham took a dozen plays to score, the visitors needed just two on their next series. After Alves ran for 12 yards on first down, Heary did the rest, breaking free for a 65-yard TD run. Ross' extra point made it 42-26 Deering with 6:27 remaining.

“We had more execution and intensity in the second half,” Heary said. “The offensive line came out and dominated the game. It's nice to score as quickly as possible. It's all about momentum in this game. I try to get it for my team whenever I can.”

Gorham kept its faint hopes alive by driving 65-yards on two plays for a TD. After Day got free on a 64-yard scamper, Woods danced down the left sideline for a 6-yard TD run. A two-point pass attempt was to no avail, however, and Deering still led by 10, 42-32, with 5:39 left on the clock.

After disaster was averted on the ensuing kickoff (Heary fumbled, but senior Mike Cowie pounced on the loose ball and advanced it 10 yards), the visitors salted the victory away. Driving 71-yards on seven plays, Deering milked more than four minutes off the clock. A 21-yard run by Alves got it started. A 38-yard burst by Heary set up first-and-goal. After a sack, Heary enjoyed one final moment in the limelight, rushing for a 13-yard TD on his 25th and final carry of the evening. Ross' extra point proved to be the punctuation mark and the curtain came down on Deering's 49-32 triumph.

“Giving up 32 points is definitely too much,” Salamone said. “We had a couple breakdowns here and there. The fullback draw was really killing us. We still came through offensively. We came out with a 'W' and that's all that matters. Defensively, we're definitely overlooked.”

The statistics were jawdropping.

Deering had 376 yards of offense to 337 for Gorham. Heary alone rushed for 300 yards and four scores and had 112 return yards and another TD.

“He's a lot like Villacci,” Kilborn said. “You never know what might happen. If he gets the ball enough times, there's bound to be some good plays that come out of him. We did a good job containing him until the second half when we got a little tired and we started playing that way.”

“I can't give enough credit to my offensive line,” Heary said. “Corey Delmonte, George Marshall, Matt Becker, Danny Pheng, and Alex Lunt.”

Ross ran for 40 yards and a TD on four carries and went 4-of-7 for 35 yards, a TD and an interception through the air. Alves rushed for 43 yards on four carries. Salamone had two catches for 15 yards and a TD.

Gorham's effort was led by Day, who had 152 yards on 13 carries. Woods rushed for 108 yards and four touchdowns on 17 carries. Walker had 58 yards on seven carries and Walrath ran for 50 yards on five attempts. The Rams weren't able to gain a single yard through the air, however.

“The biggest part I thought in the second half was we had too many three-and-outs,” Kilborn said. “We got our defense tired and they found plays that worked for them. If we have first downs and get comfortable, things go well for us.”

Gorham hopes to get back in the win column next Saturday when it goes to Cheverus (now 2-1 after downing Westbrook Friday night). Last year, the Rams handled the Stags 47-8 at home.

“Cheverus is coached very well,” Kilborn said. “I'm banking on my defensive coordinator (Bob Zinchuk) having spent many years with them and knowing them well. We'll go out there and try to understand what they do and take it away from them. They're much improved.”

Deering, meanwhile, has the first of its two annual showdowns with Portland (1-2 after a decisive
home loss to Windham Friday night). The Rams host this year's regular season contest, next Friday night at Memorial Field. A year ago, Deering downed Portland 33-16 at Fitzpatrick Stadium.
The Rams then face York County contender Marshwood before the game everyone's waiting to see, a visit to Bonny Eagle Oct. 10.

“We'll let Bonny Eagle have the spotlight for now,” Salamone said. “We all know we play them Oct. 10. We'll definitely be ready for that game. There's always room to improve. We'll take care of it in practice.”

“We 're not even close to being where we can be,” Heary added. “We have a lot of room to improve. If we do, there's no telling where we can go. I can't wait to play Bonny Eagle.”

D- 6 6 23 14- 49
G- 8 6 6 12- 32
First quarter
G—Woods 43 run (Walker run)
D—Heary 70 kickoff return (kick failed)
Second quarter
G—Woods 11 run (run failed)
D—Ross 18 run (pass failed)
Third quarter
D—Heary 22 run (Alves pass from Ross)
G—Lambert 85 kickoff return (pass failed)
D—Heary 80 run (Heary run)
D—Salamone 10 pass from Ross (Ross kick)
Fourth quarter
G—Woods 2 run (run failed)
D—Heary 65 run (Ross kick)
G—Woods 6 run (pass failed)
D—Heary 13 run (Ross kick)

D—Heary 25-300-4, Alves 4-43, Ross 4-40-1, Fitzgerald 1-1
G—Day 13-152, Woods 17-108-4, Walker 7-58, Walrath 5-50, Butterfield 1-4, Lambert 2-2
D—Ross 4-7-35-1-1
G—Moody 0-7
D—Salamone 2-15-1, Hardy 1-11, Balzano 1-9
Deering 1

(Lawrence) Bulldogs rally by Bangor

Sport: Football  Posted: September 20th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

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Winthrop wallops Jay

Sport: Football  Posted: September 20th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

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Devils batter Rams Faletra, Myers shine for Lewiston

Sport: Football  Posted: September 20th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

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Eddies hold back Dragons

Sport: Football  Posted: September 20th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

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