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Game Photos - Marshfield vs. Beverly Hills, CA.

Sport:   Posted: September 15th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

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California got a taste of Massachusetts football last week when Marshfield traveled to Beverly Hills. The teams have developed a relationship after Beverly Hills played in Marshfield two years ago. The Rams lost that meeting, 31-20, but last week came back with a 23-20 win that unfolded in dramatic fashion.

In the last two minutes of the game, Sean Griffith kicked a 37-yard field goal to give the Rams a 23-20 lead. With 1 minute and 30 seconds left in the game, Beverly Hills had the ball on the Rams' 1-yard line. The Marshfield defense stumped Beverly Hills on three chances and walked away with the season-opening win.

Marshfield's Bob MacNeil scored a touchdown, while Jake Russell scored twice; the second gave Marshfield a 20-13 lead. Brendan Meehan recovered the fumble that set up Griffith's game-winning field goal.


Follow-up story:  Marshfield shows no letdown with win over Whitman-Hanson - QUINCY —  The Marshfield High School football team didn’t allow itself to get spoiled after a trip out to Beverly Hills, Calif., last week to beat the boys from 90210. (Full disclosure: the campus is actually located in the 90212 zip code). 
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Smith turns in coach's whistle for textbook

Sport: Basketball (boys)  Posted: September 14th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

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Peabody pummeled by (St. John's) Prep

Sport:   Posted: September 14th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

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Mistakes prove costly in loss for Traip

Sport: Football  Posted: September 14th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

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Waterville gets scare at Nokomis

Sport: Football  Posted: September 14th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

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Big plays lift Winslow over Belfast

Sport: Football  Posted: September 14th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

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Unheralded Gorham makes it two straight

Sport: Football  Posted: September 14th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

By Michael Hoffer
Special to MBR

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


PORTLAND—The Gorham Rams football team had no trouble establishing itself as an immediate contender upon joining Class A three years ago.

This fall, however, the Rams weren't on the short list of title favorites, but as the season hits the one-quarter poll, perhaps its time to reassess.

After downing South Portland 28-14 in its opener, Gorham went to its personal house of horrors, Fitzpatrick Stadium, Friday night, and made history with its first-ever win on that field, riding a second half surge to a 40-19 victory over the host Portland Bulldogs, dropping the hosts to 1-1 on the year.

The Rams clung to a 14-12 lead early in the third period, but wound up scoring four second half touchdowns as its dominant rushing attack gained almost 300 yards.

Expectations might change and stars come and go, but Gorham remains one of the teams to beat in Western Class A.

“It's the first game we've ever won here,” Rams' coach Dave Kilborn said. “Including our two state games. It's nice to have our guys walk off with their heads held high knowing they won the game. That's huge for these guys.”

Gorham not only lost the 2003 Class B Final and the 2006 Class A Final on the Fitzy turf, but they also dropped a 26-22 decision to the Bulldogs during the 2005 regular season. While the Rams beat Portland in each of the last two regular season meetings (including a 36-0 romp at home a year ago), they hadn't won on the big stage.

That would change Friday night, but it didn't come easily.

Gorham's defense set the tone less than a minute into the game. On the Bulldogs' second play from scrimmage, senior Carson Walker made a diving interception of Portland sophomore Jason Strauss' pass at the Bulldogs' 29. Seven plays later, the Rams were in the lead to stay when senior quarterback Ben Moody scored on a 6-yard scamper. Moody eluded Portland junior Joe Zukowski in the backfield and raced into the end zone. Gorham failed on its two-point conversion, but had a 6-0 advantage.

The Bulldogs then went three-and-out on their next possession and a short punt set the Rams up at Portland's 41. Seven plays later, Gorham was in the end zone again when junior Jonathan Day scored from a yard out. This time, the Rams got the two-point conversion as Moody found junior Abe Kilborn in the end zone. Kilborn caught a deflected pass for a 14-0 lead.
The Bulldogs' offense came to life on their third series.

After a 5-yard run from sophomore Carl Szanton and a 7-yard run by sophomore Imadhi Zagon, Zagon, a diamond in the rough, found a hole and demonstrating the speed that's made him a track standout, outraced the defense to paydirt for a 44-yard score, cutting the hosts' deficit to 14-6 after one quarter.

After the teams traded punts, both teams had decent drives, but couldn't score and the game remained 14-6 at halftime.

The majority of the sparse crowd was surprised Portland had remained close. They would be rattled even further when the Bulldogs got to within 14-12 early in the second half.

After the Rams picked up 6 yards on three plays on their opening series, they attempted a fake punt, but the hosts stuffed it and took over at Gorham's 31. After junior Jason Alexander made a pretty 29-yard catch and the ball was moved a yard closer due to a facemask penalty, Zagon barreled in from a yard out with 10:23 to go in the third. The Bulldogs then had a chance to tie on the two-point conversion, but Strauss was sacked before being able to throw, allowing the Rams to continue leading, 14-12.

With momentum fully on Portland's side, Gorham then embarked on its most impressive drive of the night, moving 75 yards in seven plays for a little breathing room.

The big play was a 25-yard scamper by senior Doug Woods. With 6:04 to go in the third quarter, Day broke free for a 16-yard TD run and Moody hit Woods for the two-point conversion and a 22-12 lead.

The Bulldogs drove to the Rams' 22 on their next series, but Strauss' fourth down pass was broke up by Woods and Gorham got the ball back.

After the teams traded punts and the third period gave way to the fourth, Gorham scored again.
This time, the Rams drove 42 yards on seven plays, with a 21-yard Moody-to-Day pass putting them on the doorstep. Woods would then do the honors, scoring on an 8-yard run. The two-point conversion run was stuffed, but Gorham led 28-12 with 8:12 to play.

After a Portland fumble, the Rams took a 34-12 lead when junior Connor Walker broke several tackles en route to a 22-yard TD run.

The Bulldogs answered as Zagon scored on a 3-yard TD run, capping a 50-yard, five play drive.
While trying to run out the clock, Gorham scored once more, as Woods broke free for a 39-yard TD scamper. The extra point was no good, but the Rams had enough to bring down the curtain on their 40-19 victory.

“The first half I thought was a dogfight,” Kilborn said. “Portland came out and played hard. Their kids wanted it and showed us that. We had to make adjustments and wear them down a bit. That's what happened at the end. We made some positive yards and went from there.

“It's always big when the defense comes up huge. The best defense is an offense than will churn time off the clock. The defense is getting better every big. We're making strides We're still young and we still have a lot of teams left to play.”

Gorham mustered 318 yards to Portland's 215. Woods rushed for 134 yards and two TDs on 17 carries. He also caught two passes for 16 yards. Day had 93 yards and two scores on 14 carries. He also caught a pass for 21 yards. Moody completed all three of his passes, good for 37 yards.
The Bulldogs were led by Zagon, who rushed for 138 yards and three TDs on 22 carries. He also caught a pass for 20 yards.

“Portland will be good,” Kilborn said  “They're a young team with a great young running back. We knew he was a big part of their game. When you see him in person, you're that much more impressed.”

Strauss went 4-for-7 for 83 yards and had an interception.

“We're too young,” longtime Bulldogs' coach Mike Bailey said. “We just make too many mistakes. I don't know how many penalties or fumbles we had. If we keep giving that offense opportunities, we'll pay for it and we did. They're a good football team and they deserved to win, but we hurt ourselves a lot.”

While Portland (which edged Westbrook 19-14 in its opener) has been hard hit by injuries and defections in the early going, it is in much better shape than it was this time a year ago. Just the addition of Zagon gives the Bulldogs a fighting chance every time they take the field.

“(Imadhi's) a superb athlete, only a sophomore,” Bailey said. “He's still learning to cut. He came to play. He does a lot on his own. We have to figure ways to spring him. This is only his third year playing football. He's raw. He went from freshman football, where he's bigger than anyone, to varsity.”

Portland (1-1) hopes to get back in the win column next Friday when it hosts Windham (0-2 after losing to Deering and Bonny Eagle). The Bulldogs fell 14-2 at the Eagles a year ago and hope to remain a dangerous foe.

“We're more competitive this year,” Bailey said. “If we eliminate turnovers and penalties, we'll compete. Windham's supposed to be better. We'll keep plugging away and try to get better.”

Gorham, meanwhile, remains in the thick of the playoff hunt at 2-0. The Rams have a compelling home test with 2-0 Deering next week. A year ago, Gorham won 50-35 at Deering during the regular season, then was eliminated by the Rams, 27-14, in the Western A quarterfinals.

“Deering's a big gun,” Kilborn said. “We owe them one, but we also beat them last year in the regular season. A lot happens in the regular season. We beat them handily in the regular season game and they got us handily in the playoffs. They're a great team. Well coached. They have great studs, led by Jack Heary.”

That may be, but you could argue that the Gorham studs are doing pretty well for themselves so far in 2008.

G- 14 0 8 18- 40
P- 6 0 6 7- 19
First quarter
G—Moody 6 run (run failed)
G—Day 1 run (Moody pass to Kilborn)
P—Zagon 44 run (kick failed)
Second quarter
No scoring
Third quarter
P—Zagon 1 run (pass failed)
G—Day 16 run (Moody pass to Woods)
Fourth quarter
G—Woods 8 run (run failed)
G—Walker 22 run (run failed)
P—Zagon 3 run (Szanton kick)
G—Woods 39 run (kick failed)

G-Woods 17-134-2, Day 14-93-2, Connor Walker 5-20, Carlson Walker 8-16, Lambert 1-11, Moody 4-4-1, Butterfield 1-(-1)
P-Zagon 22-138-3, Szanton 9-2, Strauss 3-1
G-Moody 3-3-37
P-Strauss 4-7-83-1
G-Woods 2-16, Day 1-21
P-Alexander 2-50, Zagon 1-20, Brown 1-13
Total Yards
Portland 3
Gorham 0

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Sport:   Posted: September 13th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

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Sport: Football  Posted: September 13th, 2008 by Tom Nolette

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(Lewiston) Devils survive (Messalonskee) Eagles' grind

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(E.L.'s) Goddard throws (Mt. Blue) Cougars for loop

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