September 27, 2013

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBALL: Maranacook bounces back

By Matt DiFilippo
Staff Writer

READFIELD — After being handled in a shutout loss to Oak Hill last week, Maranacook spent the week waiting to get back on the field. That the opponent was winless Sacopee Valley and Maranacook was expected to win was irrelevant. This was Maranacook’s chance to play some football.

The Black Bears did, controlling both sides of the ball and holding Sacopee to 69 total yards on the way to a 46-0 victory on Friday night at Ricky Gibson Field of Dreams.

“We executed pretty well today,” Maranacook coach Joe Emery said. “We came out and we tackled much better. We played with a lot more intensity, which is what we were lacking last weekend.”

Christopher Robinson rushed for 112 yards on six carries and returned a punt 35 yards for a touchdown for Maranacook (2-2). A.J. Stephens added 104 yards on four carries, and Simon Davis rushed seven times for 64 yards. Also, Zach Lacasse had a 42-yard run and Drew Davis went 34 yards for a score, but both plays were called back by penalties.

Sacopee had trouble with its punting game. In addition to Robinson’s touchdown return, punter Zach Barrows took a 23-yard loss after a snap went over his head, and Barrows had his first punt blocked by Maranacook’s Josh Aho.

“It was very exhilarating,” said Aho, who said it was the first blocked punt of his career. “I was very happy after that.”

Aho recovered the block punt at the Sacopee 27-yard line, setting up a 25-yard touchdown pass from Kyle Morand to Zach Bessette. Maranacook added a 14-yard run by Davis and Robinson’s punt return to lead 22-0 at the end of the first quarter.

In the second quarter, Stephens raced 67 yards for one score, and Jake Gibson scored from 12 yards out with 21 seconds left in the half. The Black Bears added touchdowns in the third quarter on a 36-yard run by Davis and a 64-yard run by Robinson.

For Sacopee (0-4), Eddie Dixon rushed 10 times for 36 yards. Anthony Haskell made two catches, including a leaping grab that got the Hawks to the Maranacook 35, the closest Sacopee would get to the Maranacook end zone all night.

Despite the Hawks being overmatched in numbers, experience and execution, Emery came away talking about how they matched Maranacook’s intensity.

“I kept telling my kids during the game how impressive those Sacopee kids are,” Emery said. “They haven’t won in five years, but they really love football. They come out and play, and they play hard. They’re a bunch of kids who hit — hard. I have a lot of respect for the Sacopee program.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243

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