Wednesday, June 19, 2013
OAKLAND — The Messalonskee High School football team might do well to think of that old pilot adage. Any landing you can walk away from is a good one.
Skowhegan High School's Kaleb Brown, 41, dives for extra yards on a kick-off return in the second quarter at Messalonskee High School in Oakland Friday night.
Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans
On Friday night, the Eagles lost six fumbles to Skowhegan, but thanks to a strong defensive effort, took a sloppy, 20-12 win in its Homecoming game.
“We’ll probably do a couple more drills this week, because that could have killed us. That could have lost us the game,” Messalonskee running back Corey McKenzie said.
Messalonskee is now 3-0, while Skowhegan is 1-2.
“It was just an ugly game. How many times can you try to give the game away?” Messalonskee coach Wes Littlefield said. “The kids played hard, but boy, we’ve got to take care of some things, and one of them is turnovers. We’ve had a couple games like that now. We’ve got to clean some stuff up before we’re a good football team, I think.”
The Eagles lost three fumbles in the first quarter, each inside Skowhegan territory, and one inside the Indians’ 10-yard line. One more turnover in the third quarter, and two more in the fourth, helped Skowhegan stay in the game.
“Our defense played great. We forced them to have their back against the wall all night. They did a great job turning the ball over and giving us opportunities. We just weren’t consistent enough offensively,” Skowhegan coach Matt Friedman said.
Skowhegan gained 234 yards of offense, but 133 of those came on the Indians two scoring plays.
On the first play of the second quarter, Adam Clukey connected with receiver D.J. Allen for a 79-yard touchdown pass, giving Skowhegan a 6-0 lead. Early in the third quarter, Tyler Savage broke free down the left sideline for a 54-yard touchdown run, cutting Messalonskee’s lead to 14-12.
“We wanted to pound them and pound them and pound them. We were just flying to the ball,” Messalonskee linebacker Tony Bellavance said.
When they held on to the ball, the Eagles moved the ball. Josh Woodward capped a nine-play, 55-yard drive in the second quarter with a 1-yard touchdown run, and Devin Warren’s kick gave the Eagles a 7-6 lead. On Messalonskee’s next possession, McKenzie (27 carries for 147 yards) scored on a 28 yard run to push the Eagles’ lead to 14-6.
Bellavance caught a 32-yard touchdown pass from Woodward with 50 seconds left in the third quarter, pushing Messalonskee’s lead to 20-12.
Skowhegan’s last shot to tie the game ended on downs at the Messalonskee 43 with 1:21 left in the game. Allen caught four passes for 113 yards. Clukey threw for 184 yards.
Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242