Monday, December 9, 2013
The Oak Hill and Winthrop/Monmouth football teams spent part of this week trying to downplay the significance of their Saturday showdown in Wales.
GOOD START: Oak Hill quarterback Parker Asselin has thrown for more than 350 yards and four touchdowns for the Raiders, who have started 3-0.
Staff photo by Joe Phelan
Winthrop/Monmouth at Oak Hill
When: 1:30 p.m. Saturday
Where: Oak Hill High School, Wales
It's just one game, they said. There is plenty of football left in the season, they were quick to point out.
While true, there is no denying that the winner will be in prime position to earn the No. 1 seed when the playoffs come rolling around next month.
"It is a huge game in the sense of the playoffs," Winthrop/Monmouth coach Joel Stoneton said. "There could be playoff implications from this game down the road. We know that. But we have a long way to go."
Added Oak Hill coach Stacen Doucette: "It's too early to even think about the playoffs. A lot can happen between now and then. We're not losing sight of the fact that it is just one game."
The Ramblers (3-0) and Raiders (3-0), the lone undefeated teams in Western D Campbell Conference, will kick off at 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
Elsewhere this weekend, Cony (2-1) will host Lawrence (2-1) in a key Pine Tree Conference Class B game at 7 tonight. The game is a rematch of the PTC A final last season, which Lawrence won 22-10.
"It's going to be a tremendous challenge for us," Cony coach Robby Vachon said. "Lawrence is young but their run game looks pretty good. I think our kids understand that Lawrence is a different team from last year, but they still have that the tradition. We look forward to this challenge."
The Ramblers are off to their best start since they opened the 2010 season 6-0. They average 20.7 points a game and are allowing just 7.3.
Zach Glazier leads the Ramblers with 400 rushing yards and six touchdowns. Although the Ramblers haven't thrown the ball much this year, quarterback Jared Hanson has plenty of talented wide receivers to throw to should the need arise.
Brandon Goff, Drew Stratton and Mario Meucci are all threats in the passing game.
"They have a lot of good athletes," Doucette said. "They are a deep team. They have that big-play potential. They have some size and plenty of speed. Any play for them could go for a touchdown."
The Raiders feature a dangerous offense that is averaging 32.7 points a game. They're allowing just 11.7 points a game.
Three-year starting quarterback Parker Asselin has played well in the first three games, throwing for four touchdowns and more than 350 yards.
In a 38-0 win over Maranacook last week, Asselin completed all seven passing attempts for 173 yards and a touchdown.
"In my opinion he's one of the best quarterbacks in the conference this year," Stoneton said. "He does a lot more than people realize. He's calling 90 percent of the plays for them, which means he isn't just running or throwing. He's reading defenses and breaking them down. He's having a great year."
So, too, are Oak Hill running backs Kyle Flaherty and Alex Mace.
The two have contrasting styles -- Mace is a little shiftier while Flaherty is more of a power runner -- and are wearing down defenses.
"I think right now Oak Hill is a better team than we are," said Stoneton, whose team lost to Oak Hill 49-0 last year. "They have all their skill guys back. We'll have to play our best game to hang with them."
Bill Stewart -- 621-5640