Ponies come out on top in gridiron clash with Golden Bucks

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — Bucksport High School took the opening kickoff back for a touchdown and came up with an interception on the ensuing possession during a Sept. 22 game, but host Foxcroft Academy responded with three touchdowns and then a field goal and another touchdown after the second trip to the endzone for the Golden Bucks to win the Class D North matchup 45-18.

The Ponies won the team’s third consecutive game to move to 3-1 at the halfway point of the season and grab sole possession of first place. The contest was also the first for the two historic rivals since 2012, when both played in Class C East during the last year before the Maine Principal’s Association expanded football to four classes.

Bucksport (the team fell to 1-3) came up with the pick just inside the redzone on the first Foxcroft offensive possession. The Golden Bucks then were forced to punt after a three-and-out, and the Pony offense followed by using four plays to move the football 52 yards to the Bucksport 10-yard line.

On first and goal senior quarterback Nick Clawson took the shotgun snap for a draw and he ran up the middle for the touchdown. Bucksport had failed to convert for two points on its kickoff return touchdown, and a PAT by Pony senior Levi Stedman gave his team a 7-6 lead after Clawson’s run.

Another Bucksport punt kept the team from adding to its point total, and the Foxcroft offense would end up finding the endzone a second time. From the opposition’s 35-yard line Clawson dropped back to pass and he spied junior Hyatt Smith running past the cornerback. Clawson hit Smith in stride for the completion in the endzone.

A fumble on the kickoff landed in the grasp of Foxcroft junior Michaleb Niles at the Bucksport-43. Five plays later the Ponies had a second-and-goal at the 6 as Clawson scrambled to his right. The signal caller used his left arm to fend off a tackler and cross the goalline.

Five minutes later Bucksport would score again on a 10-yard touchdown run to make the game 21-12, failing again on the conversion to keep the deficit at two possessions. The Pony defense would stop all three conversion tries.

At the end of the first half, Foxcroft lined up for a 32-yard field and Stedman kicked the ball through the uprights for the 24-12 advantage. Stedman would have a perfect night with the field goal and six PATs.

Late in the third quarter, the Pony defense forced Bucksport to punt out of its own endzone and junior Jeremy Richard made the fair catch at the Golden Bucks-38. On first down Clawson connected with Smith for a short completion and Smith then juked the defensive back to get around him and run along the sideline for the score.

In the fourth quarter Smith found the endzone a third time. Following a Bucksport rushing touchdown to put the team within 13 at 31-18, Smith caught the kickoff at the Foxcroft-26. He then avoided getting tackled as Smith and the return team brought the ball back 74 yards and end any chance for a Golden Bucks’ comeback.

Clawson would lead with a game-high 154 yards on 18 carries, two of which ended in the endzone. He also threw a pair of touchdowns to Smith on 5-of-7 passing for 99 yards. Smith’s three receptions resulted in 73 yards and two of his three touchdowns.

Foxcroft is scheduled to play next at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 29 with a game at Orono High School (0-4).

Foxcroft 45,
Bucksport 18
BUC 6 6 0 6 | 18
FOX 14 10 7 14 | 45
First quarter: B — Tolmasoff
78-yard KR (pass fail);
F — Clawson 10 yds (Stedman kick);
F — Clawson 35 yds to Smith
(Stedman kick)
Second quarter: F — Clawson 6 yds
(Stedman kick);
B — Wardwell 10 yds (pass fail);
F — Stedman 32-yd FG
Third quarter: F — Clawson 38
yds to Smith (Stedman kick)
Fourth quarter: B — Riccard
8 yds (rush fail);
F — Smith 74-yd KR
(Stedman kick);
F — Niles 1 yd (Stedman kick)
Passing: B — Carmichael 13-of-
26 133 yds Int
F — Clawson 5-of-7 99 yds
2 TD Int; Spooner 0-of-0
Receiving: B — Tolmasoff 5,
54 yds; Stanley 3, 35 yds;
Riccard 2, 25 yds; Ashey
1, 12 yds; Wardwell 1,
5 yds; Ames 1, 2 yds
F — Smith 3, 73 yds 2 TD;
Richard 1, 25 yds;
Marsh 1, 1 yd
Rushing: B — Wardwell 8,
52 yds TD; Carmichael 6,
39 yds; Malenfant 4, 21 yds;
Riccard 1, 8 yds TD;
Ashey 4, 7 yds
F — Clawson 18, 154 yds 2 TD;
Niles 16, 45 yds TD; Richard 4,
28 yds; Marsh 1, 12 yds;
Wandiko 2, 4 yds
Records: B — 1-3;
F 3-1

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
SHOESTRING TACKLE — Foxcroft Academy senior R.J. Nelson grabs the foot of Bucksport junior Jacob Ames for a catch of only two yards during the second quarter of the Sept. 22 game in Dover-Foxcroft. The Ponies won 45-18 in the first meeting between the historic rivals since 2012, improving to 3-1 and having sole possession of first place in the Class D North standings at the halfway point of the season.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
CATCH IN THE ENDZONE — Pony junior Hyatt Smith gets past Bucksport senior Cam Ashey for a 35-yard touchdown pass from senior quarterback Nick Clawson. Smith would catch another touchdown pass and he also brought a kickoff back 74 yards to the endzone.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
THREE TOUCHDOWNS AND NEARLY 200 YARDS — Senior quarterback Nick Clawson hands off to junior Michaleb Niles during the opening quarter of Friday night’s contest vs. Bucksport. The two combined for three touchdowns and nearly 200 yards on the ground.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
32-YARD FIELD HOCKEY — Senior Levi Stedman, with junior Jeremy Richard holding, booted a 32-yard field goal to close out the first half. Stedman also converted all six of his PATS for a perfect performance.

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