Ponies top Dexter/PCHS 40-0 in D North semifinal; FA to host No. 2 Bucksport on Friday night

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — The Foxcroft Academy showed no ill effects from having a weekend off as a result of earning a quarterfinal bye by virtue of being the top seed in the Class D North football playoffs. During the team’s first action in two weeks the Ponies defeated fourth seed Dexter Regional High School/Piscataquis Community High School 40-0 on Nov. 3 to set up the Class D North championship at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 10 with Foxcroft hosting No. 2 Bucksport High School. The berth in the regional final is the first for Foxcroft since 2012 — the last season featuring three classes of high school football before the expansion to four classes– when the team won on the way to winning that year’s Class C championship.

Over the first near 25 minutes of game time against the Tigers Foxcroft built a 26-0 advantage as senior quarterback Nick Clawson ran for three touchdowns and also connected with junior Hyatt Smith on a 38-yard touchdown pass to help the Ponies improve to 7-2 overall and 7-0 against Class D North foes (in week two Foxcroft won 24-14 vs. Dexter/PCHS).

Clawson would score what turned out to be the only needed points just over halfway into the first quarter on a 5-yard run up the middle.

Later in the opening 12-minute session junior Michaelb Niles recovered a fumble at the Dexter/PCHS 22-yard line. On first-and-10 Clawson looked to pass, but instead tucked the football and scrambled 22 yards for his second touchdown of the opening quarter.

Clawson would finish with a game-high 108 rushing yards in 11 attempts. He also threw for 80 yards on 5-of-9 passing, to top the 1,000-yard mark through the air on the season.

The Pony defense posted its second straight shutout — having held Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln without a single point in a 40-0 road victory two weeks prior — and in addition to three turnovers Foxcroft also came up with a stop on a fourth-and-2 at the Pony-36 with 2:22 to go in the first half.

The Pony offense then executed the two-minute drill to perfection. Five plays moved the ball to the Tiger-38 where Clawson threw to the right corner of the endzone. Smith leaped into the air and caught the football over the cornerback’s each for the touchdown reception as the PAT by senior Levi Stedman made the game 19-0. Smith led all players with three receptions for 68 yards, and the game’s only receiving touchdown.

After one play from scrimmage to start the second half, Clawson ran the ball 50 yards up the middle of the field for his third touchdown of the game.

Foxcroft would score two more times in the third quarter. Junior Matthew Spooner made an interception at the Dexter-31 and he turned the pick into six more Pony points. Niles scored on a 20-yard run for touchdown No. 6, giving Foxcroft a more than 35-point lead to set up a running clock for the last quarter and a half.

Dexter/PCHS finished the first season of the cooperative program between the two schools with an overall record 5-5. The Tigers, who got to the Class D championship game in 2016, reached the semifinal round for the second straight season for the first time in several decades. Seniors listed on the roster are Jonathan Allen, Tyler Beem, Jacob Bickford, Garrett Colbath, Tylor Handy, Dongjoon Kim, Matt Simpson, Zach Thompson, Kyle Watson and Jeff Whitney,

On Sept. 22 Foxcroft hosted Bucksport and earned a 45-18 victory over the Golden Bucks. Since then Bucksport has won five straight games — all by at least 30 points — to get its record to 6-3 heading into the regional championship at Oakes Field. The Golden Bucks defeated third seed Mattanawcook 49-6 in the other Class D North semifinal on Nov. 3.

Class D North
No. 1 Foxcroft 40,
No. 4 Dexter/PCHS 0
DEX 0 0 0 0 | 0
FOX 12 7 21 0 | 40
First: F — Clawson 5 yds
(kick blocked)
F — Clawson 22 yds
(pass fail)
Second: F — Smith 38 yds
from Clawson (Stedman kick)
Third: F — Clawson 50 yds
(Stedman kick)
F — Spooner 31-yd Int. return
(Stedman kick)
F — Niles 20 yds
(Stedman kick)
Passing: D — Bickford
0-of-1 Int;
Beem 0-of-0;
Ponte 0-of-0
F — Clawson 5-of-9
80 yds TD;
Spooner 0-of-0;
Martin 0-of-0
Receiving: F — Smith
3, 68 yds TD;
Richard 2, 12 yds
Rushing: D — Beem 15,
61 yds; Stone 7, 34 yds;
Perkins 8, 24 yds;
Allen 2, 12 yds;
Leighton 2, 3 yds;
Bickford 1, 2 yds
Weeks 1, 0 yds
F– Clawson 11,
108 yds 3 TD;
Niles 10, 65 yds TD;
Martin 5, 35 yds;
Nelson 2, 26 yds;
Wandikbo 1, 14 yds;
Richard 2, 7 yds;
Spooner 1, 5 yds;
Le. Stedman 3, -2 yds
Records: D 5-5;
F 7-2

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
TALKING ABOUT PLAYOFFS — Dexter/PCHS sophomore Logan Perkins carries the ball as Foxcroft senior Nick Clawson looks to make a diving tackle during the Nov. 3 Class D North semifinal in Dover-Foxcroft. The top-seeded Ponies won 40-0 over the No. 4 Tigers and Foxcroft is scheduled to host second seed Bucksport in the regional final at 7 p.m. on Friday, Nov. 10.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
SETTING UP THE RETURN — Pony junior Hyatt Smith fields the opening kickoff of the second half as senior R.J. Nelson (35) and junior Jeremy Richard (3) look down field at the oncoming Dexter-PCHS kicking team. Smith hauled in a 38-yard touchdown caught late in the second quarter for one of six Pony trips to the endzone.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
LOGAN’S RUN — Freshman quarterback Logan Martin came into the game as the Pony signal-caller during the fourth quarter on Friday evening. Martin is pictured running away from Dexter/PCHS sophomore Haedyn Guenther (60) and senior Tylor Handy (77) while Foxcroft senior Reggie Johnston pursues.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
STOPPING FORWARD PROGRESS — Dexter senior Tyler Beem gets stood up on one of his 15 carries. Beem rushed for a team-high 61 yards.

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
GETTING IN ON THE SCORING — Junior Michaelb Niles looks to get around Tiger sophomore Haedyn Guenther after taking the handoff from senior quarterback Nick Clawson. Niles would score the sixth and final Foxcroft touchdown on a 20-yard run in the third quarter.

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