Foxcroft takes advantage of Mattanawcook miscues to remain undefeated

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DOVER-FOXCROFT — Touchdowns following a pair of second half turnovers and a blocked PAT helped Foxcroft Academy earn a 28-20 victory vs. fellow Class D North 2-0 program North Mattanawcook Academy of Lincoln under the lights on Sept. 14 at Oakes Field. The Pony defense also forced two other turnovers in the second half and while these changes of possession did not lead to any points, the plays helped prevent the Lynx from finding the endzone on each drive.

With just under 5:00 to play in the fourth quarter, Mattanawcook scored the team’s first points since late in the second half as senior quarterback Kristopher Milner snuck in from the 2-yard line to get his team within one at 21-20. The team then attempted to tie the game on the point after kick, but the football ended up getting knocked down at the line of the scrimmage to keep the Lynx behind by the slimmest possible margin.

Mattanawcook then opted to not kick the football to Foxcroft’s deep return men as senior Sekton Wandikbo covered the squib up at the Foxcroft-45.

Foxcroft Mattanawcook football

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
JUMP BALL — Foxcroft Academy senior Hyatt Smith extends over Mattanawcook senior Kristopher Milner for an 8-yard touchdown reception during the first quarter of a Sept. 14 game in Dover-Foxcroft. The Ponies held off the Lynx 28-20 to win the meeting of 2-0 teams. Smith made a team-high six receptions for 69 yards.

The Pony offense kept the ball on the ground to both pick up yardage and run clock. At times in the second half the team shifted sophomore Logan Martin from slotback to quarterback to take some of the shotgun snaps as he and senior running back Michaleb Niles carried the ball a combined three times for 23 yards with a first down and then a second fresh set of downs at the Mattanawcook-32 with the clock inside four minutes.

Foxcroft would keep the opposition on its toes as senior quarterback Matthew Spooner returned to the backfield on a third-and-6 play after a Lynx timeout. Spooner rolled to his right and found classmate Hyatt Smith open for a completion down to the 17-yard line for another first down.

Niles and Martin — the two would finish with respective totals of 55 and 83 yards on the ground — then picked up two and four yards for a third-and-4 as Mattanawcook called its final timeout with 2:10 to go. On third down Martin took the snap and he ran right for two yards to the Lynx-9 as Foxcroft would call a timeout of its own after letting the play clock run to near the end with the game clock at 1:21. After coming back onto the field, the Ponies used timeout No. 3 after seeing what the defense gave for a formation.

Foxcroft Mattanawcook football

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
RUNNING FROM BEHIND CENTER — In the second half sophomore Logan Martin took some of the shotgun snaps for Foxcroft as the team switched who was behind center between Martin and starting quarterback senior Matthew Spooner. On a fourth-and-2 from the opposition’s 9-yard line late in the game Martin would score on a such a play, helping put the Ponies ahead 28-20 with the PAT. Looking on at Martin’s touchdown run is senior center Ryan Vienneau (60) and senior left guard Caleb Ladd (67).

Martin lined up behind senior center Ryan Vienneau and he took the snap, running left. Martin would cross the 7-yard line for the first and he kept going into the endzone for the touchdown. A PAT by sophomore Luke Stedman, who was 4-for-4 on the evening, put Foxcroft ahead 28-20 with 74 seconds left.

The Mattanawcook return team only gained three yards on the kickoff to set the offense up at the squad’s own 24-yard line with 1:10 to and zero timeouts to work with. After an incompletion the Lynx gained a first down at the Mattanawcook-39 on a carry by senior Alex Brown, part of his game-high 162 rushing yards.

The team was then flagged for intentional grounding and had another pass attempt fall short for a fourth-and-15 with 42.3 seconds left. On fourth down Pony senior Caleb Ladd got through the line and he grabbed a hold of Milner’s jersey. The defensive tackle pulled on the quarterback as he threw, causing the football to fall to the grass and end the last chance for Mattanawcook.

Foxcroft did trail 14-7 at the half but the Lynx fumbled on the second offensive play of the third quarter. The Ponies followed the recovery with an 11-play drive culminating in a 11-yard touchdown pass from Spooner to Martin to help tie the score. Spooner ended the game with three touchdown through the air and 182 yards on 12-of-17 passing.

Foxcroft Mattanawcook football

Observer photo/Stuart Hedstrom
SET FOR THE PLAY — Senior quarterback Matthew Spooner is ready to take the snap inside the redzone during the first quarter of Friday night’s game vs. Mattanawcook. Before him is the offensive line, from left to right tackle, sophomore Sam Clawson and seniors Caleb Ladd, Ryan Vienneau, Mason McLeish and Eli Bickford.

Mattanawcook again fumbled the football on the second play on its next possession, but three plays later the Lynx defense made a stop on fourth-and-12. The team came close to going ahead but as senior Diondre Duffy was inside the Foxcroft-5 the football was knocked out of his grasp and the pigskin rolled out of the endzone for a touchback.

The Ponies would end up punting but the team once again quickly got the ball back. On a third-and-9 from the Pony-49, Brown tried a halfback pass and Stedman made the interception.

Three plays later Foxcroft had a second-and-17 at the team’s own 46-yard line following a sack. On second down Spooner threw a short pass to senior Jeremy Richard. The receiver got the first down and he kept weaving his way through would-be tacklers all the way to the endzone for the 54-yard scoring play to break a 14-14 tie. Stedman then kicked what ended up being the winning point.

Next up for Foxcroft is a trip to Bucksport High School at 7 p.m. on Friday, Sept. 21. Both teams will enter at 3-0 and tied for first place in the standings.

Foxcroft 28
Mattanawcook 20
MA 0 14 0 6 | 20
FA 7 0 7 14 | 28
First qtr: F — Smith
8 yds from Spooner
(Stedman kick)
Second qtr: M — Brown
36 yds (Coburn kick)
M — Brown 12 yds
(Coburn kick)
Third qtr: F — Martin
11 yds from Spooner
(Stedman kick)
Fourth qtr: F — Richard
54 yds from Spooner
(Stedman kick)
M — Milner 2 yds
(kick blocked)
F — Martin 9 yds
(Stedman kick)
Passing: F — Spooner
12-of-17 182 yds 3 TD;
Martin 0-of-0
M — Milner 9-of-13
131 yds;
Brown 0-for-1 Int
Receiving: Smith 6,
69 yds TD; Richard 3,
80 yds TD; Martin 3,
33 yds TD
M — Spencer Thompson
5, 74 yds; Lujan 2, 31 yds;
Brown 1, 11 yds;
Johnstone 1, 15 yds
Rushing: F — Martin 12,
83 yds TD; Niles 16, 55 yds;
Spooner 6, 25 yds;
Richard 2, 17 yds
Records: F 3-0
M 2-1

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