Foxcroft Academy Athletics: A Week in Review (Sept. 22-27)

Boyer’s monster day leads Ponies to big road win
over Old Town

    Pete Boyer exploded for 307 yards and six rushing touchdowns to lead Foxcroft to a come-from-behind 55-33 victory at Old Town Friday night. The senior captain also returned an interception for a touchdown and piled up 17 tackles for the 3-1 Ponies, who trailed 25-14 before erupting for 41 second-half points.

    The Ponies were outgained 576-430 and held the ball for just 15 minutes, but Boyer, quarterback Hunter Smith (123 yards and a score on 12 carries), a physical offensive line and a resilient defense (three takeaways and a huge goal line stand in the second half) proved to be too much for the Coyotes, who fell to 2-2.
    “We started slow once again, which is bothersome,” said Coach Danny White. “We did some nice things early on but weren’t able to get consistent stops on defense. We were able to pull away as the game progressed, but we must learn to play with more energy and enthusiasm early in games, especially against the league’s elite teams.”
    Boyer scored six of his seven touchdowns after the break, sealing the game with a 70-yard scamper late in the fourth quarter. He added a 68-yard burst in the third quarter and totaled five runs of at least 20 yards. “This was one of the single best individual performances in school history,” said White. “What a pleasure to watch.”
    The senior tailback has now rumbled for 624 yards on 79 carries and is halfway to the 20 touchdowns put up by big brother and 2012 Little Ten Conference Player of the Year Donnie Boyer two seasons ago.
    Smith, who now has 403 rushing yards and five scores on the ground to go with 256 receiving yards and four touchdown grabs, had a nifty 56-yard scoring dash to give the Ponies a 14-13 lead at the end of the first quarter. The Coyotes would score the next two touchdowns to open up an 11-point lead before Boyer and the Pony defense took over down the stretch.
    Clay Carroll was a standout at middle linebacker once again, forcing a key fumble in the third quarter and piling up 14 more tackles to run his team-leading total to 41. Gaige Pleninger picked off a pass, Billy Brock had 16 tackles, James Smith had 10 tackles, Hunter Smith had nine tackles to go with a fumble recovery, Brandon Brock had six tackles and a sack and Connor Holmes had eight tackles for a unit that had its hands full with an explosive Old Town attack.
    Nate Church knocked in seven of eight extra points for the Ponies, who return home for a three-game stretch that begins with the Homecoming game against Hermon Friday at 7 p.m. Eight Foxcroft Academy alumni will be inducted to the Athletic Hall of Fame at halftime.
    “I think the team is in a good place,” said White. “Coming off two straight road wins, they are excited to get back on Oakes Field. They have a good understanding of the importance of this week. Homecoming is an emotional time for kids, so we will need to remain focused and stay on task if we are going to claim our fourth win of the season.”

Field hockey team has another perfect week, improves to 8-1

    Coach Stephanie Smith’s field hockey team held off John Bapst 2-0 at home on Tuesday and rolled past Hermon 8-0 on the road Wednesday to move to 8-1 on the season. The Ponies are now ranked fourth in the Class C East Heal Point standings with five games to play.
    “John Bapst was a good win,” said Smith. “The girls played very well as a team, and we had a lot of shots on goal. Their goalie was tough!”
    Madison Fadley delivered a hat trick at Hermon, running her season total to nine. Julia Annis scored her eighth and ninth goals of the year, Alli Bourget notched her fifth and sixth and Fern Morrison got her eighth. Annis added two more assists while Emma Tetlow, Becca Anderson, Jenny Boyer and Abby Simmons also had helpers. The Ponies did not allow a shot on net and have now outscored opponents 35-4.

Cross country team
surging toward postseason

    The country team followed up last week’s outstanding performance with an even better one at the 65th Old Town Sectional Invitational on Saturday, with 12 runners establishing personal records.
    Six members of the boys’ team broke the 20-minute mark, and the Ponies’ seven varsity runners averaged 19:11.56, destroying their best cumulative effort of the season (set last week) by 86 seconds. Cooper Nelson paced coach Brett Almasi’s squad with a career-best 18:13.53, good for 13th out of 79 male competitors, and seven other boys set personal records: Gabe Piquette (19:01.31), Noah Simpson (19:23.99), Nathnael Feleke (19:34.53), Liam Casey (19:44.41), Kohei Kotani (19:50.15), Paul Birtwistle (20:30.11) and Peter Xue (21:45.79).
    Jen Clawson, who Almasi referred to as “a great leader for the squad,” set a personal best of 23:44.12 to lead the girls’ side, finishing 39th out of 71 runners. Anna Sedlackova (26:04.59), Virginia Macomber (26:26.46) and Maria Cedeno (33:01.57) also posted career marks for the girls, who are still looking for a fifth runner to round out the team for championship season.
    Almasi continues to be very impressed by his team’s effort. “The team continues to improve each week,” he said. “This crew now believes they can compete with the other Class B teams in the state, as our varsity boys’ average time on Saturday puts them in the mix to potentially qualify for the state championship meet.”

Golf team picks up 10th win, eyes postseason play

    The Foxcroft golf team had another excellent week on the links, running the table against Hermon, Penobscot Valley and Bucksport to improve its season mark to 10-4.
    The Ponies picked up their first two victories of the week at Hermon Meadows Golf Course on Monday. Playing in cool and blustery conditions, Coach Pete Caruso’s squad edged Hermon 200-201 and outlasted PVHS 200-215. Emily Turner paced the team with a 49, Bram Dennis and Nick Decker each posted a 50, and Freddy Libby marked a 51.
    Under much better conditions, the Ponies headed to the Bucksport Golf Club on Friday to face the Golden Bucks of Bucksport and emerged with a 189-200 victory. Libby fired a 43 to earn medalist honors for the match and was followed closely by playing partner Dennis, who went around the long course in a 45. Decker (49) and Henry Chase (53) rounded out the scoring for the Ponies.
    The Ponies have exceeded expectations in the regular season and look to be peaking as they head into the all-important PVC tournament at the JATO Golf Course in Lincoln on Thursday. “We have had an outstanding regular season,” said Caruso. “Now it is off to the PVC tournament, where we hope to qualify for the state tournament. Hopefully the team will rise to the occasion, as the competition in Class B will be most challenging.”

Boys’ soccer bounces back from first loss
with overtime win at MDI

    Coach Luis Ayala’s soccer team lost its first game of the season to John Bapst on Tuesday but bounced back nicely with a dramatic overtime win at MDI on Thursday. The Ponies are 6-1 at the midway point and occupy the No. 7 spot in the Class B East Heal Point standings.
    On Tuesday in Dover-Foxcroft, Paul Branch’s goal with 15 minutes to play gave John Bapst a 2-1 lead, and although the Ponies dominated play for much of the action, they were unable to find the back of the net down the stretch as the Crusaders loaded the box with defenders. Nick Boyd scored on assist from Matt Baiamonte earlier in the half to knot the game at one, and Logan Butera recorded nine saves.
    “Playing against Class B teams there is never an easy game,” said Ayala. “You have to be ready to play every game. I think we came out flat against John Bapst. We had our chances but were unable to capitalize on them.”
    The Ponies jumped out to an early lead at MDI on Thursday when Tino Ayala’s well-delivered through ball led to a Fernando Caceres goal. MDI roared back to score two second-half goals, taking a 2-1 lead with 15 minutes to play, but Foxcroft was able to force overtime when Cacere’s long pass sprung Justin Diamond for a breakaway goal late in the half.
    “Justin has really stepped it up this year as our main scorer,” said coach Ayala. “The team always looks for him to do something special, and he did.”
    Just two minutes away from a tie, Ayala received a give-and-go pass from Julian Zepeda and dribbled deep into the left side of the box. As the defense collapsed on him, he was able to cross the ball just out of the goalie’s reach, where Nick Boyd drove a one-timer into the back of the net to deliver the Ponies a dramatic victory.
    “In overtime we had somebody else step up for us,” said Coach Ayala. “Nick took the opportunity given to him and made the most out of it. It was a pressure moment and he rose to the occasion. Everybody rushed to the field to pile on Nick. It was great! I hope we get more of those moments this year.”
    The Ponies now turn their attention to a big Homecoming showdown with fourth-ranked Old Town (set for Tuesday, Sept.30). “The Homecoming game is always special, and this year is no exception,” said Ayala. “There is a lot riding on this game. Old Town is ahead of us in the standings with a 5-1-1 record. This game will let us know where we stand in Class B — it’s a good measuring stick to see if we are among the top teams this year. I know one thing for sure: we will definitely give our all and will walk with our heads held high after the game.”

Girls’ soccer team drops
heartbreaker to John Bapst

    Coach Chris Wesley’s Ponies had their first win stolen away in heartbreaking fashion when John Bapst’s Hannah Philippon scored with less than a second left in regulation to force overtime in Dover-Foxcroft on Wednesday. The Crusaders went on to score a few minutes into the first extra session to emerge with a miraculous 3-2 win, their fourth of the season.
    Foxcroft fell behind 1-0 early in the game but fought back to take a 2-1 lead into the break behind goals from Grace Bickford and Jenna Clukey, who assisted each other. It was a gritty and encouraging performance for the improving Ponies, who lost to the Crusaders 6-0 in the season opener and had yet to score a goal heading into Wednesday. “The ladies have come a long way and continue to impress me and surprise me in their heart and determination,” said Wesley.

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