Late 1-yard TD helps Winslow earn 1-point victory over the Ponies

By Stuart Hedstrom 
Staff Writer
    DOVER-FOXCROFT — Over the first five games of the season Winslow High School dominated the competition, scoring a Class C-high 258 points while giving up a class-low 34 points. The Black Raiders ended up with a much greater challenge during an Oct. 10 visit to Oakes Field as Foxcroft Academy (4-2) gave the team all it could handle. The two squads would trade the lead three times in the fourth quarter on a trio of rushing touchdowns, but a score from a yard out with less than 1:30 to go would prove to be the game-winning play for the visitors as Winslow escaped with a 26-25 victory to remain undefeated in 2014.
    On the first play of the fourth quarter Foxcroft junior Nate Church split the east side of the field uprights on a 28-yard field goal, extending Foxcroft’s advantage to 19-14. In the second quarter Church was good from 27 yards out on his inaugural field goal attempt of the season, with this one coming on a westward kick.

    Winslow followed by using four plays to move the ball 49 yards — the kickoff return by Black Raider sophomore Nate St. Amand set the offense up inside Pony territory — for a touchdown, with senior quarterback Bobby Chenard and junior Jacob Trask connecting a 25-yard play after Trask got past the Foxcroft secondary. Winslow took its first lead of the game on the play, at 20-19, but the Pony defense tackled Chenard shy of the goalline on the conversion attempt.
    A three-and-out forced a Foxcroft punt on the next brief series and senior Peter Boyer’s kick rolled out of bounds at the Winslow 12-yard line. Backed up deep in its own territory, the Black Raiders faced a third-and-4 as Chenard pitched the ball to classmate Dylan Hapworth. The running back missed the exchange as the pigskin fell to the grass, right into the Ponies’ grasp as the team made the recovery just outside the 10-yard line.
    The football was then put in Boyer’s hands as he gained three yards on two carries to set up a third-and-7. After junior quarterback Hunter Smith had to stay on the sidelines for a play after being attended to by the training staff, junior Chris Storer came in to take the shotgun snap.
    Storer followed Smith by putting the football right in Boyer’s grasp. The running back then ran up the middle and stretched as he was wrapped up by the defender to come down in the endzone to put the Ponies ahead once more at 25-20 with 5:03 to go. A delay of game penalty moved the line of scrimmage for the two-point conversion try back five yards, and a returning Smith was tackled before he could rush over the goalline.
    Foxcroft was flagged for unsportsmanlike conduct on the play and as a result was forced to kick off from the team’s own 25. Winslow took advantage by being able to return the kickoff to inside Foxcroft territory at the 45.
    A pass interference call gave the Black Raiders 15 more penalty yards to move the ball to the Pony-30, and from there Winslow kept the ball on the ground in the hands of Chenard and Hapworth. The team used five plays to get to the 9-yard line, also running time off the clock to limit Foxcroft’s opportunities if the team did retake the lead. On a third-and-2 Chenard gained the first down and he was brought down at the Pony-1 with the clock stopping at 1:45 as the chains were moved.
    On the ensuing play Hapworth plunged through a hole in the left side of the line for touchdown to give his team a 26-25 advantage with 1:21 to play. Winslow tried for two to go up by three, but the Pony defense tackled junior Trenton Bouchard at the 1-yard line after he made the catch on a screen to the right.
    A short return by senior Gaige Pleninger set Foxcroft up at the team’s own 24 with 73 seconds and all three timeouts to work with. Sophomore Billy Brock came in motion from right to left to take the handoff from Smith, but he was tackled for a loss of a yard as a Pony timeout quickly stopped the clock.
    Smith kept the ball on second down, but he could only get back to the line of scrimmage as timeout No. 2 froze time at 53.2 seconds. Boyer then got an opportunity on third down and he gained two yards up the middle as the final timeout came with 47.5 seconds to go.
    Foxcroft took to the air on fourth down, for only the team’s second pass play of the game. Smith threw to Brock in double coverage but around the Winslow 25-yard line the football was just over the reach of Brock to fall incomplete and enable the Black Raiders to take over on downs to end the game.
    Smith and Boyer combined for three touchdowns and nearly 200 rushing yards, with their ground work accounting for approximately 98 percent of the Pony offense. Boyer gained a game-high 163 yards on 31 carries and Smith’s 130 yards in 24 attempts was also more than the team-high 104 for Hapworth.
    Foxcroft will play next in the team’s regular season home finale on Friday, Oct. 17 at 7 p.m. vs. Nokomis Regional High School of Newport. The Warriors will come in at 3-3 and in fourth place in the Class C East Crabtree Point standings, a spot behind the Ponies. Winslow hosts Waterville High School on Saturday afternoon, with the winner of the clash of 6-0 squads likely gaining the top seed for the postseason.


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    PILING UP THE YARDAGE — Foxcroft junior quarterback Hunter Smith tries to push the pile during an Oct. 10 game against Winslow High School. The Black Raiders won the matchup featuring two of the three teams in Class C East, 26-25 on a one-yard touchdown in the final minute and a half. The victory improved Winslow to 6-0, but the team scored a season-low point total and surrendered the most points it has all season at Oakes Field.





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    CROSS THE LINE — A touchdown run from seven yards out by senior Peter Boyer gave the Ponies a 25-20 lead with just over five minutes to go in the fourth quarter. Foxcroft and Winslow would trade leads three times during the fourth quarter, with the last change helping the Black Raiders earn a 26-25 win.









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    FIELD DAY — Junior Nate Church, with senior Hunter Smith holding, made both of his field goal attempts on Friday evening. Church’s first attempt was good from 27 yards out, and in the fourth quarter he connected on a 28-yard try (pictured).










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    ON THE BIG STAGE — Piscataquis Regional YMCA flag football players got to play in primetime by taking to the turf at Oakes Field during halftime of the Oct. 10 Foxcroft-Winslow contest.

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