Leavitt's defense paves the way in rout of Fryeburg

·4 min read

Oct. 23—TURNER — Leavitt started out the game with a pair of three-and-outs on offense. At the start of the second half, it was back-to-back three-and-ins that essentially put the game away in the Hornets' 48-0 win over Fryeburg Academy in a Class C South football clash Friday night at Libby Field.

Leavitt's (6-0) dominant defense started the second half by forcing the Raiders (5-3) into a three-and-out, then the offense was gifted great field position on a bad punt snap for Fryeburg.

"We talked about field position with the kickoff team to start (the second half), and then we told the defense, 'You guys got to come out and bring the energy right now because we need the ball back. And if we get one score, we'll feel pretty good,'" Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway said. "So just a lot of positive energy and getting the kids ready. You know, you want to come out strong to start the half."

Three plays after starting their first drive of the third quarter at the Fryeburg 18-yard line, Hunter Hayes connected with Degan Jordan for a 9-yard touchdown pass off of a reverse.

After another Fryeburg three-and-out, Leavitt needed just three more plays to score again, a Trevor Bosse 20-yard touchdown run. Then Hayes hit Blaine Shaw on the two-point pass, giving the Hornets a 32-0 lead.

It was a completely different start than the beginning of first half for the Leavitt offense, which didn't get a first down on either of its first two drives, gaining only two and three yards, respectively.

"The first series, we missed a couple of assignments, and I just think we were a little keyed up for the game, and it being senior night and everything," Hathaway said. "And then we just kind of settled in and our offensive line got their feet under them, and they started blocking the right guys and we started making some hay."

The Hornets defense set the stage for the offense in the first quarter, forcing a turnover on an interception by Ben Sirois and then a three-and-out on the Raiders' first two drives.

"It was huge because we took the ball hoping we would score first. York tried to play a lot of keep-away, with taking the play clock down last week, and we thought, 'Oh, maybe if we get out in front, we can do it,' but we went three-and-out," Hathaway said. "So (Fryeburg) came down and a couple first downs, and it kind of was that feeling, like, 'Oh, is this going to be last week?' But then you get the pick and the offense gets rolling and things look good."

The Hornets' offense found its stride on its third drive, as the first quarter bled into the second. Two plays into the second, Hayes plowed in from 1 yard out from the quarterback spot for a touchdown, and Noah Carpenter ran in the two-point conversion from the QB spot to put the Hornets up 8-0.

Fryeburg fumbled three plays into its next drive and Leavitt quickly took advantage, needing only five plays to score on a 19-yard pass by Carpenter to Sawyer Hathaway. Degan Jordan ran in the two-point conversion, making it 16-0 with eight minutes left before halftime.

Fryeburg turned the ball over twice in the first half, then two more times in the second half.

"They're good and we knew coming in here we were going to have to play our best and not make mistakes, and we just made too many mistakes," Fryeburg coach David Turner said. "They're just too good. They're too fast, they're too tough up front. They're, I think, probably the best-coached team in the state of Maine. So we had to play our best and we didn't. We just made too many mistakes."

Fryeburg put the ball on the ground six times, fumbling it away to Leavitt three of those times. That, in part, led to minus-27 yards rushing in the second half. The Raiders were held to 15 yards rushing in the game. Sophomore QB Gunnar Saunders was 4 for 11 for 19 yards.

"I think we just had some protection breakdowns, and we were getting beat," Turner said. "They're so tough up front, they cover well. Defensively they're extremely well-coached, as well. They just don't give you anything. So once they started getting some pressure, and we had plays that were there that we didn't make. If we have plays that are there, we have to make them, and we didn't make them, and that certainly hurt us, too."

The Hornets rushed for 180 yards as a team, with Bosse, Sirois, Carpenter, Hayes, Dayton Calder and Jordan all getting carries with the first-team offense. Hathaway also liked how Carpenter and Hayes threw the ball. Carpenter was 7 of 9 for 107 yards and Hayes 4 of 6 for 21.

Pearson Cooper and Manny Driscoll had fourth-quarter touchdown runs for Leavitt.

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