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Posted: Nov 14, 2014

Football’s the last fall sport standing

Sidelines: Central Maine Sports Blog

It’s hard to believe the high school fall sports season is over as we have a new batch of state champs in field hockey, soccer, golf and cross country.

Next in line for some hardware: The boys on the gridiron.

While many student-athletes are prepping for the winter sports season — teams open practice Monday — there is still some unsettled business to be decided on football fields.

Here are a few idle thoughts as we twist, spin and motor toward Gold Ball Saturday on Nov. 22.

• It’s amazing what Oak Hill running backs Kyle Flaherty and Alex Mace have accomplished in the last four years. The duo have combined to rush for 8,295 yards and 84 — 84! — touchdowns. The runners with contrasting styles have pushed each other for years now and will graduate as two of the more accomplished athletes in program history. They also could leave with a pair of state titles, which would be a remarkable feat indeed.

• Speaking of accomplishments, how about the job Mitchell Caron did this fall for Cony? Yes, the Rams failed to defend their Class B state title, but the first-year starting quarterback did a fantastic job in an unenviable position of taking over the job from all-everything Ben Lucas.

Caron, like Lucas did last season, led the state in passing with 2,542 yards and 22 touchdowns. He completed 193 of 312 passes.

Of course, Cony’s wide-open passing game is a quarterback’s dream, but what Caron did in the shadow of Lucas is beyond admirable.

• It’s no surprise Waterville and Winslow will meet for the Eastern C title. These two rivals were all but destined to square off in the regional final with a trip to Orono at stake. When double sessions opened some three months and change ago, the Panthers and Raiders were considered the two best teams in the conference. They ended the regular season as such. Here’s hoping football fans turn out for this one — they play Saturday afternoon at Winslow.

• You can probably chalk up Maine Central Institute-Bucksport II into the foregone conclusion category as well — at least now that Jonathan Santiago and Eric Hathaway are back healthy for the Huskies. The Golden Bucks had some relatively close games against John Bapst, Orono and Mattanawcook midway through the season but — like MCI — have been for the most part pretty dominant.

Will the time Santiago and Hathaway missed during the regular season cost the Huskies Saturday? Only time will tell …

• It’s easy to heap accolades on the Lawrence coaching staff in the aftermath of a daring two-point conversion call late in regulation that sent the Bulldogs over Cony in a PTC B semifinal at Alumni Field.

The call, which coach Jake Rogers suggested to head coach John Hersom from the booth, came with a minute, 8 seconds left in the fourth quarter.

With Cony ahead 27-26, Cole Robinson hit Seth Powers on a successful conversion pass to give the Bulldogs a 28-27 victory.

That, folks, is as gutsy of a call as you’ll see, considering the circumstances.

While the coaching staff certainly deserves kudos for making that decision on the fly, it’s hard not to imagine what the reaction would’ve been like in Fairfield had the play failed.

Suffice to say, that would not have gone over well …


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