Boothbay blanks Dirigo 26-0 in football opener

Tue, 09/07/2021 - 12:30pm

After a one-year absence, football returned to Sherman Field Sept. 3, with Boothbay posting a 26-0 victory over Dirigo. In Boothbay’s victory, a dominant performance at the line of scrimmage on both sides of the ball told the story. The Seahawks ran 53 running plays amassing 248 yards and passed only three times. Leading the Boothbay rushing attack was running back Kayden Ames who rushed for 132 yards on 24 carries.

Ames rushed for a touchdown and also threw for one. Quarterback Ashton McLellan ran for two touchdowns with 66 rushing yards. While Boothbay had its way with the Cougars for most of the game, there were times when it showed this was an early season game.

On Boothbay’s first and only first quarter possession, the Seahawks went on a 15-play drive culminating with McLellan scoring on a 7-yard end run. But the drive had its challenges as Boothbay fumbled three times on quarterback-center exchanges.

Another problem was penalties. Boothbay was flagged 14 times for 70 yards.

Despite the win, Coach Ed Crocker thought his team had plenty of room for improvement. “The snap is something we’ve been working on in practice. I think it’s more a timing issue than anything. Also penalties, you just can’t jump offside that many times against good teams, and expect to win,” he said.

But Crocker has seen signs of improvement in recent weeks with his team. He credited Ames for a strong performance in the running game. “I’ve never seen him run that hard. He hit the hole hard and when there was no blocking, he ran over them. His running really opened things up for Ashton on the outside,” he said. 

The final minute of the first half turned out to be the game’s turning point. With Boothbay holding a 6-0 lead, Dirigo accepted a penalty after a punt left it at the 2-yard line. Boothbay re-kicked, but a Dirigo player muffed the punt at the 26-yard line. Two plays later, Boothbay ran the gadget play with Ames throwing a 39-yard touchdown to McLellan. Boothbay led 12-0 at halftime.

In the third quarter, McLellan scored his second rushing touchdown on a 44-yard run and Ames followed with a rushing score.

For the Seahawks, there were no opening night jitters. McLellan was confident in a victory. “I kind of expected a win,” he said. “We worked hard in practice, and they only had like three practices. So we were ready to play,” he said.

On defense, Ames was the leading tackler with 4.5 and Nase Lawless was second with 3.5. “We saw what they were doing and stuffed them on every play after that. They couldn’t run inside and tried outside. We were prepared,” Ames said.

Boothbay (1-0) plays Telstar on Sept. 11 in Bethel.