Boothbay football overcame a slow start before soaring to a 36-22 playoff victory Nov. 1 over Sacopee Valley. This was Boothbay’s second victory over the Falcons this season. On Oct. 13, Boothbay defeated them 36-0 at Sherman Field. But that was a month ago. Since then, Sacopee Valley has been the most improved team in small conference eight-man football action. The Hawks won their last two regular season games including a 32-0 win over Traip.
The Falcons’ win streak catapulted them from fifth in the standings to third and a playoff berth. The Hawks’ strong play continued Nov. 1 as Sacopee Valley scored on an 11-play opening drive as Cody Eastman caught a 20-yard touchdown pass. Sacopee’s good fortune continued on defense as Boothbay fumbled its first offensive play from scrimmage. But the game’s fortunes turned on the very next play, as Boothbay defensive end Michael Cusumano recovered a fumble stopping the Hawks’ drive.
Cusumano led Boothbay with three tackles with one for a loss. His next big play happened late in the first quarter when he sacked Sacopee’s quarterback in the end zone for a safety. On the ensuing punt, Boothbay had good field position until an untimely interception stopped the go-ahead drive. But as the first quarter wound down, Boothbay scored its first touchdown on a Hunter Crocker 22-yard touchdown giving the Seahawks their first lead at 10-8.
Boothbay senior Stephen Bennett recovered a squib onside kick which led to their second touchdown, a 20-yard Crocker run on a quarterback wedge. Crocker rushed for 213 yards on 23 carries and scored three touchdowns and threw for another. Crocker said the quarterback wedge worked because of poor Sacopee Valley tackling. “They tackled high all night and I could run through their tackles,” he said. Boothbay scored again later the second quarter on a Stephen Bennett 22-yard touchdown.
Boothbay’s slow start was nothing new. It seems the first defensive series has been problematic for Boothbay all season. “For some reason we don’t play well on the first drive,” said Boothbay Coach Ed Crocker. “And it’s worse for our pass defense. We didn’t make any adjustments. We just did a better job covering their receivers.”
Sacopee scored a third quarter touchdown reducing Boothbay’s lead to 24-14, but Bennett caught an improbable touchdown pass getting flipped in midair and landing on his head. Crocker scored later in the third quarter giving Boothbay a 36-14 lead.
Boothbay’s victory sets up a conference championship berth at Old Orchard Beach at 7 p.m. Friday, Nov. 8. Boothbay beat OOB 46-30 on Sept. 14 at Sherman Field. But last week, OOB won the Oct. 25 rematch 44-30. Boothbay is 5-4. OOB is 6-3.