On Sept. 13, Boothbay football seemed poised as a strong contender for the state’s first eight-man small conference championship. The Seahawks had just defeated Old Orchard Beach in Boothbay Harbor which pitted the new league’s top contenders in an early season showdown. But the next two rounds went to OOB in convincing fashion. When the teams met Nov. 8 in the championship game, an undermanned and quite possibly outgunned Boothbay team lost 48-14 to OOB.
Boothbay entered the game down four players who played in the two teams’ first encounter. But those players missed the Oct. 25 game when the Seagulls won, 44-30, and Boothbay knew it faced an uphill struggle in a subsequent third game. So the Boothbay coaching staff installed a new offense, 5-Wide, for the championship game. The offense had four linemen lining up either far right or left, but the new offense confused Boothbay more than it did OOB. Boothbay fumbled on its first two possessions, and the Seagulls soared to a 25-0 first quarter lead.
For Boothbay, the new offense was the team’s best hope in upsetting Old Orchard Beach. “We had a good game plan coming into the game, but OOB has a great defense, and they didn’t panic,” Boothbay Coach Ed Crocker said. “We were down several players and came ready to play and thought spreading out their big guys would help Hunter (Crocker) find more running room.”
Boothbay didn’t register a score until the second quarter. Trailing 25-0, quarterback Hunter Crocker connected with receiver Michael Cusumano on a 15-yard touchdown pass. Boothbay closed out the scoring with a 3-yard run making the score 48-14.
Despite the loss, Crocker called eight-man football a success for Boothbay and Maine high school football. “I loved it. I thought it was a great move and there will be more teams next year,” he said.
OOB advances to play large conference champion Mount Ararat at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland on Nov. 16 for the state’s first eight-man football state championship.