Wilson’s interception sparks Boothbay’s playoff victory
The Boothbay Region High School football team inched closer to an undefeated championship season Nov. 3 with a 28-0 victory over Sacopee Valley at Sherman Field.
Boothbay has won all nine of its games this season in Class E, which included a squeaker four weeks ago with an 8-6, come-from-behind victory over Sacopee Valley in Hiram. The two teams were locked in another tight contest Friday night in the Class E playoffs. With Boothbay leading 7-0 with just over two minutes remaining in the first half, it appeared Boothbay missed out on an opportunity to extend its lead before intermission.
The defense forced Sacopee to punt on fourth down and two from midfield, but an offside penalty on a Boothbay defender gave the Hawks an unexpected first down. But two plays later, Boothbay defensive tackle Jacob Wilson made the play of the game.
Wilson shot the offensive line’s gap, rushed the quarterback and batted a pass into the air. The 6-foot, 1-inch, 315-pound defensive tackle snatched the ball out of the air and ran 38 yards for a touchdown. It was Wilson’s first touchdown of his four-year high school career.
“I tried the whole game to knock down a pass, but that was the only one,” Wilson said. “I checked the down and distance and knew it was going to be a pass. I shot the gap, and beat two linemen. And then I put my hands up, and once I hit the ball, I knew I wanted to catch it, and score really bad.”
Boothbay quarterback Jay Hasch followed the touchdown with a two-yard run for a two point conversion making the score 15-0 Boothbay with 49.7 seconds remaining in the half.
As it has all season, the Boothbay defense was the major force in the game. Sacopee twice penetrated deep into Boothbay territory in the first quarter, but failed to score each time. Boothbay defensive coordinator Smith Climo believed his defense’s resilience in not allowing an early score pointed toward a good result for his team.
“That’s a real good team we played, and they put up a goose egg against our defense. That is how well we played,” Climo said. “I couldn’t be prouder of this group. It’s been a tough week with Coach Crocker out. But those guys gave every ounce of effort on every play. That’s a real testament to what Coach Crocker taught them this year.”
Crocker missed the game due to a leg infection after being bitten by a cat. But the loss of their coach wasn’t the only obstacle facing the Seahawks. The defensive backfield was missing a couple of players, which resulted in Hasch, a senior, playing most of the game at free safety.
“What a job by Jay. He hadn’t played defense all year and he really stepped up for us and had a big game,” Climo said.
While the scoreboard showed a dominant performance by the Boothbay team, the stat sheet showed a more competitive contest. Boothbay outgained Sacopee 275 yards to 234. The major difference between victory and defeat was Boothbay made more plays and fewer mistakes. Sacopee lost two fumbles and threw one interception, while Boothbay lost only one fumble.
The Boothbay defense also stopped Sacopee on all six of its fourth down conversion attempts. The Seahawk offense converted two of six fourth down conversions.
On offense, Boothbay rushed for 232 yards. Wingback Hunter Crocker had two rushing touchdowns. He had 15 carries for 89 yards. Wingback Cameron Crocker led the team in rushing with 17 rushes for 94 yards and one touchdown.
On defense, linebacker Cameron Crocker had five tackles and 10 assists. Wilson had two tackles and eight assists.
Boothbay advances to the Class E Championship game at 7 p.m. Nov. 10 at Sherman Field. Boothbay plays No. 2 Maranacook Community High School (7-2) which defeated No. 3 Camden Hills, 12-6, in overtime in the other playoff game. On Sept. 22, Boothbay defeated Maranacook 13-6 during a regular season game in Boothbay Harbor.