Familiar ghost haunts Camden Hills football at Boothbay
BOOTHBAY HARBOR — The Camden Hills football team saw its defense incur several long and intermediate pass plays by the opposition in what became a triple overtime loss at Old Orchard Beach on Oct. 6.
Although the Boothbay Seahawks are best known for its vaunted double wing run oriented offense, it was a couple of touchdown passes that converted Camden Hills 16-6 fourth quarter lead and turned it into an 18-16 win for the hosts on a clear but chilly Friday night game under the lights in Boothbay Harbor Oct. 12.
In Class E, Camden Hills, Boothbay and Maranacook all boast identical 4-3 records entering the final week of the regular season, though Heal Points place Camden Hills in third, Maranacook in fourth and Boothbay in fifth. The top six teams in the nine-team Class E will qualify for the playoffs.
The Windjammers run defense planned for a long night in spite of having performed well throughout the season in that area no matter the opponent.
The test began right away on the opening drive as Boothbay marched down with ease on a handful of plays to take a lightning fast 6-0 lead that held until halftime as Camden Hills got its feet underneath them and limited Boothbay until the fourth quarter.
Camden Hills had several chances to even the score in the first half and stayed aggressive, going on fourth down and long more than once, but could not convert. However, Camden Hills head coach Jeremy Marks had to have been pleased being down only one score following that early punch.
“We needed to deal with some last minute [personnel] changes that really forced guys into unfamiliar or starting roles,” Marks said. “I felt that first drive was really a result of this more than anything they did.”
Camden Hills continued its strong defensive play and made solid offensive adjustments resulting in a 65 yard touchdown jaunt on a designed quarterback run by senior Spencer Johndro with lead blocks from three fellow backfield mates. The conversion was good for an 8-6 Windjammer lead.
The next series proved equally fruitful as Johndro (21 rushes 161 yards), flanked by senior Sam Hebert (14 rushes, 100 yards) on the run-pitch option, shuffling the ball to Hebert who outraced the Boothbay defense en route to another Windjammer touchdown. Johndro easily converted the two-point play on a rush off tackle for a 16-6 lead that the team took into the fourth quarter.
Boothbay went back to a series of runs laced with power and deception leading to a delayed pass in the flat from 12 yards to cut the lead to 16-12.
On the ensuing kickoff, the Seahawks surprised the Windjammers with an onside kick and regained possession of the ball at midfield.
Looking as if they would dodge a bullet with a defensive stand and 4th and 10, Boothbay reached back for a 43 yard bomb over the secondary's outstretched arms and into the end zone for the final score of the game.
Camden Hills went three-and-out on the next possession and had to punt.
As Boothbay seemed to be settling in to run down the clock, a poor snap from the center sent the ball flying into the backfield where senior defensive end Coleman Haskell chased down the Seahawk player in enemy territory for a monumental loss giving the visitors one last offensive series with about a minute to go and two timeouts.
“We had a chance to win the game and we did not convert, that is on us,” Marks stated. “Truth be told we should not have been in that position to start with, however Boothbay played well and took advantage of our inability to defend the pass. We will get back at it this week as I am sure Medomak will be licking their chops at a chance to throw on us.”
Camden Hills advanced the ball through Johndro's steady run efforts but with no timeouts and time running down, Johndro was stopped short of the end zone as the clock hit zero.
All three Camden Hills losses this season have seen the team with the ball deep in the red zone as time expired.
“Going forward our goal will not be focused on converting these opportunities, more so that we keep ourselves out of situations where we need to convert a last minute score to win games, that in our minds should have been in hand much earlier,” added Marks. “We are a better team than we have shown in those losses. In the end, hat’s off to those teams they deserved the win, I just know we can be so much more than a 4-3 team.”
Class C Medomak Valley (3-4) comes to Rockport’s Don Palmer Field on Saturday, Oct. 20 for both team's regular season finale. Kickoff is at 1:30 p.m.
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