Football: Foxcroft Academy cruises past Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale in Class D semifinal

DOVER-FOXCROFT – The Foxcroft Academy football team left nothing to chance in their quest for a return trip to the Class D Finals.

Led by running back Caden Crocker, who had 135 total yards (79 rushing, 56 receiving), the No. 1-ranked Ponies rumbled 32-0 in a Class D semifinal at Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale on Friday night in Oakes by putting up.

“It’s incredible,” said Crocker, a senior. “That’s what we’ve worked for all year… We delivered today and got the win.”

Foxcroft (9-1), the defending Class D champion, will play in the State Finals on November 19 at Cameron Stadium in Bangor.

“It’s hard, it’s really hard to win[a state title]let alone get back to it,” said Foxcroft head coach Danny White. “Regardless of who we play against (next week), we will prepare for a good week and give our best next Saturday.”

The Ramblers finished the game 6-4.

Although Crocker was listed as a running back, he was moved at both back and wide receiver throughout the night. It opened up opportunities for his teammates, especially in the running game.

“In my opinion, he’s one of the best players in the state of Maine,” White said. “He’s great in all aspects of the game and he changes what the other team is doing, it’s as simple as that. We’re just trying to take advantage when we can.”

The most impressive performance probably came from the ponies defense. Foxcroft held Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale for just 61 offensive yards. The Ramblers tried to hit the defense with the running game all night, either in the stomach or with sweeps, to no avail.

Foxcroft Academy’s DJ Scheel, left, snaps the face of Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale’s Robby Feeney during a semi-final Class D soccer match on Friday at Dover-Foxcroft. Rich Abrahamson/Morning Watchman

“We challenged our defense in practice,” White said. “Tonight was a highlight of all their work because they were brilliant in all phases of the game but they were brilliant in defense.”

“We couldn’t stress enough, we had to rule them out today,” Crocker said. “Our defense had to step up and make plays and we did that.”

Foxcroft’s offense was strong early on, marching for 41 yards in four games. Quarterback Wyatt Rayfield hit Crocker with a scoop pass for a 7-yard touchdown. The extra point from Kemsley Marsters gave the ponies a 7-0 lead.

Marsters, a junior, proved a force with his leg as he launched a 35-yard field goal to put Foxcroft 10-0 up on his second drive.

On his next possession, Foxcroft went on a six-play 41-yard drive that Crocker completed with a 6-yard touchdown run to give the Ponies a 17-0 lead.

Rayfield hit Jadon Richard with a 10-yard touchdown pass, and Marsters added a 22-yard touchdown run to set Foxcroft’s last two scores in the second half.

Marsters rushed for 59 yards with eight carries while Finn Holmes had 48 rushing yards with seven carries. Rayfield was 9 of 12 with a 73-yard pass and threw two touchdowns and one interception.

The Rambler defense held its ground in the red zone in the fourth quarter when Nick Keezer intercepted a Rayfield pass in the corner of the end zone.

“[Foxcroft]really surpassed us,” said Ramblers head coach Dave St. Hilaire. “They were more physical, they stopped us on the edge, they shut down Dom (Trott) as a full-back. We tried to do different things. But (Foxcroft) can run, they can pass, they do so many things well. We knew we had to come up and get some breaks and play well. We didn’t play as well as we thought.”

Robby Feeney had 22 yards on 10 carries for the Ramblers.

It’s the Ponies’ third win over the Ramblers in the past year. Foxcroft defeated Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale in the Class D final last year, 19-16. The Ponies also beat the Ramblers 28-27 in the season opener on September 2 at Winthrop.

St. Hilaire spoke highly of his seniors after the game.

“I commend these guys for solid careers,” St. Hilaire said. “This is the first away game they have lost in their career. Two semifinals (appearances) and one state championship game (appearances), they did well.”

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