Tuesday, September 17, 2013

BA vs. Bowdoin

Saturday saw the Bridgton football team return to action while renewing an old instate rivalry with Bowdoin College.  After the team struggled to find cohesion, in a week one loss to Bryant University 20-19, the emphasis in week two was on limiting mistakes.  Coach Walker's simple message to the team was a question of "WHEN".  WHEN would the talent match the outcome?  WHEN would the effort match the talent?  WHEN would the walk finally live up to the talk?  The answer on Saturday was a resounding NOW.
In the early going, the Bowdoin defense proved unforgiving and the first quarter ended with neither team able to crack the end zone.  Bridgton opened the scoring on a 60 yard touchdown pass from Chris Mullins (Westfield H.S., VA) to Troy Pelletier (Manchester Central H.S., NH).  It was the biggest gain in a huge day for Pelletier, who would finish with 124 yards receiving and a pair of touchdowns.  Mullins would also have his best game in the black and gray of the Wolverines, completing a sizzling 75% of his passes (9-12) and throw for a pair of scores.  The second of those was a 10 yard strike in the fourth quarter to Will Dyson (Cliffside Park H.S., NJ).  The offense was balanced out by the three man running attack of Jacob Duffrene (Waltham H.S., MA), Shane McCloskey (Concord-Carlisle H.S., MA), and Malik Lee (Mashpee H.S., MA).  The trio combined for 143 yards rushing and kept Bowdoin from focusing solely on the passing game.  Key to the efforts through the air and on the ground were the blocking of fullbacks Tyler MacDonald (Wakefield H.S., MA) and Andrew Paquin (Cranston East H.S., RI). 
The Wolverine defense was simply unrelenting.  On the first drive of the day the Black Shirt defense swarmed over the Bowdoin offense and forced a three and out.  The result would be repeated early and often as the Wolverines hounded every Polar Bear in sight.  The front seven squeezed the running lanes until they were nearly nonexistent while allowing nary a moment for the quarterback to set up in the pocket.  The efforts of Dylan Owen (Somers H.S., NY) with 2.5 sacks, John Strezo (Arlington Catholic, MA) with 1.5 sacks, and Shamis Henry (Hunterdon Central H.S., NJ) with 1.5 sacks was of particular note.  The team finished with an impressive 9 sacks and added 11 tackles for loss (TFL).  Linebackers David Pratt (Woburn H.S., MA) and Joe Lombardo (Somers H.S., NY) tallied 3.5 and 2.5 TFL's respectively.  Lombardo also added an interception while Svenn Jacobsen (Greely H.S., ME) added 1.5 sacks.  Fellow backer Matt Garcia contributed 2 sacks and an interception himself in what was to be an impressive day for the whole defense.  Not to be outdone, the secondary added 3 more interceptions, bringing the team total to 5, and broke up 4 passes while limiting the Polar Bears to fewer than 100 yards in the air.  Ken Bartolo (Northeast Metro Tech H.S., MA) picked two passes, returning one for a score, while Dan Cardillo (Wakefield H.S., MA) added his second of the season.  Finally, Victor Olagibaye (Valley Forge Military Academy, NY) recorded all 4 of the pass break ups.
In the end, the Wolverines overwhelmed the Polar Bears 27-0 and looked sharp in all three phases of the game.  The team takes the field again Sunday, September 22nd against the Pioneers of Sacred Heart University in Fairfield Connecticut.

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