The Winthrop/Monmouth football team has used a variety of formations and looks on offense this season to make it difficult for opponents to prepare each week.
Spread packages. The power I. The pistol.
The Ramblers have used them all, and on Saturday they tried something else in a 42-6 win over Telstar.
“We tried the double wing,” Winthrop/Monmouth coach Joel Stoneton said. “We put a new offense in. We blocked it well but we didn’t run it all that well.”
Monmouth used the double wing offense when it competed as a club team, so a foundation was already in place. Furthermore, the double wing gets an abundance of skill position guys involved, something Stoneton wanted to do as the team prepares for what it hopes is a long run through the Western D Campbell Conference playoffs.
“We knew it wouldn’t take a ton of time to install,” Stoneton said. “The guys picked it up quick. It’s a new wrinkle and we like that. We’ve run the spread efficiently but if you run the spread eight weeks in a row somebody out there will figure out a way to stop it.
“We’re trying to strategize. It allows us to get more skill guys to touch the ball. We can do direct handoffs, stuff like that. We have a lot of guys we can rotate in and out.”
Dakota Carter, Brandon Goff, Drew Stratton, Jake Weeks, Zack Phinney, among others, all had carries Saturday.
“We just want to put us in a good position,” Stoneton added.
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Cony coach Robby Vachon said Skowhegan showed some different looks on defense than what it saw on film.
“They used a three-man front,” Vachon said. “We weren’t really expecting that; it was a little different. We just used the running game more than what we’ve had.”
The Rams (4-1) rushed 26 times — they average about 20 — for 125 yards in a 31-12 victory over the Indians (2-3). Reid Shostak led the way with 102 yards and a touchdown on 22 carries. John Bennett rushed for 23 yards on four carries.
Charlie Hallak, who’s been sharing the carries with Shostak, was a late scratch after suffering a finger injury during warmups.
“During pre-game, he caught a ball off the top of a finger and jammed it,” Vachon said. “He played, but on defense.”
While the offense lost Hallak, it did receive a boost with the return of wide receiver Tayler Carrier, who was questionable all week with an ankle injury.
Carrier caught five passes for 54 yards and a touchdown before leaving in the third quarter.
“He came up gimpy in the third quarter so we decided to keep him out,” Vachon said. “It’s more precautionary. He had a nice game.”
The Rams will host upstart Hampden (4-1) in a key Pine Tree Conference Class B game on Friday. The victor will set itself up for a possible No. 2 seed in the playoffs.
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It’s been a frustrating season for Gardiner, which dropped to 0-5 with a tough 28-14 loss to Brewer last Friday.
The game pitted the only winless teams in PTC B against each other.
“It was a rough night,” Gardiner coach Matt Burgess said. “It’s frustrating. But the kids are OK. We all had a rough night but everyone was here at 8 a.m. on Saturday for practice. They continue to show up and play hard. It’s all we can ask.”
The Tigers, for the first time this season, were able to move the ball consistently against the Witches (1-4). Brad Weston rushed for 117 yards and two touchdowns to lead the way.
“We’re still running our regular stuff,” Burgess said. “We’re just trying to get good at it.”
The team has used a two-quarterback offense this season, with Eli Fish and Matt McKenna each playing two quarters.
However, Burgess decided to flip the order against Brewer, opting to start Fish.
“We’re still trying to sort some of this out,” Burgess said. “We reversed the order this week. Eli Fish started the first and third quarters. McKenna went the second and fourth. I don’t know if that had any major effect, but the other way around didn’t work for our first four games. We were able to move the ball a bit more, so that we felt good about.”
Gardiner closes the regular season with games against Mt. Blue (2-3), Skowhegan (2-3) and Cony (4-1).
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Three of Oak Hill’s five games have been decided in the final few minutes of the fourth quarter.
The Raiders (3-2) dropped their second such contest last Friday, 22-21 at Old Orchard Beach.
“We’re gaining experience but it’s been some tough situations,” Oak Hill coach Stacen Doucette said. “It’s emotionally and physically draining but the kids find a way to bounce back.”
Oak Hill, which has lost two straight after starting 3-0, came up short Friday when Tyler Scott intercepted a Parker Asselin pass in the end zone on the second-to-last play of the game.
The loss came a week after Oak Hill dropped a tough 18-13 decision to Winthrop/Monmouth in a game that also went down to the final moments.
The Raiders will next host Boothbay (3-2) on Saturday.
“The winner will have a shot to maybe have a home (playoff) game,” Doucette said. “The loser will probably have to go on the road.”
Bill Stewart — 621-5640