WALES — Shortly after accepting the job as Oak Hill High School football coach, Stacen Doucette poured over team game films from the previous season.

“I wanted to see everything,” he said.

He thoroughly evaluated his returning players, learning their strengths, weaknesses and, most of all, potential.

What he saw from the offense, particularly from the guys who could carry the football, made him pause.

“I saw on film all these players who could run the ball,” said Doucette, who came to Oak Hill after serving as an assistant coach under Dick Mynahan at Lisbon for two decades. “I had a pretty good idea what I wanted to do with them.”

Which was?

“Play them all,” Doucette said.

And play them all he did Saturday.

Kyle Flaherty, Alex Mace, Joel Wells, Brandon Potvin and Aaron Clark all touched the ball in a 33-7 thumping of two-time defending Western C Campbell Conference champ Yarmouth.

Oak Hill has qualified for the Western C Campbell Conference playoffs the last three seasons.

It took a gigantic step toward making a fourth consecutive appearance with the victory over Yarmouth, which lost its first game since 2009.

“We like to have fresh legs out there,” Doucette said. “We have a surplus of good athletes. We have a lot of guys who can run the ball.”

With a veteran and sizable offensive line, the Raiders plan to do a lot of that this fall, using a variety of different schemes to get everybody involved.

On Saturday, they started Flaherty and Mace, a pair of sophomores who played limited roles last season. Seniors Wells and Potvin worked their way into the rotation as well. Clark, a fullback, also had a handful of carries.

Flaherty and Mace acknowledged the pressure that accompanies more visible and prominent roles.

“Yeah, there is a lot of pressure,” said Mace, who rushed for 81 yards and a touchdown on 15 carries. “It’s nerve-racking. I know Kyle and I both get really nervous. We didn’t play much last season.”

Added Flaherty, a converted fullback who rushed for 54 yards and a touchdown on 14 carries: “I’ve never played wing before. We felt good coming in this year. We knew we were going to have bigger roles on the offense.”

Wells, Potvin and Clark combined for 13 carries and 58 yards.

Wells, one of the fastest players on the team who also returned a kickoff 79 yards for a touchdown, said the two sophomores proved they were capable of starting this fall.

“It’s better to have all of our running backs playing,” Wells said. “I don’t have hard feelings. I know the time they put in and the work that they put in. They can run the ball. They deserve the carries.”

Doucette, meanwhile, downplays any significance to who starts, saying somebody has to be out there first when the offense takes the ball.

Still, he likes what he’s seen from the youngsters.

“When they hit the holes, they hit them hard,” he said. “They run downhill. Everything is forward. Our seniors are more utility players — we can put them anywhere. The sophomores run hard and they can move.”

It helps, of course, to have a big offensive line, which the Raiders feature.

Luke Washburn, Caleb Provost, Richard Fillion, Brian Daniels and Mike Saunders made sure the running backs had ample daylight to squeeze through Saturday.

“There is a lot on their shoulders,” Washburn said, “but they can handle it. They all know when it’s their turn that they can make something happen.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]


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