AUGUSTA — Playing quarterback is never easy.

It is the position that, for better or worse, always garners the most attention as an offense’s primary facilitator — even if their job, at times, entails turning around and handing the ball to the running back.

Either way, QBs always find themselves in the spotlight and for four area signal callers this past weekend marked their first times under center in a regular-season game.

At Cony, senior Mitchell Caron was asked to do quite a bit considering the Rams’ style of offense and he handled the duties about as well as anyone could have asked. The first-year starter threw for 239 yards on 18-of-39 passing with two touchdowns and no interceptions. He also rushed the ball 10 times for 33 yards and a score.

“I thought he played pretty well,” Cony coach Robby Vachon said. “He had jitters like everybody else did, first night out but he threw the ball pretty well, he ran the ball pretty well. He was pretty effective in the offense.

“He missed a couple reads early, but a credit to him we got down, he drove us down and helped us put some points on the board.”


Oak Hill’s Dalton Therrien also played his first varsity game at quarterback Saturday afternoon, but the senior was not called upon to do much in the Raiders’ blowout win over Telstar and finished 2-of-5 for 26 yards and a touchdown.

Generally the idea with younger quarterbacks is to develop them gradually, but sophomores Matt Ingram, of Winthrop/Monmouth, and Eli Kropp, of Gardiner, were forced to throw more after their teams fell behind early.

Kropp had success early against Lawrence on Friday night, connecting with senior tight end Jake Truman twice on his team’s first offensive possession on passes of 27 and 21 yards, respectively. The latter of the two receptions went for a touchdown, but unfortunately for the young QB, it was a tough night from there on as he finished 8-of-19 for 137 yards and four interceptions in a 46-18 loss to the Bulldogs.

Ingram, meanwhile, fared better after a shaky start. The Ramblers fell behind 28-8 at the break, but the sophomore — along with senior running back Zach Phinney — nearly brought Winthrop/Monmouth all the way back before falling 28-24.

“The first half he was nervous and respectfully so. We’re playing Lisbon, a top team, a perennial rival of ours and the second half he settled down,” Ramblers coach Dave St. Hilaire said. “We didn’t want him to have to make some plays, but he made some plays and he threw a couple extremely nice balls. I’m just really pleased with his performance and each week, each time he’s been out there it’s been building and building.”

Ingram — who finished 7-for-10 with 114 yards, one interception and one touchdown — also said he felt better as the game progressed.


“The first half was pretty rough but after the first half coach talked to us, we got it together,” Ingram said. “I made some smarter decisions, I got more confident throwing the ball, which really helped. We completed a few really helpful passes.”

• • •

If Caron is going to have the same success Friday night against Brewer as he did in the opener against Messalonskee, then he is going to have to do so without his top receiving threat.

Senior wide receiver/linebacker Tayler Carrier was ejected late in the third quarter of Friday’s win over the Eagles after officials ruled he had thrown a punch while trying to tackle a Messalonskee player, which by Maine Principals’ Association rules carries a one-game suspension. Carrier had 10 catches for 146 yards and a touchdown before he was ejected.

On Monday, Vachon said he did not believe Carrier was throwing a punch at the player, but rather attempting to dislodge the ball.

“I’ve been in contact with the officials, apparently regardless of what a ruling is, the MPA does not overturn ejections,” Vachon said. “I am meeting with the officials (Tuesday) night and I’d like to at least give them our side of the ball. It was clearly — to us watching film — an attempt to dislodge the ball. It wasn’t a fight and the official interpreted it differently.


“It was a run play and Tayler did a punch-rake technique, which a lot of coaches teach. He tried to punch the ball out and then rip. Then he saw that the ball was loose so he went down again to try and punch it out and then was on top of the player and actually still continued to try to pull the ball out until the whistle blew. The ref interpreted it as a fighting punch.”

Either way, it is very unlikely that the Rams will have Carrier, an offensive and defensive starter, available Friday night.

“It’s unfortunate that it happened. I feel bad for him. It’s a game he’s never going to be able to get back,” Vachon said. “…He’s going to be a good captain like he is, a great leader. He’s a four-year starter for us, he’s one of the top football players in Maine and I really, really am upset at the fact that he’s not going to be able to play.”

• • •

As far as early candidates for game of the year go, there was not a better one this past weekend than Cape Elizabeth’s thrilling 35-34 overtime victory over defending Class C champ Leavitt.

The loss snapped an 11-game win streak for the Hornets after they ran the table last season, meaning the longest win streak in the state now belongs to Oak Hill.


The 2013 Class D champs have not lost since dropping back-to-back games to Winthrop/Monmouth and Old Orchard Beach midway through last season, pushing the Raiders’ run to eight victories in a row after rolling Telstar on Saturday.

“It’s work ethic. The kids committed to football in the weight room, they committed to football in seven-on-seven and they committed to football with the summer commitments,” Oak Hill coach Stacen Doucette said. “They got the bug. They really love the game right now. Our whole community has worked hard at all levels, even the youth.”

Bonny Eagle and Cony, the defending champs in Class A and B, respectively, have each won their previous five contests dating back to last season.

• • •

Speaking of last season, it was a similar start to 2014 on Friday night for Maranacook — at least, in terms of score.

The Black Bears lost a defensive battle in which they gave up two special teams touchdowns to Dirigo 13-8 last fall, and it was another low-scoring affair Friday that once again went in the Cougars favor, 12-6.


Maranacook made its mistakes in the loss, but overall coach Joe Emery said he felt encouraged looking back at the defeat.

“It went well. I was pleased with the effort,” he said. “We made some mental mistakes in the red zone that hurt us but Dirigo is a good team.

“… It seems as though it’s always a slugfest when we play Dirigo.”

• • •

It was not the first game for every team in the state last weekend, as Kents Hill will open up play in the Evergreen League on Saturday at home at 3:30 p.m.

The Huskies figure to be improved from last year, but they will certainly open up with quite the test as they welcome defending league champ New Hampton to town.


“This year I think we’re a little bit better of a matchup for that kind of team,” Kents Hill coach Steve Shukie said. “… We’ve had a pretty good group come together in the preseason. Expectations are kind of high. Our depth isn’t great … but we have some good size.”

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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