WALES — Kyle Flaherty and Alex Mace may be gone, but the Oak Hill High School football team appears to have the pieces in place to make another run at defending its Class D title.

While obviously still very early in the season, the Raiders posted an impressive 42-14 win over Old Orchard Beach in their opener and were led by quarterback Dalton Therrien. The senior completed 12-of-16 passes for 275 yards and three touchdowns and also rushed for 150 yards and a pair of scores on seven carries.

“We’re just day-to-day and if we feel like we have an advantage in certain situations we’ll take advantage of it,” Oak Hill coach Stacen Doucette said. “Sometimes our advantage is throwing, sometimes our advantage is running. We’ll take what the defense gives us.”

What as more impressive about Therrien’s passing performance was the distribution of his targets. Last season when the Raiders looked to pass it was more than likely going to Mace or wide receiver Kyle Tervo. In Friday’s game Darren Bailey, Jonah Martin, Austin Noble, Connor Nilsson and Colby Spencer each had catches.

“I don’t know if there’s a real superstar in the group,” Doucette said of the receiving corps. “They’re all pretty quick, good hands and pretty reliable. They all do their job and do it well. It’s a good group, very unselfish. If they have a chance to make the play they make the most of it.”

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Winthrop/Monmouth head coach Dave St. Hilaire is confident in his team’s abilities this season, but also knows the Ramblers are going to have to have cleaner performances moving forward than they did in a 14-7 loss to Lisbon Friday night.

“We’re not going to beat a good team with the amount of mistakes we had, both with the (four) fumbles and 10 penalties,” St. Hilaire said. “You’re not going to be a good quality team, which Lisbon is that way.

“We’ve got a couple guys not out of position, but in a situation they’re not used to and they really didn’t know some of the angles they needed to take. We’ll point that out to them on film.”

The Ramblers had a strong finish to the season last fall, stringing together a few wins in a row before falling to Old Orchard Beach in the opening round of the playoffs. The one thing Winthrop/Monmouth did not have last season was a win against one of the top teams in the conference, which St. Hilaire is hoping to change this season.

“I know we’re a good team. We had a nice winning streak last year but we really didn’t have a win against one of the top teams,” St. Hilaire said. “Once we’re able to do that we’ll really understand that and what we’ll be able to do. It would have been a big confidence boost to knock off Lisbon this past weekend.”

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The result may not have been in Cony’s favor Friday night at Mt. Blue, but the 20-6 loss to the Cougars was not without its bright spots for the Rams — particularly on defense.

“Our defense played well,” Cony head coach B.L. Lippert said after the loss. “They were on the field a ton in the second half, we just couldn’t sustain a drive and once we did we’d get deep in their territory and fumble the ball.”

Where the extended minutes took their toll on Friday was on a few big plays the Cougars managed to break as, for the most part, Cony limited Mt. Blue to short gains.

The Cougars totaled 375 yards for the contest, 198 of which came on four big plays: A 61-yard touchdown pass to Christian Whitney, a 45-yard touchdown rush from Zach Meader, a 53-yard run from Whitney that helped set up his second touchdown and 39-yard completion from Ryan Pratt to Nate Pratt-Holt at the end of the first half. Mt. Blue also incurred 55 yards of offensive penalties on the night.

Cony got two sacks from Dylan Tudeen and another from Benaiah Willhoite, as well as standout play at linebacker from Max Storey.

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Gardiner has hit a rough patch over the past few seasons in the wins department, but coach Joe White and the Tigers are making sure to remain positive after Friday night’s 30-14 loss to Messalonskee.

“To maintain that positive frame of mind is going to be key and understand that these guys can play with anybody. They need to know that,” White said. “They can’t get caught up in it and they can’t turn their backs on it when things get a little tough. This group is pretty resilient.

“There’s not negativity looming around the locker room and kids grumbling. They’re close. We’re still very, very upbeat and excited to play each Friday night.”

After allowing Messalonskee to rush for 422 yards in the opener White knows the Tigers will have to make adjustments on the defensive line — citing alignment more than personnel — but there were some positives for Gardiner. After some questions on who would emerge as the team’s lead back, it appears Josh Farrin has done so after picking up 117 yards in Friday’s loss.

“We found a tailback. Farrin really ran the toss and cut it up when he needed to and he ran the inside stuff,” White said. “We’re going to keep rolling with that.”

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While most of the state’s football teams had their regular season opener this past weekend, Maranacook opened its season on a bye. The Black Bears scrimmaged Lincoln County last Thursday and picked up a 24-0 win.

“We did pretty well,” Maranacook coach Joe Emery said. “We ran the ball pretty well. All facets of the game we did pretty well. It was a good tune up for our first game of the season. The varsity played the first half and JV played the second.”

It was not all good for the Black Bears Thursday, though, as Emery said starting safety Zach Davidson was lost for the season after suffering a knee injury in the exhibition contest.

Despite the loss, Emery still feels his team is in good shape for its season opener against Boothbay.

“We’re pretty well prepared. Never happy, but moving in the right direction,” he said. “I went down and saw the Traip-Boothbay game and I think we’ll do alright. Boothbay has some real good linemen and some speedy backs. If we play our game we’ll be all set.”

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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