WALES — The throw from Gavin Rawstron floated in the air before coming down beyond the reach of the Yarmouth defense, but right into the hands of a sprinting Darryn Bailey.

Just like its standout receiver, the Oak Hill football team was off and running.

Rawstron threw for 117 yards and connected with Bailey for two touchdowns, Cruz Poirier ran for 183 yards and two scores, and the Raiders’ defense swarmed and stifled Clipper ballcarriers as Oak Hill defeated Yarmouth, 36-12, in a cross-class game Saturday afternoon.

“Their defense is pretty aggressive,” said Oak Hill coach Stacen Doucette, whose team improved to 2-0. “We had to make adjustments. It was a very, very aggressive defense, and you’re not always going to be successful against aggressive defenses. We had to pick and choose our moments, so to speak.”

Austin Pierce led the Oak Hill defense with a 51-yard interception return for a touchdown, while a physical unit led by D.J. Pushard, Poirier and Bailey Drouin sacked Yarmouth quarterback Noah Eckersley-Ray five times and bottled up his rushers until the outcome was no longer in doubt.

“We did (get into the backfield) a couple of times, we changed it up, and tried to keep it simple,” Doucette said. “I’m happy with the way we played. Some of the defensive ends played well at times and the outside linebackers played well at times. (It was) team defense.”


That defense gave Oak Hill a spark, coming up with a fourth-down stop to cut down Yarmouth’s opening drive at the Raiders 28-yard line, and the offense made the Clippers pay. After missing Bailey with a deep pass on the second play from scrimmage, Rawstron found him on the very next down, and the senior raced untouched for a 71-yard score and an 8-0 lead (after a successful two-point try) with 5:01 to go in the first quarter.

“Coming out in the first quarter, you want to make that big play to get the game going, get the momentum pumping,” said Bailey, who caught three passes for 102 yards and the two scores. “We just needed to go out and make plays. We had to get the team fired up.”

The defense made a statement play of its own in the second quarter. Pierce stepped in front of a third-down pass and brought it all the way back for a score, bumping the Oak Hill lead to 15-0 with 8:22 to go in the second. The Raiders held on the next series, and two plays into its ensuing possession, Poirier — who had managed four carries amounting to a loss of a yard to that point — broke free around the left side and outraced the defense for an 82-yard touchdown run and a 22-0 lead with 5:38 to go until the break.

“It really comes down to team effort,” Poirier said of the breakthrough. “We came out slow, but we just picked it up and it happened. … It definitely felt like we were going to do better for the rest of the game.”

The Raiders kept up the pace in the third, recovering a fumble on Yarmouth’s first drive of the half and finishing an 80-yard drive with Rawstron’s 21-yard touchdown pass to Bailey. Yarmouth chipped away at the deficit with Eckersley-Ray’s 24-yard touchdown pass to Wyatt Sullivan, but Poirier broke another long run, this time for 52 yards, on the next series to make it 36-6 with 18 seconds left in the third and end the Clippers’ comeback hopes.

“We’ve had a lot of injuries in our program recently, and we’re still trying to come back from that and get kids in the right positions,” said Yarmouth coach Jason Veilleux, whose team (0-2) got a final score on Eckersley-Ray’s 2-yard run with 5:21 to play. “We have a long way to go.”


It was a banner day for the Raiders defense, however, which saw the Clippers start eight drives on their 40-yard line or closer and allowed scores on only two of them. Poirier, Bryce Harlow, Drouin and Justin St. John all had sacks for Oak Hill, and the Raiders allowed only 144 yards on 53 carries — a 2.7-yard average.

Combined with last week’s 28-14 win over Poland, it’s a good way to begin the season. But even in the minutes afterward, Doucette had his attention somewhere else.

“It’s a great start to the season,” he said. “But now it’s O.O.B. (Old Orchard Beach). That’s where we’re focusing.”

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM

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