Sun Journal file photo by Daryn Slover Liam Rodrigue of Oak Hill hauls in a 35-yard touchdown pass over Keegan Davis of Mountain Valley during the second quarter during a recent game in Rumford.

The final score read an Oak Hill loss, and in a game the Raiders had chances to win late, no less.

But considering the hurdles his team had to go through just to get on the field, coach Stacen Doucette saw plenty of silver linings in a 48-34 loss to Madison Friday night.

“We’re very, very proud with how our kids played … and the way they responded,” said Doucette, whose team was ahead 27-21 late in the third one week after a 56-13 loss to Wells. “We’re very happy about the way we played. The outcome wasn’t what we wanted, but it’s a long season, everybody’s in the playoffs and we feel that we are improving week to week.”

Oak Hill has battled the injury bug throughout the season, particularly on the offensive and defensive lines, and though Doucette didn’t provide any specifics about the various ailments, he said the Raiders at times had to put two freshmen and seven sophomores on the field against the Bulldogs — in a game that ran long with the frequent scoring, no less.

“We had a number of kids out for a number of different reasons, just the way football is nowadays, so we didn’t have many subs, and the kids went two ways most of the game,” Doucette said. “We didn’t have a lot of depth going into the game.”

Oak Hill took the 27-21 lead on a 9-yard touchdown run by Gavin Rawstron with 3:48 to go in the third, but Madison’s Josh Savage scored touchdowns on runs of 16, 24 and 15 yards to put the Bulldogs in front to stay.

“We were just kind of run at the end,” Doucette said. “At (the line), we kind of knew we’d get worn out, but I thought the kids gave a great effort.”

The Raiders fell to 2-3, but Doucette said the team has been making strides both in victories and defeats.

“It just shows in Gavin’s play, it shows in our tailbacks’ play.” he said. “I don’t think we’ve put a full game together. … We are improving, we’re a very good practice team, I think we understand the schemes well. I really like where we’re at right now.

“We’re really excited to see what our chances are at the end of the year.”

• • •

One player the Raiders did have out on the field Friday night has been one of their most impressive so far.

Receiver and defensive back Caleb Treadwell was a go against the Bulldogs after he left the Wells loss with a shoulder injury, and Doucette praised the senior for his two-way play.

“He played a great game. He may be my best tackler on my defense, smallest guy on the team,” he said. “He does a really good job. He’s probably the most improved player on the defensive side of the ball. And on offense, his average yards per catch are pretty impressive. … He spent the winter in the weight room, and it’s showing in his play.”

• • •

Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale did much of its damage in a 37-7 victory over Maranacook through the air, but the Ramblers got a key development on the ground as well.

Dylan Boynton ran the ball 10 times for 60 yards Friday night, including a 17-yard jaunt for a touchdown. The fullback was hurt in the season opener against Spruce Mountain, and his rounding into form comes at a good time for a Ramblers team that has struggled to run the ball consistently.

“He’s been hobbling ever since (the opener),” coach Dave St. Hilaire said. “He’s not 100 percent yet, but he’s getting close, and he had some good tough runs.”

• • •

A 64-yard touchdown run by Dakota DeMott with 7:28 to play was all that kept Maranacook from being shut out Friday night, and Walter Polky said offensive struggles have become a trend for a Black Bears team that has been held to eight points or fewer three times in five games and has mustered only 13 over its last two.

“Our offense is really hurting our team overall. We can’t move the football. There’s just too much pressure on our kicking game and our defense,” he said. “It’s mental errors. Not being fundamentally sound, and not having a high enough football I.Q. in certain plays and certain situations. Our offense is something that we, all season long, we need to get better and better and better at. It’s still a work in process.”

Polky, whose team plays in Class E, said that task wasn’t made easier by drawing the Ramblers, a competitive team in Class D.

“This game tonight really doesn’t help us either way,” he said. “Playing these guys, it’d be something different if it was a preseason game. That would be different, that way we could break things down more.

“There is definitely a talent gap between the two teams, but that’s something we have to, as a (program), decide. ‘How are we going to close that talent gap?’ ”

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

[email protected]

Twitter: @dbonifantMTM

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