September 9, 2012

HIGH SCHOOL FOOTBAL: Waterville starts fast, cruises past Oceanside

By Scott Martin smartin@centralmaine.com
Sports Editor

WATERVILLE -- Waterville was called for offsides on the first play from scrimmage Saturday afternoon. Pretty much everything else went right for the Purple Panthers.

Nick Danner forced a fumble on the second play, Waterville scored three plays later and the Panthers cruised to a 63-10 win over Oceanside in a Pine Tree Conference Class B football game at Drummond Field.

"Right after that I knew that we were going to have the momentum at least for the majority of the game," said Waterville quarterback Aidan FitzGerald, who completed 7 of 11 passes for 120 yards and three touchdowns. "The start really made a lot of difference."

Waterville improves to 2-0 heading into a key early-season matchup with Gardiner on Saturday, while Oceanside falls to 1-1.

In their season-opening 34-21 win over Nokomis, Mariners quarterback Sam Meklin threw four touchdown passes and ran for another. The Panthers never allowed Meklin to get anything going Saturday, holding him to just 43 yards passing. Danner, a defensive end, was in on a pair of sacks in the first quarter and also forced Meklin out of the pocket a couple of times.

The Mariners managed just four first downs in the first half and didn't score until the fourth quarter.

"A big hit by Danner and we were able to get on the board early," Waterville coach Frank Knight said.

"Our depth was good, we were able to move the ball effectively and our defense took a step forward."

Waterville, meanwhile, took advantage of every opportunity in the first quarter. Racean Wood scored on the Panthers' second possession from 7 yards out, and Waterville took a 17-0 lead when the Mariners took a safety on a bad snap on a punt. Wood scored again on the ensuing possession, this time from 23 yards out.

Waterville stretched the lead to 31-0 at the half on a 16-yard pass from FitzGerald to Devin Burgess. The Panthers then scored on the first possession of the second half when Wood capped a seven-play, 56-yard drive with a 3-yard run. Wood finished with 110 yards on 13 carries.

FitzGerald added his third TD pass on a fake field goal, hitting Danner from 11 yards out and Jared Spears ran 36 yards for a score as Waterville ended the third with a 51-0 lead.

Oceanside got on the board in the fourth quarter with a safety, then scored on a 2-yard run by Meklin. The Panthers' second unit tacked on a pair of TDs on a 14-yard run by Spears and a 13-yard run by Alex Pressey.

Scott Martin -- 621-5618

smartin@centralmaine.com

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