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Long ride, day for Cougar boys
KITTERY -- It was certainly a long trek down I-95, however, the Dirigo football team was simply unable to establish a consistent attack in a quarterfinal playoff game on Saturday afternoon.
The Cougars never could figure out how to contain the powerful running tandem of Cory Aldecoa and Tyler Ney, who ran inside and outside in a convincing 34-0 win for No. 2 Traip Academy at chilled Memorial Field.
Dirigo went three and out on the opening possession of the game and Traip immediately started driving the ball. Aldecoa got around the left side and followed a block by Ney for a 34-yard touchdown. Ney ran in the conversion for an 8-0 lead.
Dirigo’s offense was hindered by the loss of Bryan Blackman, who was sidelined with a concussion. The senior tri-captain had his bell rung two rushes into game as he was slammed to the ground in a tackle (clean) and his head hit the ground.
Cougar quarterback Ben Holmes threw an interception to Matt Clifford, but the defense was able to hold the Rangers on a fourth down, led by Dirigo linebackers Jake Dowland, Austin Benard, Thomas Barnett and Tyler Frost; ends Nelson Pepin and Spencer Trenoweth; and tackles Zack White and Brenden Colford.
No. 7 Dirigo, who finished 4-5, had 50 total yards in the first half. They hurt themselves with numerous penalties, including five false starts during the game.
Holmes completed 10-26 passes for 74 yards and several backs contributed for 67 yards. They included Dowland, Caleb Hall, Nick Young and Reilley Lombardi.
Traip will host No. 3 Maranacook in a semifinal game this Saturday. Traip has a six-game win steak, having outscored opponents 176-28.
Ney, a 235-pound fullback, scored from 25 yards out in second quarter as the Rangers led 14-0 at halftime.
Dirigo came out flat in second half and failed to produce any high light until Holmes' 28 yard scramble in the fourth quarter. He ran left and cut across the muddy field, before being tackled on the right sideline. Trenoweth gained 16 yards on a reverse.
The Cougars had established field position when Holmes had pinned the Rangers on their own six. At the end of a long run, Holmes stripped the ball and recovered the fumble.
Traip opened second half jumping on the onside kick and Daron Draker 12-yard td run, Cam Cavanaugh added a conversion catch. The Rangers also scored twice in the final quarter.