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Raiders edge Cougars in homecoming contest, 8-6
DIXFIELD -- It was a battle of wills and determination. However, Dirigo was inches shy in the end as Oak Hill persevered Friday night in a football game.
It was the Raiders who scored on a Parker Asselin pass to Luke Washburn midway through the second quarter and then Kyle Flaherty rushed the conversion which was the eventual difference in an 8-6 win to spoil Dirigo's Homecoming at Harlow Park.
It was the third meeting between the two teams in under one year. Dirigo had knocked Oak Hill out of the playoffs last November. The ending was certainly exciting as Oak Hill came up with two crucial plays in the final 23 seconds.
''It wasn't pretty,'' said Oak Hill coach Stacen Doucette. ''We are a young team and made some mistakes, but Dirigo is a good team. We were resiliant (tonight).''
In the fourth quarter, Dirigo finally put things together, including a halfback option pass from Joe Casey to Heath Hersom that set up a first and goal. Three plays later, QB Robinson snuck over guard Jesse Hutchinson from six inches out. The conversion attempt was plugged by the middle of the Oak Hill defense with 23 seconds left.
''It was very ugly because we hadn't been able to move the ball.,” said Dirigo coach Dave Crutchfield. “On the scoring drive, I saw it in the kids eyes. They knew what the goal was and went for it.''
Dirigo (1-1) had shot itself in the foot because several penalties negated possessions. These flaws were neutralized by the Cougars' stout defense. On the kickoff after the TD, Gavin Arsenault recovered an onside kick and Dirigo had a chance. The Oak Hill defense was relentless, with Austin Goucher and Washburn, who were always in the backfield. Robinson threw a screen pass to Tyler Frost , but a pass failed on the final play of the game.
''The screen pass worked well,'' said Crutchfield. ''They were coming after us, but you can only throw it a couple times during a game. Our biggest running plays were sneaks by Robinson behind wedge blocking and that certainly isn't good enough.''
Oak Hill utilized Flaherty (97 yards, 25 rushes) on a drive that started on the Raiders 24. Asselin (6 of 11 for 90 yards, two interceptions) threw a 20-yard pass to Alex Mace. On second and goal, Asselin rolled right and tossed a high floater to Washburn in the end zone. Flaherty (three rushing first downs on the 11-play drive) rushed the conversion to give Oak Hill an 8-0 lead.
Robinson interception two passes for the second game in a row and also recovered a forced fumble. Frost made 10 tackles.