BUCKSPORT, Maine — The first five minutes of Friday night’s LTC Class C football game between Bucksport and Calais-Woodland were shocking — for both teams.
The Golden Bucks scored a touchdown on the game’s first play from scrimmage and followed that with three more scores over the next 7 minutes and 20 seconds to take a 28-0 lead that left the visiting Silverados reeling en route to a 46-8 victory on a cold and rainy Carmichael Field.
“We can’t remember the last time we’ve had two games where we scored on the first play of the game and then got a turnover on the next play before scoring again,” said Bucks coach Joel Sankey.
After tailback Vinnie Tymoczko took the first handoff and raced off right tackle and down the sideline for a 67-yard touchdown run six seconds into the game, Isaac Redman recovered a fumble forced by Bucks teammate Michael White at the C-W 28-yard line. The Bucks scored seven plays later on a 4-yard TD run by Andrew Giosia.
The victory — Bucksport’s third in the last four weeks — evens the Bucks’ record at 3-3.
“They’re clearly a much better football team now than they were at the beginning of the year and I think if they played those teams again, the outcome might very well be different,” said Silverados head coach Ian Pratt, whose team is now 2-4.
Tymoczko was the offensive star of the game as he racked up 249 yards and four touchdowns on just 11 carries. He had TD runs of 67, 53 and 59 yards to account for three of Bucksport’s first four scores.
“It was definitely shocking to both teams. We thought it was going to be kind of a grind-it-out game. It was crazy, but we kept the momentum mounting from then on,” the senior back said. “The line’s really stepped up from the first three weeks. We weren’t getting push at first, but now we’re getting great push and blocking downfield.”
Bucksport center Cody Davis, tackles Ben Dunham-Kapaldo and Mike Bridges, and guards Dakota Cunningham and Dakota Lowell plus tight end Redman created fairly smooth sailing for the Bucks’ ground game as it churned up 9.6 yards per carry en route to 337 total rushing yards.
Meanwhile, the Bucks’ interior defensive line was just as dominating as it limited the Silverados to 193 total yards — just 50 of those coming in the second half.
“We had a lot of missed block assignments and their line is very fast and physical, so they were beating our blocks and getting in our offensive backfield,” said Pratt. “It’s definitely the best defensive line we’ve faced this year without question.”
Michael White led the Bucks’ defensive charge as he forced a fumble, recovered another, and added a sack among four tackles for losses.
“Number 53 was without question the difference in the game,” Pratt said. “No matter whether we tried to trap him or run away from him, he was in our backfield instantaneously. When he got there, he made the play and wrapped us up.”
White said it all started with film study and practice.
“We looked at tape and saw they pulled a lot, so the coaches put us out there so when they pulled, we could follow them right to where the ball was,” White explained. “They like to hand the ball off and wait for the play to develop, but we were getting there before it could develop.”
Calais-Woodland finally scored via a 12-play 72-yard drive to make it 28-8 with two seconds left in the first quarter, but the Bucks would tack on two more TDs in two of their next three possessions to put the game out of reach with a 40-8 halftime lead.
Spencer McCormick led the Silverados with 109 yards on 16 carries.
It’s been quite a turnaround for the Bucks, who started off 0-2.
“Our expectations were high, but we had a whole offensive line, quarterback and tailback we had to replace, and that took some time,” said Sankey. “We made a lot of mistakes, but we kept working and playing harder and harder and getting better every game.
“Our kids are playing with a lot of emotion. They’re having a lot of fun right now and it shows.”