DOVER-FOXCROFT, Maine — The Foxcroft Academy football team averaged a robust 60 points per game and allowed just one touchdown during its first four games this season — leaving skeptics to wonder how the Ponies would respond to a true test.
That test was supposed to come Friday night, but instead it was more of the same as the Ponies used a dominant two-way performance to remain unbeaten with a 42-0 homecoming rout of previously unbeaten Orono at Oakes Field.
“They just played hungry and rose to the occasion,” said Foxcroft coach Danny White, who at halftime also was honored as a new inductee into the school’s athletic hall of fame. “They knew it was a big-time game and they put the work in this week and really stepped up. That’s what it’s all about, stepping up when it matters and tonight we were able to do it.”
Foxcroft’s lightning-quick defense limited an Orono offense that had averaged 436.3 yards per game to just 129 total yards while securing its fourth straight shutout.
“The focus defensively was to stick to our keys,” said senior linebacker Alex Stevens, who led the Ponies with 16 tackles. “We knew they had three good backs in their backfield so everyone just had to trust each other and not stall at all but keep going forward against them.”
Junior linebacker Corey Bjornson added a quarterback sack also scored the game’s final touchdown with 44.3 seconds left on a 16-yard fumble return after teammate Kolby Kendall stripped Orono quarterback Chad Orn of the football.
“We knew they had big, big runners and that they didn’t pass much,” said Bjornson, “so we focused on getting our linebackers where we needed to be and executed the game plan.”
Foxcroft’s offense amassed 459 total yards, with senior halfback Don Boyer rushing for 160 yards and two touchdowns on 26 carries behind tackles Alex Sedore and Louis Lafache, guards Dustin Raymond and Cody Levensalor and center Craig Chambers.
“Our line really does a good job and we switched up the offense a little bit this week and they were just opening holes left and right,” said Boyer, who also had three pass receptions for 57 yards. “That’s really what drove me to all of the yards.”
Junior quarterback Hunter Law completed 8 of 11 passes for 206 yards, including touchdown strikes of 33 and 50 yards to senior wideout Ryan Rebar.
“They pretty much went man-to-man on me,” said Rebar, who finished the game with five catches for 149 yards. “Hunter Law did a good job of throwing the ball to the right places so I did my best to make plays for him.”
Foxcroft, which now has outscored its opponents by a combined 282-8 during its 5-0 start, did face some adversity against the Red Riots.
The Ponies quickly advanced the ball on its first possession of the game, but a fumbled snap at the Orono 2-yard-line was recovered by the Red Riots, who then drove 55 yards in 14 plays before being forced to punt.
It turned out to be the highlight of the night for Orono.
Foxcroft then marched 77 yards, with Law passing to Rebar down the right sideline for 39 yards to help set up a 3-yard scoring run by Boyer with 7:11 left in the opening half. Boyer added the first of his three two-point conversion runs to give the Ponies an 8-0 lead.
“That was a big moment, there’s no question about it,” said White. “We turned the ball over and then they had some success and we bent a little bit but we didn’t break, and from there we just played more aggressively.”
Orono went three-and-out on its next possession, and Foxcroft then drove 74 yards in seven plays with Law passing over the middle to Boyer for 19 yards and then finding Rebar behind the defense for a 33-yard touchdown strike that made it 16-0 with 3:38 left in the half.
The Ponies added touchdowns on each of their three second-half possessions.
Law and Rebar again worked the right sideline for the first score, with Rebar cutting in front of a defender to catch the ball near the Orono 25-yard line and then beating another defender to the end zone to cap off a 50-yard play to push the Ponies’ lead to 24-0 with 9:17 left in the third quarter.
Foxcroft went 62 yards the next time it touched the ball, using two third-down conversions and one fourth-down conversion — a 20-yard pass from Law to Boyer — before Stevens scored on a 15-yard counter run to make it 30-0 with 2:18 remaining in the period.
A 47-yard pass from Orn to Cameron Mowrer enabled Orono to reach the Foxcroft 17 late in the third quarter, but the drive stalled from there as Norton Revell was limited to a 1-yard gain on fourth-and-2 from the 9 to turn the ball back to the Ponies.
Foxcroft countered with a grueling 16-play, 92-yard drive that consumed 8 minutes, 39 seconds of the clock and featured 10 carries by Boyer for 61 yards, including the final 10 yards to the end zone with 3:16 remaining.