SOUTH BERWICK, Maine — Marshwood High School football coach Alex Rotsko and his staff couldn’t make a decision on senior quarterbacks Luc Blanchette and Kyle Parmley this summer.
The indecision could lead to even more headaches for the Hawks’ opponents this season.
Rotsko played both quarterbacks on Friday night, and the pair started the season with brief but impressive results in Marshwood’s 47-0 victory over Greely on Friday night.
Blanchette guided the Hawks to last year’s Western Maine Class B championship game. Parmley earned himself a shot following a strong preseason.
“They’re both good players,” Rotsko said. “They’re both capable and we couldn’t make a decision. One hasn’t outplayed the other. (Blanchette) can play running back as well and we’re able to do a lot of different things in there and mix some things up.”
Blanchette started on Friday and opened the game’s scoring with a 1-yard sneak; he followed that with a 41-yard touchdown pass to Jack Spear to give the Hawks a 13-0 lead in the first quarter.
When Parmley took over late in the first quarter, Blanchette slid to running back and caught a 17-yard pass. His versatility also helped spring back Brett Gerry for 126 yards rushing on seven carries with two touchdowns; Gerry also caught a 64-yard touchdown pass from Parmley.
“Kyle can pass, I can run, and I think (Rotsko) will be doing some interesting things by putting me at halfback,” Blanchette said. “I think it’s going to be a good dynamic. If teams saw me play on film last year, they’re probably expecting me. If they see Kyle, they won’t know what’s going on. He can play to my level, if not further in certain situations.”
Parmley is more of a pocket passer, while Blanchette grew up as a running back. Parmley’s emergence also allows Blanchette to play full-time as a defensive back.
“It’s good because we’ll be good at passing and running and it’ll be hard for defenses to prepare for,” Parmley said.
ROCHESTER — The defense for the Portsmouth High School football team will face more intricate offenses than it saw in Friday’s opener against run-oriented Spaulding, but its performance in a 26-14 win had its coaches applauding.
“Honestly, way above my expectations,” said coach Brian Pafford, of a unit that returned only half its starters from last year. “Those guys played well. We had a good old-fashioned submarine plan to keep their line from firing off and we did it, and we filled the gaps. And we’re improved tackling in the three weeks since our first scrimmage.”
Defensive linemen Quintin Desjardins, Evan Jones, Justis Mattis-Clark, De’Vonn Wilson-Miles and Logan Adams led the way in the trenches. The Clippers led 20-0 after allowing just 50 yards of offense in the first half and hung on despite allowing two third-quarter touchdown drives.
“We just had a high motor,” said Mattis-Clark, a senior who had two tackles for a loss. “We were just going off the ball as hard as we can. … We didn’t stop. We didn’t give up.”
The challenge goes up several degrees when Bedford (1-0) comes to town for the home opener this Friday. The high-flying Bulldogs, mentioned among the favorites in Division I, took it to Manchester Memorial in their opener, 41-7.
“We’re ready,” said Mattis-Clark. “I can’t wait for next week, honestly.”
Succi stands out
KITTERY, Maine — Bright spots for Traip were as prevalent as the gathering storm that chased it off the field in its opener on Saturday, but coach Ron Ross found things to like about the play of sophomore quarterback Angelo Succi.
Succi, making his first varsity start at the position, finished 3-of-8 for 40 yards in a 26-6 loss to Old Orchard Beach. He was intercepted by Bryan Roberts on a fourth-and-long at midfield in the third quarter and lost a fumble. He was also plagued by a pair of errant snaps that resulted in big losses.
But he also led three good-sized drives, time-eaters, which is going to be the recipe for winning this season if the young Rangers can find a way to do it more consistently.
“Angelo, he played a smart game,” said Ross. “His pre-snap reads were good, as soon as we found someone to snap it to him. We’ve just got to get a little better.”
The Rangers (0-1) hit the road for a game at Maranacook on Friday night.
Versatile Oppici lifts Exeter
EXETER — Matt Oppici is a valuable asset as Exeter’s place kicker, but coach Bill Ball said, without question, his specialist will also see plenty of snaps in the field this season.
Friday night showed why.
Oppici, Exeter’s 6-foot, 185-pound senior who’s in his second year as a starter, caught his first career touchdown pass as a tight end late in the third quarter of Friday’s 17-0 win over Manchester Central.
The play came on a fourth-and-goal rollout from quarterback Grant LaButte, who sold a play fake, escaped the pocket and found Oppici open behind the defense, leaking out to the front pylon.
Oppici also drilled a 35-yard field goal in the second quarter and went 2 for 2 on extra points. That means he accounted for 11 of Exeter’s 17 points on the night.
“He’s gonna play,” Ball said of using Oppici in different roles. “He can play the defensive side, too. He’s just a football player.”
Adding to the drama of Oppici’s score was the situation. He was initially sent out for a 21-yard field goal attempt before Ball stepped onto the field and called for a timeout.
“We wanted to make it a two-score game,” said Ball, whose team was holding a 3-0 lead at the time, “and we were also looking at where they were aligned. They had a lot of guys outside the tight-end wing. So we called timeout and ran a play.”