Fun road trip: Mariners pillage Raiders to notch first victorySpear, Burns score two TDs to highlight crazy road victory for Oceanside
Fryeburg — Nothing makes a long school bus ride seem shorter than a hard-earned victory.
The Oceanside football team, for the first time this season, can now make that claim.
It took longer than they had hoped, but the Mariners (1-4) tasted sweet victory Saturday afternoon, Oct. 5 in a high school road contest with Fryeburg Academy.
The Mariners jumped to an early lead and never trailed as they held off a late run from the Raiders (1-4) to come away with a hard-fought 38-34 win.
Oceanside's bus ride to Fryeburg Academy was approximately 270 miles round trip.
The game saw the return of Garrett Burns, who tore his meniscus during the first game of the regular season against Morse of Bath.
Burns not only racked up 86 yards on 12 carries, but also forced a fumble with 2:30 remaining in the game as the Raiders were driving for a potential game-winning touchdown.
The fumble was recovered by Christian Vitale and the Mariners ran out the clock.
First-year Mariner coach Wes Drinkwater said “it was as good a game as I thought we could have played.”
The Mariners changed their offensive scheme to a double-wing this week and had success with it against the Raiders, including a three-yard touchdown run by Burns on the team's opening drive, which took nearly eight minutes off the clock.
“Everyone knows I'm a spread offense guy, but I got sick of trying to pound a square into a circle," Drinkwater said. "I guess this is the direction we're going to go for a while and see what we can get out of it.”
The game was exciting from the onset and saw both teams rack up 22 points in the second quarter, including back-to-back kickoff returns for TDs from Fryeburg's Ben Southwick and Oceanside's Preston Spear.
Drinkwater called the sequence a "track meet" with three touchdowns being scored in the span of about 20 seconds.
Spear rushed for 97 yards on 11 carries, and two touchdowns (an 80-yard kick return and a 42-yard run) for Oceanside and also rushed in three two-point conversions, while Burns had rushing touchdowns of three and 13 yards, respectively, in addition to one two-point conversion.
Quarterback Hunter Grindle, who rushed for 103 yards on six carries, also had a 13-yard touchdown run for the visitors.
Southwick had two touchdowns for the Raiders, as did Ryan Gullikson, while Ryan Buzzell added one.
Oceanside punted with four minutes left in the game and the Raiders were moving the ball down the field before Burns caused a fumble, which sealed the win for the Mariners.
"He's kind of the heart of our team," said Drinkwater of Burns. "It was huge. I'm not saying they would have gone in to score, but Fryeburg has no problem moving the ball on offense. They put 28 points up against Kennebunk and they're the No. 2 team in the state. Big players make big plays in big situation and Garrett came up and stuck that kid, the ball went flying and we recovered. That play won the game for us."
In the Maine Principals' Association Crabtree Point Standings for Western Class B, Oceanside (0-4, 54.2857 points) is 10th, while Kennebunk (5-0, 155.5556 points) is first in the 11-team region. The top eight teams qualify for the playoffs.
Oceanside's win over Fryeburg Academy has not been reported to the Crabtree Point website, a victory that likely will move the Mariners up to ninth or eighth.
Associate Sports Director
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Mark has been covering local sports throughout Knox, Waldo and part of Lincoln county since 2007. He has a bachelor's degree in Mass Communication from the University of Maine and is also a 2000 graduate of Rockland District High School.
Mark is an avid fan of the Boston Red Sox, fantasy sports, the AMC drama "Breaking Bad" and iced coffee.
He resides in Thomaston with his wife Jenn and sons Beckett and Austin.
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