Oceanside airs it out to ground Camden HillsMeklin, James connect twice for TDs as Mariners edge Windjammers
Rockport — When the Oceanside and Camden Hills football squads stepped on rain-soaked Don Palmer Field Sept. 22 for a mid-afternoon girdiron battle, both looked to halt losing streaks and, when everything was said and done, the Mariners and Windjammers did everything possible to accomplish that goal.
However, when the final horn had sounded, it was visiting Oceanside, with two aerial scores from quarterback Sam Meklin to Raheem James, that had forged a hard-fought 14-8 win over Camden Hills in the Windjammers' homecoming game.
With Saturday's outcome, Oceanside improved to 2-2 on the campaign and Camden Hills 0-4. The Mariners opened the season with a win and then lost two straight contests before Saturday's victory over their rivals a few miles away. Camden Hills is winless in four games.
Camden Hills coach Steve Wadsworth said he felt the Mariners came in with the plan of running the football, while the visitors ended up beating the 'Jammers through the air.
"I thought we played hard," Wadsworth said. "I was proud of our defense [as] they were put in some tough spots. I'm not sure Oceanside beat us today as much as we beat ourselves. The turnovers were really the difference in a field position game. I give [Oceanside] credit though [because], at the end of the day, they made more plays than we did."
On Saturday, Camden Hills led 8-6 at halftime. Alex Crans rushed into the end zone from six yards with 2:42 left in the first half and then carried the ball for the two-point conversion to give the hosts an 8-0 cushion.
The Mariners dealt with a bit of adversity in the first half with five players sitting out the first quarter and another sitting out the entire first half for violating team policy.
"We were happy to get into halftime the way we did," said Oceanside coach Woody Moore. "I told the kids at the end of the game, 'Hey, sometimes you have to overcome some adversity.' And the kids stuck together."
Meklin's 20-yard scoring pass to James with 5:01 remaining in second quarter made it 8-6. A two-point conversion rush by Dan Stone failed.
The winning points came when Meklin hit James for a 46-yard scoring pass with 10:43 left in the fourth quarter to make it 12-8. Garrett Burns rushed for the two-point conversion to complete the scoring.
The game-winning score was the third time Meklin and James have collaborated on a touchdown this season.
"He caught a quick slant, made a couple moves in the middle of the field and just outran the guy to the corner," said Moore. "[James has] been pretty consistent this year. He hasn't had any lapses in terms of play or injury. It's an uncommon matchup for those two to be hooking up really. And it's just one of those things where Sam is going through is checks and Raheem is there. He's a heck of an athlete and he can do some tremendous things for us."
Oceanside had 36 carries for 125 yards and a two-point conversion. Dan Stone carried 21 times for 128 yards in a yeoman effort on the ground, while Meklin had one yard on seven carries and Burns four yards on three rushes. The Mariners also had a few rushes for minus yards, which accounts for the team total. Preston Spear and Trenton Jarrett also carried the ball for Oceanside.
Meklin was 9-of-16 passing for 135 yards and two touchdowns. James had two catches for 66 yards and two scores, Jacob Butman finished with three catches for 31 yards and Dan Stone three grabs for 29 yards. Travis Stone also caught a pass for nine yards.
When all was said and done, Dan Stone had a remarkable all-around day, with 128 yards on the ground and 29 yards through the air for 157 total yards.
Burns had a punt return for 22 yards.
Meklin's tip of a Crans' pass was Meklin's second Interception from his defensive end position in as many weeks. Additionally, Travis Stone stripped the ball from Nike Rozsahegyi and the Mariners recovered the ball on Camden Hills' 6-yard line with less than a minute to go, but Oceanside fumbled the ball back to the Windjammers on the next play. That marked the second time in the game the Mariners fumbled inside the 5-yard line.
Camden Hills rushed 38 times for 128 yards, including a touchdown and two-point conversion. The Windjammers were led by Alex Crans with 11 carries for 46 yards, Coleman Powers 71 yards on eight carries and Isaac Young 39 yards on 11 carries. Rozsahegyi also had eight carries.
The Windjammers completed 5-of-14 passes for 68 yards. Crans connected on 1-of-2 passes for 11 yards, and an interception, and Rozsahegyi 4-of-12 for 57 yards. Powers had four catches for 32 yards and Connor Graffam one reception for 36 yards.
Powers also had a kick return for 17 yards and Chris Weiss two kick returns for 20 yards.
Powers had quite a day with 120 positive yards overall for the Windjammers.
The Mariners have their most important test of the season on Friday, Sept. 28 when they travel to Farmington to face unbeaten Mount Blue, while the Windjammers will look to win their first game of the season at Old Town, the only other winless squad in Class B East.
"One thing I will say about my guys [is] they don't quit," said Wadsworth. "We will bounce back next week."
The Maine Principals' Association Crabtree Point Standings for Eastern Class B have not been updated with Saturday's result, but before the game, Oceanside (1-2, 90.4429 points) was ninth and Camden Hills (0-3, 34.4828 points) 14th (last). Gardiner (3-0, 160.0000 points) was first. The top eight teams qualify for the playoffs.
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