Sports

Shire football remains perfect on the season

HOULTON, Maine — The pursuit of perfection continues for the Houlton varsity football team.

Houlton improved to 3-0 on the season following Friday night’s dominating 44-20 victory over Stearns. The Shires will look to continue that hot streak at 7 p.m. Friday, Oct. 8, when the team hosts Mattanawcook Academy.

Houlton is currently ranked first in the 8-man small school North division, while Mattanawcook Academy (3-1) is a close second. 

This Friday’s game will be a battle of two high-scoring offenses. The Shires have outscored opponents 164-26 through their first three games and are averaging 55 points per contest, while allowing just 8.7 points to the opposition.

Mattanawcook Academy is averaging 50 points per game, while allowing 37.5 to its foes.

Against Stearns, the Shires started slower than usual, scoring just once in the opening quarter and found themselves trailing 8-6 at the end of the frame.

It took a little while to get back on track after having two weeks away from football,” Houlton coach Jon Solomon said. “We have a few athletes and our uptempo pace suits them well.  Stearns played hard all night and Aidan Sanders is a playmaker for them. Stearns was a good test for us and we learned a lot about ourselves.”

The Shires had been shut down for two  weeks as the school was in a remote learning status. That meant the team was unable to host practices during that time period.

Whatever rust the team had, it quickly shook loose in the second quarter as Houlton scored four times to blow open the game. The team led 36-14 at the halftime break.

Shire quarterback Isaiah Ervin completed 7-of-12 passes for 161 yards and a touchdown. He also carried the ball nine times for 94 yards and a score. Caleb Shearer completed 10 of 31 passes for 186 yards and two touchdowns for Stearns.

Houlton’s Caleb Solomon scored three rushing touchdowns and one receiving. He finished with six carries for 104 yards on the ground and two receptions for 81 yards. Shire Chris Caswell rumbled for 185 yards on 16 carries and returned an interception for a touchdown. He also had two 2-point conversions.

Houlton’s Troy Hipsley rounded out the scoring as he rushed four times for 68 yards with a touchdown.

Houlton amassed 628 yards of total offense, compared to just 338 for Stearns. Aidan Sanders led the Minutemen with four catches for 104 yards and two touchdowns, despite nursing a leg injury.

HOULTON, Maine — Slipping past a would be tackler is Houlton’s Caleb Solomon during Friday night’s game against Stearns. Solomon finished with four touchdowns on the night as Houlton won 44-20. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

HOULTON, Maine — Shire Chris Caswell (left) tries to shake off a tackle by Stearns’ Caden Raymond during Friday night’s football contest. Houlton won 44-20. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

HOULTON, Maine — Shire Troy Hipsley rushes for a big gain during Houlton’s football game against Stearns Friday evening. Houlton won 44-30. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

HOULTON, Maine — Houlton’s Collin Crouse (right) tackles Stearns’ Caden Raymond during Friday night’s football game. Houlton won 44-20. (Joseph Cyr | Houlton Pioneer Times)

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