WATERVILLE – A game that was wildly frantic in the first half returned to a bit of normalcy in the third quarter when Waterville High did what it does best: Run the ball.

The Panthers put together an 18-play, 91-yard drive that ended on the first play of the fourth quarter of their Pine Tree Conference Class B game against Madison/Carrabec on Saturday at Drummond Field. Waterville took a 28-point lead on Derek LaChance’s 3-yard run and then held on the Bulldogs, 55-36.

“That felt good because we wasted a lot of time getting a lot of first downs,” Waterville running back/linebacker J.T. Whitten said. “Then to score at the end of it, that was good.”

Waterville (4-2) scored 41 points in the first half, but the lead never quite felt comfortable because Madison/Carrabec (2-4) moved the ball well out of its spread offense and scored 20 points.

However, the Bulldogs only had two possessions in the third quarter and were forced to punt both times.

After the second punt, Waterville put together its clock-killing drive and made the lead feel safe.

Whitten sparked the drive with 40 yards on five carries but shared the load with LaChance (10 yards on the drive) and Evan Greatorex (24 yards on the drive).

“It was timely because I think we needed to get a break from defense and give our defense a rest,” Waterville Coach Frank Knight said.

“Again, when you drive the field and punch it in, that is a positive thing for the offense.”

To call the first half wild would be an understatement. Waterville went up 7-0 when Wood scored from 18 yards on the Panthers’ first possession. Whitten scored three plays later, after an interception by Devin Burgess gave the Panthers the ball at the Madison 12.

Madison/Carrabec replied with a 51-yard TD run by Cody Couturier, then recovered an on-side kick.

However, the Bulldogs’ drive ended when Whitten picked off a pass by quarterback Danny Moreshead and returned it 70 yards for a score.

The Panthers extended their lead when Nick Danner recovered a fumble in the end zone on the Bulldogs’ first play from scrimmage after the interception return.

Madison/Carrabec responded with a 4-yard TD pass from Moreshead to Kyle Williams late in the first quarter and a 15-yard pass from Moreshead to Stephen Cusson early in the second.

Waterville scored a pair of rushing touchdowns, one by Wood for 33 yards and a 1-yard run by Whitten, which followed an interception.

Moreshead, making his first start at quarterback, added another touchdown pass in the fourth quarter. He finished 19 of 32 for 199 yards, with three touchdowns and four interceptions.

“We came out this week and we said we were going to throw the football,” Madison/Carrabec Coach Matt Friedman said.

“We made a change at quarterback and Danny Moreshead made some mistakes, but he is going to learn from them.”

Whitten finished with 113 yards rushing. Woods added 98 yards, Greatorex ran for 67 and LaChance had 25 yards.