KITTERY — In a Western Class C football semifinal matchup of former cellar-dwellers turned contenders, Traip Academy firmly put itself a step ahead of Maranacook on Saturday at Alumni Field.

Traip’s defense forced four turnovers, and the second-seeded Rangers posted their second playoff shutout, a 21-0 win over the third-seeded Black Bears. For Traip, it was another significant stride away from the 51-game losing streak that end when its current seniors were freshmen. Maranacook was 0-8 four years ago.

“Incredible. Incredible. We’ve talked about it since we were in seventh and eighth grade. We said that we were going to be the class to lead to the championship and nobody thought we could do it, and we’re on the road,” said Traip senior fullback/linebacker Tyler Nay.

A tough 2-yard touchdown run by Nay and his ensuing 2-point conversion on Traip’s first possession of the second half helped the Rangers (8-2) pull away.

Traip (8-2) will travel to Yarmouth (10-0) for the Western Maine final at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. The defending Class C state champion Clippers have won 22 straight.

“Look at where we’re going. (Zero) and 51 to (a title game)? Really?” Traip Coach Ron Ross said. “You’re only as good as your seniors, and we say it all year long and our seniors are pretty damn good. So, here we are, you know. They got us here and they’re taking us to the next level.”

Junior running back Cory Aldecoa also helped. He lugged the ball 34 times for 199 yards, including a 14-yard touchdown that opened the scoring. Some of his best work came when Traip went to an unbalanced line, with junior tackles Dan Eddy and Ben Castellano on the left side along with senior guard Pat Norton.

Traip gained 279 yards, all on the ground, with Nay getting 79 yards on 11 carries. Center Joe Harty, sophomore guard Nick Ovington and tight ends Cam Cavanaugh and Nick Dulac also helped create a physical mismatch.

“Our line is outstanding,” Ross said. “That’s not a Class C line right there. That’s a Class A line, I don’t care what anybody says. All they did all offseason was get bigger, stronger, faster, and if you can’t run behind that line … you shouldn’t be coaching.”

Traip made it 13-0 on a 1-yard run by quarterback Matt Clifford midway through the second quarter, finishing a 62-yard drive that was jump-started by consecutive 18- and 12-yard runs around left tackle by Aldecoa.

Maranacook (8-2) beat Traip 22-6 in the season opener, but the Black Bears were without four key starters in the rematch. Maranacook disdained its running attack early in the game, but the Black Bears didn’t have much success through the air, either. Caleb Castonguay finished 6 of 21 for 54 yards with two interceptions. Top receiver Seth Miller didn’t play, and their second-best pass catcher, tailback Luke Emery, was limited by an ankle injury. He had just eight carries for 19 yards.

“Traip’s a really good team and I had four starters go out in the last week and a half, and I just couldn’t plug the dam anymore,” Maranacook Coach Joe Emery said. “I thought we could do a really good job passing, and we didn’t get it done today. We didn’t execute and Traip did, as simple as that.”

Traip held Maranacook to 104 yards and twice stopped the Bears in the red zone with turnovers. It was the fifth shutout of the season for the Rangers.

“We caused turnovers today and we didn’t have any turnovers,” Ross said. “(Maranacook) supposedly had the better defense. … Our defense took that personal. Actually we took a lot of things personal this week.”