YARMOUTH — To look at Anders Overhaug and to listen to him speak, you would never get the impression he’s one of the best football players in Class C statewide. The Yarmouth High senior running back and safety prefers to talk about his team, first and foremost.

Yet to listen to his teammates, you discover Overhaug’s impact on the Clippers.

According to Ben Weinrich, a senior lineman, “Anders is the epitome of the perfect leader.”

Senior guard Jacob French said simply, “If he had to, Anders could put the team on his back and carry us.”

Overhaug and his teammates will be in the spotlight one more time Saturday, when the Clippers (11-0) look to retain their Class C state title against Bucksport (11-0) at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland at 2:36 p.m.

While excited about playing in the state game again, Overhaug is more excited about the message Yarmouth’s success sends to the community. The Clippers’ varsity football program is in its fifth year.

“I think it makes the little kids excited to play football,” he said before practice Tuesday. “It’s going to build even a better foundation because of our success now.”

Overhaug leads the Clippers’ potent running game with 1,610 yards and 23 touchdowns. He averages 16.4 yards per carry. From his strong safety spot, he is third on the team in tackles with 87, 17 coming in the 14-0 Western Class C title win against Traip Academy, including two touchdown-saving tackles.

“Anders is the leader and the heart of this team,” said Coach Jim Hartman. “Our intensity, our focus, all revolves around him. He doesn’t come off the field. He never quits on a play.”

Coming into the season, Overhaug knew his role would be greater as a senior than a junior.

“I knew I was going to have to do more,” he said. “I felt more responsibility to the team. I knew I had to be the one to inspire them and get them going.”

But Overhaug is really just one threat that the Clippers can use.

On defense, Weinrich has made an amazing 122 tackles, with five sacks, at noseguard. Linebacker Matt Woodbury has 93 tackles. Cornerbacks Bryce Snyder and Bart Gallagher have combined for nine interceptions.

Offensively, the Clippers have rushed for 4,402 yards. Junior Caleb Uhl complements Overhaug well, with 1,073 rushing yards (11.2 yards a pop) and 13 touchdowns.

Overhaug praises the play of his offensive line: tackles Keith McDonald and Ethan Nightingale, guards Weinrich and French, center Thomas Lord and tight end Nate Shields-Auble.

“Most of my yards are off big holes,” he said. “I don’t have to make a cut until the secondary.”

Not that Overhaug or Uhl need big holes.

“Our line does a great job,” said French. “We do just enough to bust them for whatever they can get. They do great jobs breaking runs and getting down the field.”

And while the linemen play in relative anonymity, they can accept that.

“I’m happy winning games. I’m happy watching our running backs rush for amazing yards,” said French. “We take a lot of pride in that.”

“Every week, after every game, when the stats come out and we see how many rushing yards we had, we know we had a big part in that,” said Lord, who moved to center from guard this year.

No matter who gets the credit, the Clippers — especially the seniors — are glad to be back in the big game.

“It’s our final year, this is how we should end it, play the state game,” said Weinrich. “And hopefully win it.”

Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: [email protected]

Twitter: MikeLowePPH