SOUTH BERWICK – The scare was real.

Top-seeded Marshwood made mistakes early and trailed 7-0 at halftime to No. 8 Cape Elizabeth.

“In the first quarter, I was starting to think our season was over,” Marshwood Coach Alex Rotsko said.

But the Hawks came back with four unanswered touchdowns to beat the Capers 27-7.

Long runs accounted for all of Marshwood’s scores. Brett Gerry broke free for touchdown runs of 39, 31 and 30 yards. Nick Janes took a pitch and raced 64 yards.

“It was a little nerve-wracking, but we held it together,” Janes said of the comeback.

Marshwood (8-1) moves on to a rematch against No. 5 Wells (7-2) in next weekend’s Western B semifinals. The Warriors handed the Hawks their only defeat earlier this year, 36-6.

The Capers are done at 3-6.

But Cape Elizabeth did not look ready to be done

“We had momentum,” Cape Coach Aaron Filieo said. “We just couldn’t maintain it.”

Marshwood’s early problem was not being able to hold onto the ball. The Hawks fumbled the opening kickoff and recovered it, and then fumbled their first punt return — recovering that, too.

But when Marshwood fumbled a third time, on another punt return, Cape Elizabeth recovered at the Hawks 18.

The Capers went for the score right away, and quarterback Noah Wolfinger found Cam Wilson open in the end zone for the 18-yard scoring pass. Wilson kicked the extra point for a 7-0 lead.

Marshwood did not fumble on the kickoff return, but fumbled on the next play with the Capers recovering at the Marshwood 37.

Cape Elizabeth drove in and appeared to score on a 10-yard run, but a hold call nullified the play.

The Capers eventually turned the ball over on downs.

“We were very fortunate to be down only 7-0,” Rotsko said.

Marshwood marched into Cape Elizabeth territory twice in the second quarter, but could not sustain a drive.

“Their defensive line was dominating us,” Rotsko said, referring to Cape’s front five of Caelan Houle, Kyle Snowden, Jamie Hewes, Austin Petsinger and Tom Feenstra.

But in the second half, Cape was the team with the turnovers (one fumble, one interception) and Marshwood’s offensive line began creating holes.

“Great blocks and just cutting back,” said Gerry, who finished with 142 yards on 13 carries..

After Kyle Markham’s interception in Capers territory, Gerry took a reverse hand-off and tied the game with a 39-yard touchdown, with 8:21 left in the third quarter.

Gerry’s 31-yard broken-field run for a score two minutes later put the Hawks up for good.

Marshwood’s defense, led by linebacker Dan Lizotte and lineman Beau Blanchette, pitched a second-half shutout, holding the Capers to 150 yards. Marshwood’s offense, held to 69 yards in the first half, gained 285 for the game, all on the ground.

 

Staff Writer Kevin Thomas can be reached at 791-6411 or:

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Twitter: KevinThomasPPH