WESTBROOK – Sean Kelly rushed for a pair of touchdowns, including a tiebreaking 9-yard run in the fourth quarter as York slipped past Westbrook 21-14 in a Western Class B football semifinal Saturday afternoon at Olmstead Field.
The third-seeded Wildcats (8-2) will travel to Marshwood (9-1) to face the top-seeded Hawks in the regional final at 12:30 p.m. Saturday.
Despite scoring York’s first touchdown of the game on a 10-yard run early in the second quarter, Kelly was limited to 44 yards on 14 carries in the first half. But he came up big after Westbrook (7-3) tied the game at 14 in the opening moments of the fourth quarter. He was a workhorse on York’s next possession, carrying the ball five times for 42 yards to help the Wildcats regain the lead.
“I had a little bit of a slow start and the nerves were running through me,” said Kelly, who finished with 101 yards on 24 carries. “I knew I needed to step it up in the second half. I did, and my line was there to block for me.
“It was awesome for us to be able to finish that, and to come out on top feels great.”
“He played well in the second half,” said York Coach Randy Small.
“Give the offensive line credit, too. The running backs get all the glory and we know that, but it was a physical game on the line.”
Westbrook got off to a great start, scoring on its first possession. The Blue Blazes made it look easy as they quickly drove 52 yards. Cale Bollig completed the drive with a 1-yard run on a direct snap, and Ben Grant ran in for the 2-point conversion.
York answered with touchdowns on back-to-back possessions in the second quarter to take a 14-8 lead going to halftime.
The first score was set up by a 43-yard pass from Ross Hogan to Mitchell Lee to the Westbrook 12 with 5.8 seconds left in the first quarter. Moments later, Kelly scored on a 10-yard run. The conversion pass failed, and York trailed 8-6.
The Blue Blazes had a chance to build on their lead on their next series. But a questionable fumble stalled the drive at the York 11 after it appeared as though David Breunig was down when the ball came loose at the end of a 24-yard run.
“You don’t want to turn the ball over and that was unfortunate,” Westbrook Coach Jeff Guerette said when asked about the call.
York took advantage of the turnover. A 36-yard reception by Lee started a drive that culminated in a Hogan keeper from the 1. Hogan then connected with Lee for the 2-point conversion, and the Wildcats led 14-8.
Westbrook answered early in the fourth quarter when Grant scored on a 10-yard run. But Grant was stopped on the 2-point conversion attempt, leaving the game tied at 14-14.