SOUTH BERWICK — Cameron Roll, the junior quarterback for Marshwood High’s football team, thinks that sometimes people forget how good the Hawks once were in football.
Well, everyone got a reminder Saturday.
Roll scored two touchdowns and threw for another as Marshwood won the Western Class B championship, edging York 21-20 in another dramatic chapter of their classic rivalry.
The top-ranked Hawks (10-1) will play Eastern winner Mt. Blue for the Class B championship next Saturday at Portland’s Fitzpatrick Stadium, the time to be determined. It will be Marshwood’s first appearance in a state final since 1989, when the Hawks won the Class A title.
“I don’t think anyone expected this,” said Brett Gerry, a sophomore back for the Hawks who rushed for 108 yards. “It really means a lot to the town and the players.”
Marshwood rallied from a 14-7 deficit to take a 21-14 lead with 7:13 remaining.
The Wildcats responded with a touchdown drive of their own, capped by a 2-yard sneak by quarterback Ross Hogan to make it 21-20. Ben Lawlor then kicked the apparent tying PAT, but York was penalized 5 yards for an illegal formation.
The Wildcats (8-3) had only 10 men on the field, only six on the line. A legal formation has seven on the line. The missing player belonged on the line.
Lawlor’s subsequent kick clipped the right goalpost and was no good, allowing Marshwood to hold onto its one-point lead.
“When you’re dealing with kids, those things happen,” said Wildcats Coach Randy Small. “It’s no one child’s fault. We’re a team. It was a lot of mistakes and a lot of good things. We just came up one point short.”
Roll was a major reason the Hawks won this game. He rushed for 105 yards and while he completed only one pass, it went for a 28-yard touchdown to Noah Kreider to get the Hawks back in the game.
His ability to break a long run off a simple run around the end hurt York all game.
“It’s something we’ve gone against probably 200 times in practice,” said Small. “We knew it was coming, knew how to stop it. We just got caught watching the game.”
Roll scored Marshwood’s first and last touchdowns.
The first came on a 21-yard run on the first drive of the game; the second came on a 12-yard run with 7:13 remaining. The second one was followed by a 2-point conversion rush by Gerry that gave Marshwood its 21-14 lead.
“I like to think speed kills in this game,” said Roll. “I like to do the best that I can to get around people and juke people out. I’m not big enough to run through people so I run around them.”
Marshwood rushed for 290 yards as a team. But twice in the first half the Hawks were stopped on downs inside the York 10.
York, meanwhile, controlled the clock with its power running game. The Wildcats had the ball for all but 2:27 of the second quarter. They were led by Sean Kelly, who had 105 rushing yards.
It was 7-7 at the half and York scored on its first possession of the third quarter, getting a 4-yard run from Kelly and Lawlor’s PAT kick.
Marshwood took advantage of a short York punt to get back in the game, on the touchdown pass to Kreider, who took a short pass over the middle at the 20, turned upfield and outraced the Wildcats down the right sideline. But Zachary Faskianos blocked the PAT to keep York in the lead, 14-13.
Marshwood then stopped York on fourth down at midfield and went in for the go-ahead score, the 12-yard run by Roll.
“I think a lot of people forgot how good we were,” he said. “Just to be part of the team that’s bringing it back is really something special. It’s something I’ll remember the rest of my life.”
Staff Writer Mike Lowe can be contacted at 791-6422 or at: [email protected]