KENNEBUNK — In what may have been a dress rehearsal for the Class B South championship game, the defenses took the spotlight Saturday and Marshwood High cornerback Ian Parmley closed the show.

Parmley outjumped Kennebunk’s standout receiver Zack Sullivan in the end zone with three seconds left to snare the Hawks’ fourth interception and seal a 15-12 victory in a game between unbeaten teams.

Kennebunk had moved the ball 51 yards in 1:22 with no timeouts prior to Parmley’s pick.

“After (they) completed a couple it kind of got tough but we got it together and made a play,” Parmley said.

Marshwood improved to 7-0. Each member of the secondary – Parmley, Kyle Glidden, Joe Taran and Sam Cartmill – intercepted a pass thrown by Tripp Bush (9 of 23, 124 yards, one touchdown).

“The defense played great,” said Marshwood Coach Alex Rotsko. “The kids played hard right from the first whistle to the last.”

Kennebunk (6-1), the defending regional champ, was forced to throw because Marshwood’s front seven held the Rams to 122 rushing yards on 39 carries. Defensive tackles Ian Dures and Mike Cruz stuffed the middle, and the Hawks repeatedly flew to the ball in a swarm when the Rams tried to get outside with a triple-option offense.

“They couldn’t run it up the middle. That wasn’t even an option,” said Dures.

“If we’re not running the football it’s going to impact us because a lot of what we do is play-action. If you’re not running well, there is no play action (passing),” said Kennebunk Coach Joe Rafferty.

Kennebunk shut down Marshwood’s pass game but left a key opening at the wrong time.

The Hawks, trailing 12-7, had just come up big on defense when Taran beat Sullivan to the ball in the end zone in one-on-one coverage for the Hawks’ second interception.

On first down from the 20, Tommy Springer executed a deft fake to backup fullback Matt Goodwin, who entered the game because starter Justin Bryant suffered an ankle injury in the first half.

Springer kept the ball and got around the right end, going 80 yards for the winning points on the final play of the third quarter.

“We noticed they were cracking down and keying the (fullback) as he ran the ball so we decided to just do a keep off that play and I came out for a big one,” Springer said.

Taran ran in the 2-point conversion for a 15-12 advantage.

Marshwood opened the scoring on a 3-yard sneak by Springer. The 84-yard drive included a 43-yard Bryant run.

Kennebunk answered on its next possession. Sullivan (6 catches, 101 yards) went high to snare a 26-yard gain, a Bush-to-Derek Smith pass over the middle was good for 10 yards on fourth-and-4, and on the next play, Bush caught a halfback pass from Smith for 11 yards.

Dante DeLorenzo (17 carries, 58 yards) scored from the 2 but the extra point was blocked.

Kennebunk went ahead after an exchange of punts netted the Rams 40 yards. Smith boomed a 60-yarder that rolled out at the Marshwood 2.

Kennebunk got the ball back at the Hawks’ 22. A 17-yard pass to Sullivan set up Sullivan’s 5-yard touchdown catch.

Kennebunk’s attempt to convert a 2-point pass was unsuccessful.

Based on results with one week left in the regular season, Marshwood and Kennebunk appear headed toward a regional final rematch.

“I hope so. At least I hope we’re in,” said Rotsko. “I’m sure there’s a pretty good chance but there’s a couple other good teams we have to get through, Biddeford and Falmouth, and Greely’s been playing well, too.”

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

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