Windham’s boys’ soccer team was holding on to a 3-1 lead with less than five minutes left in the Class A state championship game when Messalonskee’s Chris Hall collected a through pass behind the defense and looked to be going in for a breakaway.

Windham back Eric Gumaer grabbed his jersey from behind and pulled Hall down. That led to a red card and Gumaer’s ejection with 4:49 remaining.

But afterward, Windham keeper Dana King praised Gumaer’s play.

“It was a great play by EG,” said King. “He’s one of our best players on our field. Great play. It’s what we’re looking for in a center back.

“And I think it was the most mature thing I’ve ever seen. I don’t think I could have done that as a junior in the state title game, get myself sent off (for the team).”

THE FACT that Camden Hills brought a 17-0 record with 16 shutouts into the Class B boys’ soccer state title game didn’t faze Falmouth.

The Yachtsmen, who opened the season with only three returning starters (seniors Brandon Tuttle, Andrew Murry and Cam Bell), played a tough schedule that resulted in three losses, two ties and a wealth of experience.

“We’re playing Cape (Elizabeth) twice, Yarmouth twice, York twice, Greely twice,” said Falmouth Coach Dave Halligan. “You have to be better playing that (level of competition). Sometimes you can lose your edge (with a weaker schedule), but I don’t think that affected (Camden Hills) because they played us as tough as anybody’s played us this year.”

Grant Burfeind, a junior, scored twice Saturday as Falmouth beat Camden Hills 2-1 in Hampden for the school’s eighth state title in 12 years. It also marked the 300th career victory for Halligan, who mumbled something after the game about needing to double-check his numbers.

“This is their day,” he said as his players celebrated. “Don’t make this about me.”

JOEY SPINELLI, a junior defensive back for Wells, may be one of the smaller Warriors – he’s listed at 5-foot-8 – but he continues to make huge plays in the playoffs.

He intercepted two passes in a Western Class B quarterfinal win over York. Then he returned a fumble 93 yards for the first touchdown in a 23-6 semifinal victory over Westbrook.

The Blue Blazes had used a 60-yard pass from Terry Webber to Sam Johnson to move to a first down at the 11.

On second down, though, Webber was hit at the line and the ball popped out. Spinelli scooped it up at the 7 and had no one in front.

“It was a momentum killer, I thought,” said Spinelli. “It looked like they were going in for a score, the first points of the game. Instead, we went up 6-0.”

Spinelli is also the Warriors’ placekicker. But he missed the kick after his long run.

“I was about to collapse right there,” he said.

WESTBROOK’S FIRST season in Class B ended with a 5-5 record and certainly qualifies as a huge success. The Blazes won a playoff game for the first time in, well, anyone’s memory.

Asked what this season might do for the program, Coach Jeff Guerette said, “I think it was a great experience for our kids, a great experience for our city. I think it stings right now for everyone. I told my kids to walk out of here with their heads held high and be proud of what they’ve accomplished.”

WELLS WILL play defending Class B state champion Mountain Valley in the regional final for the second consecutive year. The difference this time is that the game will be at Wells at 12:30 p.m. Saturday. That’s because Wells beat Mountain Valley 28-12 on Oct. 7.

This is the game the Warriors have been looking forward to all year.

“This is awesome,” said Wells Coach Tim Roche. “I told the kids, if you’re going to win, you’ve got to beat the Valley. And we’ve done it once this year but it’s going to be different. It’s a championship game on Warrior Memorial Field.

“I’m so proud of the kids. This is what they’ve worked their butts off for.”

IN ACHIEVING a 9-1 record and a berth in the Western Class A final, the Thornton Academy football team has had numerous offensive and defensive standouts. With the season on the line Saturday against South Portland in the regional semifinals, junior linebacker Connor McCrum made the play that won the game and gave the Golden Trojans at least another Saturday of football.

McCrum was the one credited by Coach Kevin Kezal with stopping Red Riots’ running back Joey DiBiase inches short of the goal line in the waning seconds. It came on fourth-and-goal from the 2. If DiBiase had scored, South Portland would have moved on to the regional final and the Golden Trojans would have been handing in their equipment.

Thornton held on for a 20-15 win. South Portland finished at 7-3 in a nice comeback season for the Red Riots.

After the game, no one was sure which player or players made the stop. Upon further examination, McCrum got credit.

Another junior linebacker, Bobby Begin, said afterward that it was the most nervous and excited he’s been on a football field.

THORNTON ACADEMY’S Paul S. Hill Jr. Stadium had another new look Saturday. The Golden Trojans used their new scoreboard for the first time in their playoff game with South Portland. The scoreboard is in the same location as the old one, and includes a message board.

This summer, the school installed a synthetic turf field, lights, new home bleachers and a press box.

One person who played Division III football remarked that Hill Stadium was better than a lot of Division II and III college facilities.

TOP-RANKED Cheverus was missing star running back Spencer Cooke for the second consecutive playoff game but didn’t miss a beat again, shutting out Deering 45-0. in a Western Class A semifinal. Cooke has an injured right leg, and Coach John Wolfgram won’t say if he’ll be back at all.

But Cheverus has responded with plenty of balance.

In Saturday’s win, four Stags had at least 30 yards rushing, led by Donald Goodrich with 96. Quarterback Cam Olson rushed for 32 yards and passed for 69.

“We had good balance in our offense in terms of Brent Green, Colie Walsh and Cam running the ball, and Cam throwing the ball, making some good decisions,” said Wolfgram.

The defense chipped in with five interceptions, two of which were returned for touchdowns, with the other three setting up touchdowns.

Once Cheverus gained the momentum early on, the Stags never relinquished it.

“We build on momentum,” said Goodrich. “Lot of energy out there. We just keep going. Once we get a little, we just build up.”

– Staff Writers Tom Chard and Mike Lowe contributed to this report.