It’s defense was the stingiest in the state all season, and when Winslow needed to rely on its defense Saturday in the Class C football state championship game, that unit was up to the challenge.

The Black Raiders stopped Yarmouth twice inside the 15, and Trenton Bouchard returned an interception 34 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter to secure a 24-10 win and a second straight state championship Saturday afternoon at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

Winslow (11-0) managed just two first downs in the second half, but the Black Raiders retained their title thanks to a defense that recorded seven shutouts in 11 games and held Yarmouth (10-1) scoreless in the second half.

Nate St. Amand ran for 131 yards on 26 carries for the Black Raiders, and quarterback Jacob Trask added 94 yards – with 64 coming on a long run that set up the first touchdown early in the game.

“The line gave me a huge hole,” Trask said of his long run.

Winslow was playing in its fourth straight state final. The Black Raiders beat Leavitt last year after losing to Foxcroft Academy in 2012 and Leavitt in 2013.

“It’s a surreal feeling,” said Trask, a senior. “I thought it was real important that we’ve been here before. That helped to settle us down and gave us a lot of confidence.”

Trask made his presence felt in the secondary with two interceptions late in the game.

“We’ve faced two good passing teams the last two weeks,” said Winslow Coach Mike Siviski, whose team beat Old Town in the North final. “We have eight starters back on defense. Yarmouth threw the ball very well. I thought we could run the ball more than we did.”

Winslow was clinging to a 17-10 lead in the third quarter when Bouchard made the biggest play of the game. Yarmouth quarterback John Thoma, who had success throwing in the flat to Noah Colby-George, threw a pass to the right side. Bouchard was waiting, made the interception and took it down the sideline for the score.

“That turned the whole game around,” said Siviski.

Another big moment, said Siviski, was Ryan Gagnon’s 37-yard field goal just before halftime.

“That gave us a lot of momentum,” said Siviski.

Yarmouth played without its leading rusher, Cody Cook, who suffered a knee injury in the South final against Wells.

“We tried to run the football, but we just couldn’t get it into the end zone,” said Yarmouth Coach Jason Veilleux. “We’re a run-first, pass-second team. Not having Cody obviously hurt our chances to run the ball.

“We accomplished a lot this season. It would have been nice to win the state championship, but I think we restored a lot of pride in the Yarmouth program.”

The Clippers were playing in their first state final since 2011 when they won the second of back-to-back state championships.

Trask’s 64-yard run on the opening series put the ball on the 3. He scored from there, and Gagnon’s point after made it 7-0.

Yarmouth moved the ball early and got on the board on a 33-yard field goal by Andrew Beatty with 4:59 left in the first quarter. But the Black Raiders soon made it 14-3 on fullback Kenny Rickard’s 3-yard run.

Early in the second quarter, Thoma passed to Remi LeBlanc down the far sideline. LeBlanc made a nice move to get away from the defense and complete a 49-yard touchdown.

The Clippers got to the Winslow 13 early in the second half after a pass interference call and faced a fourth-and-2 from the 5. But Jack Snyder was thrown for a 2-yard loss.

“It wasn’t the best play calling on my part,” said Veilleux.

Yarmouth also turned the ball over on downs at the 14 early in the fourth.

Winslow linebacker Alex Clark, playing in his fourth state final, was a force on defense.

“This team really came together this season. This is the best team I’ve played on,” he said.

Tom Chard can be reached at 791-6419 or:

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Twitter: TomChardPPH