CAPE ELIZABETH — Wells High senior quarterback Owen Berry knew he had done everything he could to get his injured shoulder ready for the Class C South final after missing the Warriors’ first two playoff games.

At the coin toss, Berry lobbied Coach Tim Roche for his regular starting spot.

“I went up to him and asked him, ‘What do you want?’ And he said, ‘Give me a chance,'” Roche said.

It proved a chance worth taking. Berry completed a pass on Wells’ first offensive snap and continued to make plays at key times to lead second-seeded Wells to a 27-14 win Saturday at No. 1 Cape Elizabeth.

“I’ve played in this game three years and it was a loss the first two times,” Berry said of the regional final. “I just told everybody, I’m not going to be a loser this time. I want to win this one. I want to go to the state championship game.”

Wells (10-1) will face North champion Mt. Desert Island (9-1) in the Class C state final next Saturday at Portland’s Fitzpatrick Stadium. It’s the Warriors first trip to a state final since winning the Class B championship in 2011. MDI will be making its first state championship game appearance after knocking off three-time defending state champion Winslow in the North final Friday night.

Cape Elizabeth (10-1) beat Wells 13-7 in the regular season to earn home-field advantage for the playoff rematch.

“When you have two teams that are evenly matched like that, you’re going to win some, they’re going to win some, and you just hope that you don’t lose the one that sends you home,” Cape Coach Aaron Filieo said. “To their credit, Wells made plays when they had to.”

Berry completed 7 of 9 passes for 125 yards, including a 23-yard touchdown to Riley Dempsey on third-and-14 with 1:56 to play in the third quarter, giving Wells a 14-7 lead.

Berry had twice been sacked in similar situations. This time, he adeptly stepped forward to deliver a high strike that was snared by a leaping Dempsey.

“I started moving into open space and Owen made a great throw, and I just had to make the play,” Dempsey said. “He did a great job today. He made a lot of big-time throws.”

Berry also scored on a 6-yard bootleg with nine minutes remaining to increase the lead to 21-7.

Dempsey finished Wells’ scoring with a 3-yard run with 51 seconds to play. That score was set up by a Michael Wrigley interception and a 31-yard run by Evan Whitten (21 carries, 111 yards).

Wrigley started Wells’ two previous playoff games at quarterback, throwing two touchdowns in a 35-0 semifinal win against Fryeburg Academy.

Berry said he treated his sore throwing shoulder with heat, ice and tape, and finally a pain-killing shot.

“There were a lot of questions about how Owen’s shoulder was, and it was one hell of a game by him,” said wide receiver Jordan Cluff, who caught three passes for 50 yards. “He saw kids when no one else did. He ran the ball. He got yards. He made a play out of nothing whenever he could. I’m proud of him.”

Going into the game, Cape Elizabeth was perceived to have an advantage in the passing game. Cape quarterback Jeb Boechenstein was 5 of 6 in the first half, with a 25-yard TD to Ben Ekedahl (six catches, 60 yards) and Wells’ secondary was called for three pass interference penalties, two on Dempsey.

In the second half, though, Boechenstein was 3 of 12 for 20 yards. Dempsey and Nolan Potter both made hits to cause incompletions. Cape’s lone second-half touchdown came when Boechenstein took an Ekedahl pass on a trick play for a 60-yard score with 29 seconds to play against Wells’ second-team defense.

“A lot of people question our secondary, but definitely in the second half we stepped up and made some plays and we just played great defense,” Dempsey said.

Wells’ defensive front held Cape to 29 yards rushing on 22 carries – just four yards in the second half, and none after Cluff shot through from his defensive tackle slot to slam Ekedahl for a 7-yard loss on a jet sweep to end the third quarter.

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