Wells Owen Berry (left) and Michael Wrigley (right) celebrate breaking a 7-7 tie in the third quarter.

Wells Owen Berry (left) and Michael Wrigley (right) celebrate breaking a 7-7 tie in the third quarter.

CAPE ELIZABETH– After a tied first half, the second-seeded Wells Warriors came back to triumph over the first-seeded Cape Elizabeth Capers, 27-14, and will march on to the Class C State Championship game.

Tied 7-7 for more than two and a half quarters, the Capers and Warriors tested each other’s defenses, struggling between playing it safe and risk-taking. Even seasoned players worked hard to put points on the board, such as Cape’s Ben Ekedahl and Jeb Boeschenstein, who lined up a 25 yard touchdown reception for Ekedahl to put Cape on the board.

Though the line of scrimmage moved, few real gains made a frustrating first half for teams who have been wrecking the opposition all playoff season.

The evenly-matched game was radically different than either teams’ prior postseason games: Wells executed a shutout and a 56-12 crush; the Capers buried opponents in the sand 43-7 and 40-6. Although, there were some expectations based on the teams’ recent history when the Capers won against Wells in regular season, 13-7.

“Cape beat us so we know they’re good. We came into here saying we’ve got to shut down their offense and I think we did a pretty good job of it. I thought our kids did a great job defensively. We’ve been under the pressure here saying, ‘we can’t cover the pass,’ but I thought we did a pretty good job for the most part. We’re just excited,” said Wells head coach Tim Roche.

As the third quarter continued without traction, players became more reckless in an attempt to make a crucial difference and the incomplete passes flew. Wells Evan Whitten plowed through tacklers like dominos, but Cape captain Nat Jordan and defensive back Nat Spicer were capable of shutting down the most daring plays.

The line of scrimmage migrated across the Capers side throughout the third with no results, so when, with 1:56 left Warrior Riley Dempsey pushed through the pack to score a 23 yard touchdown reception, even the players appeared shocked until the kick cleared and the scoreboard lit 14-7.

“They put a little more pressure on us, but we deal fine with pressure. We know it’s easy when its easy, that’s what we always say, but we overcame adversity. I feel awesome, we’ve been waiting three years for this,” said Wells Chad Fitzpatrick. And overcome they did. Wells dry spell over, the Warriors capitalized on momentum in the fourth quarter and Owen Berry scored a touchdown run in the first three minutes, putting Wells up 21-7.

That was enough for many faithless Cape Elizabeth fans, who began visibly emptying the stands with six minutes left on the clock in disregard of good sportsmanship. The faithless missed Dempsey’s second touchdown as well as an Ekedahl/Boeschenstein 60 yard touchdown pass with thirty seconds to go, good for a respectable 27-14.

Taking a knee to finish out the game, the Wells team were solemn winners at first, and it seemed as if they had either used up their celebrating when they broke the tie or never expected to win against an undefeated team. That mood didn’t last long after they were presented with the Class C South Regional title.

“We fired on all cylinders. They’re a great team so we expected a great game. We come out respecting every opponent and just play our hardest each game. The scoreboard doesn’t indicate how hard everybody plays,” said Wells freshman Henry Thiffault, in the middle of a raucous red and white sea of players, proud parents, and coaches.

The Wells Warriors earned the right to compete in the state championship game on Nov. 11 at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland, where they will face the North’s best, Mount Desert.


Wells Evan Whitten on a tear downfield sacked by Cape Elizabeth's Nat Spicer outside the danger zone. Cape captain Jacob Jordan and Wells Alex Holmes-Staples run behind.

Wells Evan Whitten on a tear downfield sacked by Cape Elizabeth’s Nat Spicer outside the danger zone. Cape captain Jacob Jordan and Wells Alex Holmes-Staples run behind.


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