SOUTH BERWICK — The battle of unbeatens came down to a classic finish.

Ryan Connors of Kennebunk boomed a 31-yard field goal with 1.2 seconds to play Friday night for a 17-14 victory that snapped Marshwood’s 19-game winning streak.

“I was like, ‘well, this is the way to beat Marshwood, it will feel the best,’ and it felt great,” said Connors.

Marshwood tied the game with 3:12 left on Justin Bryant’s 9-yard run and quarterback Tommy Springer’s 2-point conversion. Springer, constantly under pressure, set up the score with completions to John Valentine and Trevor Chase.

On the final 49-yard drive, Kennebunk quarterback Tripp Bush and Zack Sullivan connected on two key completions – a 10-yard quick slant on fourth-and-3 and an 11-yarder – to set up Connors.

“He just got open. He did his thing and I just got him the ball,” Bush said.

The Rams (8-0) clinched the top seed in Class B South. If the two powers advance, as expected, to the regional final, it will be played in Kennebunk. Marshwood (7-1) will be seeded second.

“It’s a big win, but we know we’re probably going to have to see them again, so we just have to keep that in the back of our minds. We can’t ride too high right now,” Bush said.

Both defenses shined against offenses averaging well over 40 points a game.

Led by linemen Brede Gibson and Evan Schindler and inside linebacker Dante DeLorenzo, the Rams contained Springer’s outside runs (19 carries, 40 yards). Springer entered the game completing 56 percent of his passes. He was 4 of 14 for 71 yards, was sacked three times, and was intercepted by linebackers Cam Lovejoy and Chase Lamontagne.

“We knew we had to contain the edge and how good (Springer is) and how well he can run,” Schindler said. “We all just put our heart into that game. We poured everything into that.”

Marshwood’s defense held Bush to 7-of-16 passing for 92 yards. Springer intercepted a pass in the end zone late in the first half. The Hawks also came up with a key fourth-down stop at their 14 with Kennebunk threatening to take a two-score lead.

Kennebunk scored first on a 13-play, 83-yard, first-quarter drive, with DeLorenzo going in from the 1.

A Springer-to-Chase 37-yard strike down the middle got the Hawks on the board in the second quarter. With regular kicker Jake Lindsay out because of an injury, backup Spencer Hammond’s PAT hit the right upright and was no good.

Derek Smith of Kennebunk broke a tackle near the line and scooted 49 yards for a 14-6 lead after Connors’ second PAT with 6:28 left in the third.

“I thought our defense played pretty well all night,” said Marshwood Coach Alex Rotsko. “Offensively, we just didn’t execute the way we’re capable. We just told the kids we’ve got three weeks to get better. Hopefully we’ll get a chance to play them again.”

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

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Twitter: SteveCCraig


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