LEWISTON — It took the top-seeded Leavitt Hornets about a half to settle into their home away from home – Lewiston’s Don Roux Field – for their Class C South semifinal Saturday night against Cape Elizabeth.

After a 33-7 win over the fourth-seeded Capers on a windy night, the Hornets might be convinced to return to the turf.

Leavitt used a multi-pronged rushing attack to overcome a pair of first-half turnovers and pull away from the Capers in the second half.

Seven ball carriers contributed and five scored as the Hornets (9-1) rolled up 389 yards on the ground.

Damion Calder led the way with 171 yards on 13 carries, including a 74-yard touchdown. Wyatt Hathaway (14 carries, 56 yards), Mark Herman (four carries, 72 yards), Cam Jordan and Allen Peabody also had touchdown runs.

“We knew with that wind we were going to have to rely heavily on our run game,” Leavitt Coach Mike Hathaway said. “I thought our O-line did a great job. We just mixed it up with all of our backs, and between Damion and Mark and Al and Bradley (Moreau) and Cam and Wyatt, we had a pretty good thing going there.”

Leavitt will play for the regional title against No. 2 Fryeburg Academy, which handed the Hornets their only defeat this season, 13-0. It will be Leavitt’s first regional final since 2014.

Held back by penalties and two Hathaway interceptions, the Hornets led only 13-7 at halftime.

They faced fourth-and-18 at the Cape 34 on the first possession of the second half when Hathaway rolled right, cut back inside at the 25, broke a tackle, evaded another defender and surged into the end zone.

“We called a play so I could roll out to the right,” Hathaway said. “I was trying to look for Damion on a wheel (route) and they played it really well. I started running and noticed I was already past the line (of scrimmage), and Oren Shaw came back and made an amazing block on (Garrett Mello), who was going to make the play. I cut off some blocks and did whatever I had to do to get the first down. Then their safety came and tried to hit me. Thank God he missed, and I ran it in.”

Cape drove to the Leavitt 17, but Tommy Casey picked off Andrew Hartel’s pass over the middle at the 10.

That was as close as the Capers (5-4) got to Leavitt’s end zone the rest of the night. A Cole Melanson sack on third down forced them to punt deep in their own territory, and a high snap gave Jordan time to block the punt out of the back of the end zone for a 21-7 lead.

“At first, I was trying to lay back so they wouldn’t fake it, but I saw the ball go over (punter Matt Laughlin’s) head,” Jordan said. “I rushed him and he was about to kick it, and I just went up and hit it.”

Touchdown runs by Peabody (7 yards) and Herman (46 yards), who had two TDs called back by penalties in the first half, capped the scoring for the Hornets.

Cape had changed its tune on offense since throwing 47 times in Leavitt’s 42-20 win during the regular season. The Capers hoped to control the ball on the ground, but finished with 103 yards rushing on 33 carries.

“We did a way better job on (tight end Matt) Conley this time. That was a big point of emphasis,” Mike Hathaway said. “That left us singled up a lot more on (wide receivers) Laughlin and (Ethan) Convey, and I thought the guys that were covering them – Damion and Desean (Calder) – did a great job singled up in coverage all day.”

Cape Elizabeth was stopped on three drives into Leavitt territory in the first half.

“It’s kind of been an issue with us all year,” Cape Elizabeth Coach Aaron Filieo said. “We’ve been able to move the ball and our ‘green zone’ efficiency hasn’t been good. Tonight, it wasn’t again. We’ve had a hard time stopping big plays, too. It’s kind of fitting that’s how the season ended.”

Leavitt got a big play from Calder, a 74-yard touchdown run on a sweep around the left side, two plays into the second quarter to take a 13-0 lead.

An interception by Laughlin near midfield set up Cape’s touchdown, which came on Hartel’s 12-yard pass to Laughlin that made it 13-7 with 1:08 remaining in the first half.

“We knew we were shooting ourselves in the foot every possession, so we just needed to get our heads out of the ground and do what we’re supposed to do,” Jordan said.


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