Mt Ararat senior Kaiden Getchell makes one-handed grab for an interception in front of Spruce Mountain receiver Elie Timler during an eight-man large South semifinal game last Friday night in Topsham. Photo provided by Jason Eggleston

The Morse and Mt. Ararat football teams took a gigantic steps forward in their respective quests for an eight-man large state title.

The Shipbuilders and Eagles survived their regional semifinal matchups last weekend on their home turf fields.

Now, both will hit the road for the regional finals on Saturday — No. 2 Morse (6-2) will visit No. 1 Waterville (6-1) in the large North title game at 1 p.m.; No. 2 Mt. Ararat (7-1) will play at No. 1 Cheverus (6-0) at 1 p.m. for the large South championship.

The Eagles, who dropped a 44-32 decision to the Stags in the regular season, hope to replicate what the 2019 squad accomplished. That team also entered the eight-man playoffs as the No 2 seed, but then knocked off No. 1 Maranacook in the regional final, avenging a regular season defeat to the Black Bears.

Mt. Ararat running back Kaiden Getchell celebrates a touchdown run during an eight-man large South semifinal game last Friday night in Topsham. Photo provided by Jason Eggleston

“I’m hoping our guys can drawback on their experience from 2019 as we get ready this week,” said Mt. Ararat head coach Frank True, whose team beat No. 3 Spruce Mountain 44-36 in the regional semifinals last Friday. “We’re in a similar spot to where we were in 2019. .. Hopefully, we can make adjustments as we did back in 2019. Our players who are still around today remember that feeling.”

Morse, meanwhile, has finally ended its playoff drought when it sank No. 3 Camden Hills 56-36 last Friday night in Bath. Morse coach Jason Darling said it was the program’s first playoff victory since 2008.


“I think it’s our first win in the postseason since 2008, the year we lost to Mountain Valley in the state title game (Class B),” said Darling, who was an assistant on the 2008 Morse team.


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Darling said the Shipbuilders have improved in several areas throughout the season — most notably tackling.

“Early in the year you could tell it had been a while since the kids had tackled,” he said. “Getting reps throughout the year and players wanting to improve have been major factors for us.”


Mt. Ararat football coach Frank True greets junior Shea Farrell as Farrell comes off the field Friday night during an eight-man large South semifinal game against Spruce Mountain. Photo provided by Jason Eggleston

Against the windjammers, Darling said the Shipbuilders did a good job of wrapping up ball carriers. The Shipbuilders kept the high-flying Windjammers off the scoreboard in the second and third quarters, outscoring them 26-0 in that stretch.

“The kids made plays when they needed to,” said Darling. “Our players have emphasized improving on that side of the ball by working on it all season, and it’s paid off.”


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The postseason is set to begin in Class D this weekend, and some intriguing matchups are in place.


Top-seeded Foxcroft Academy (8-0) will face No. 8 John Bapst (1-6). No. 2 Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale (5-1) will host No. 7 Bucksport (2-5) while No. 3 Freeport (5-2) entertains No. 6 Poland (2-4). Lastly, No. 4 Oak Hill (4-2) will face No. 5 Lisbon/St. Dominic’s (3-3). Madison/Carrabec/Valley (0-6) is the lone Class D team that failed to qualify for the postseason.

“It’s an exciting bracket from top to bottom,” said Lisbon/St. Dom’s head coach Chris Kates. “There is a lot of talent in the bracket, I’m excited to see how it plays out.”

Added Freeport head coach Paul St. Pierre: “Anything can happen, Dover-Foxcroft is of course at the top for a reason and Winthrop is right behind them. Anyone can shock you, everyone is 0-0 now.”

Mt. Ararat junior running back Shea Farrell sheds a Spruce Mountain defender en route to picking up a chunk of yards during an eight-man large South semifinal game last Friday night in Topsham. Photo provided by Jason Eggleston

The Greyhounds have won three straight games after starting 0-3. Kates brought up a couple of factors when discussing his team’s turnaround.

“Our schedule was a bit tough to start,” said Kates. “But we have a young team that’s improved every week. The results are showing on game days.”

Freeport is coming off its scheduled bye week. The Falcons didn’t see the Knights in the regular season after COVID-19 issues forced a cancellation.

“We have some film, but it’s quite different to experience a team up close and personal,” said St. Pierre. “It goes both ways, they haven’t seen us either.”

The Greyhounds will travel to rival Oak Hill in the quarterfinal round. The Raiders won the the regular season meeting 24-13 on Sept. 18.

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