Cheverus quarterback Richard Tremble avoids a tackle and scores one of his two touchdowns in the Stags’ regional championship victory over Mt. Ararat last weekend. Brianna Soukup/Staff Photographer

LARGE SCHOOLS

Who: Waterville (7-1) vs. Cheverus (7-0)

When: Saturday, 11 a.m.

Where: Fitzpatrick Stadium, Portland

Outlook: Cheverus is making its first appearance in a state title game since it lost the 2013 Class A final to Bonny Eagle. The Stags’ last state championship came in 2011, when they won the second of back-to-back Class A Gold Balls. Waterville hasn’t played in a state final since 1994 and last won a state championship in 1974, when the Purple Panthers were in Class A. The Stags are paced by a dominant defense that has shut out the last four opponents and has allowed only 48 points all season. Cheverus held Mt. Ararat to 45 yards in a 48-0 win in the South regional final. Offensively, the Stags have a number of weapons, led by quarterback Richie Tremble and running backs Matthew Fogg and Marshall Fowler. Sebastian Merrill and Braden Smith are keys to the Cheverus line on both sides of the ball. Waterville’s offense is paced by quarterback Liam Von Oesen, who accounted for 342 yards in a 22-20 win over Morse in the North final and ran for 288 yards and five touchdowns in a 50-40 win over Mt. Desert Island in the semifinals. Tyson Smith can play multiple positions for the Panthers, and Spencer Minihan and Dustin Hunter are scoring threats.

Maranacook averaged over 45 points per game in its three playoff wins to advance to the state title game. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

SMALL SCHOOLS

Who: Dexter (6-2) vs. Maranacook (5-3)

When: Saturday, 2:30 p.m.

Where: Fitzpatrick Stadium, Portland

Outlook: No matter which team wins, it will end a long championship drought. Dexter is playing in a state final for the first time since 1989, when it was in Class C, and is seeking its first championship since 1987. Maranacook is playing for its first state title since winning Class D in 1981. Maranacook got hot and healthy at the right time, winning three playoff games on the road as the No. 5 seed in the South. The Black Bears averaged just over 45 points in those three wins. Sophomore running back Owen Dunn ran for 377 yards and four touchdowns in a 56-28 victory over Old Orchard Beach in the quarterfinals and had 256 yards and three touchdowns in Maranacook’s 50-7 win over Dirigo in the regional final. Quarterback Chris Reid is a threat to run or pass, and the Black Bears’ line is led by Wyatt Douin, Nick Wilson and Dylan Pottle. Dexter won the North as the No. 3 seed. The Tigers average just under 39 points per game, and are led by quarterback Bryce Connor. Running back Avery Gagnon, defensive back Cam Allen and wideout Will Kusnierz are also key players for Dexter.


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