The Winslow football team celebrates after it edged Hermon to win the Class C North title Saturday at Hampden Academy. Dave Dyer/Kennebec Journal

HAMPDEN — The Winslow High football team is back in a familiar spot.

Led by a strong ground game that chewed time off the clock in the second half, the Black Raiders held off Hermon for a 38-30 victory in the Class C North championship game Saturday at Hampden Academy’s Weatherbee Complex.

Winslow (7-2), which was the No. 2 seed in the North, will meet Cape Elizabeth for the state title next Saturday in Portland. The Black Raiders last reached the Class C title game in 2015, when they beat Yarmouth, 24-10.

Fifth-seeded Hermon finished 4-4.

“It feels so good, it feels incredible,” Winslow running back/defensive back Jack Dorval said. “We worked so hard for so long in the gym in the offseason. It feels great.”

“It’s pretty awesome,” added Wes Littlefield, Winslow’s co-head coach. “Great group of kids that we have. This is probably, for me coaching, this has been one of the (most fun) years I’ve had. Just a great group of kids, do whatever you ask them to do.”

Dorval gained 96 yards on 19 carries and scored two touchdowns. He also had an interception, and got help in the rushing attack from Matt Quirion (16 carries, 137 yards) and Evan Bourget (14 carries, 69 yards and a touchdown).

Winslow picked up 367 of its 419 yards on the ground, while Hermon had 246 of its 277 yards through the air.

“Our offensive line has been good this year,” Quirion said. “They make really big holes for us. There’s not many times where we get negative yardage, because there’s huge holes.”

“It starts with (the offensive line) and it ends with them,” said Pete Bolduc, Winslow’s other co-head coach. “They took it to heart this week. They fought like warriors.”

The Winslow football team flocks to its fans after it won the Class C North championship with a 38-30 victory over Hermon on Saturday at Hampden Academy. Dave Dyer/Kennebec Journal

Winslow never trailed, but Hermon never went away, either.

With Winslow up 16-14 entering the second half, both offenses traded blows. Quarterback Jared Newgard hit Tyler Brockway for a 7-yard touchdown pass to extend the lead to 22-14. On the next possession, Dorval cut in front of a Johnny Kokoska pass on a slant route and returned the interception for 17 yards. Nine plays later, Dorval scored on a 4-yard run, and the Black Raiders added a 2-point conversion for a 30-14 advantage.

“We practiced that all week; we have great coaching,” Dorval said. “Coach Bolduc spends hours and hours in the film room. We knew all their plays. He didn’t steer me wrong; I did what he told me to do and I got it.”

On Hermon’s next possession, Kokoska hit Coulter on a wheel route down the sideline for a 55-yard touchdown pass. Kokoska then passed to Chasen Flanders for the 2-point conversion.

The key for the Black Raiders was the ability to milk time off the clock. On its next drive, Winslow killed more than seven minutes while marching 65 yards on 11 plays. Newgard capped the drive with an 8-yard run on an option keeper.

“That’s our offense, just taking up time,” Quirion said. “Going down (the field), driving slowly and picking up a touchdown. That worked really great in this game.”

Hermon scored again in quick order, needing just seven plays to go 59 yards. Kokoska connected with Coulter for a 12-yard touchdown pass, then found Coulter again on the 2-point conversion to make it 38-30. But once again, Winslow had its way on the ground, holding the ball for the final 3:36.

Kokoska was 12 of 19 passing for 234 yards, with four touchdowns and an interception. Coulter had five receptions for 91 yards and two touchdowns.

“I’m so proud of them,” Hermon Coach Kyle Gallant said. “We’re young. (Winslow) is a great football team, a very storied program. I’ve got nothing but respect for Coach Littlefield and Bolduc. What has been built by Winslow is just a great football team. We knew it was going to be a boxing match. They might not have, but we did. We may have missed a punch, but every time we went down, our boys punched back.”

Newgard finished with 117 total yards (65 rushing, 52 passing) and two touchdowns. Brockway had four receptions for 52 yards and a touchdown.

Comments are not available on this story.