WINTHROP — An ardent Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale football fan said Dominic Trott really needed a game like this as the final minutes slipped away in a Class D semifinal on a bright and warm Saturday afternoon.

Trott shined on a perfect autumn day, scoring three touchdowns for the second-seeded Ramblers in a 28-19 victory over third-seeded Freeport at Maxwell Field.

The Ramblers (7-1) will play No. 1 Foxcroft Academy (10-0) in the state final Friday night at Bangor’s Cameron Stadium.

“I have always wanted to go to states my whole life with this team,” Trott said. “With this team, I had to step up. We did it as a team. I am excited and I have always wanted to do this my whole life. This is like heaven.”

“He is a player – both sides of the ball,” said Winthrop Coach Dave St. Hilaire.

Trailing 20-0 in the fourth quarter, the Falcons (6-3) made things interesting by scoring three touchdowns in the last four minutes of the game.

Jordan Knighton spilled into the end zone from the 2 for Freeport’s first touchdown. The conversion failed, but there was more havoc to come from the Falcons.

Freeport attempted an onside kick that bounced out the hands of several Winthrop players before it was recovered by the Falcons at the Winthrop 34. Aidan Heath eventually hooked up with Tony Casale for a 16-yard TD pass, and Jackson Carr’s kick made it 20-13 with 2:28 left.

Freeport then tried another onside kick, but Trott scooped up the ball and bolted all the way to the end zone. Logan Baird ran in the conversion, stretching the lead back to 28-13.

St. Hilaire is no stranger to wild games and surprise endings.

“This was the third time since I have been here,” St. Hilaire said. “In 2016, that was one of the wildest games we have ever had (in a last-play loss to Lisbon). You just get flashbacks. But credit to the kids to make some plays when we needed to make some plays.

“But credit to these guys (Falcons) as well. They had two guys go down in the first half that are two key guys, and they didn’t come back in, and yet they fought tooth and nail and they brought everything but the kitchen sink. I think the kitchen sink was behind the bench.”

On the kickoff after Winthrop’s final touchdown, Noah Michaud got the ball and then threw it to Knighton, who raced 70 yards for another Freeport TD. The conversion failed, however, and the Falcons still trailed 28-19.

“They don’t quit. They never have and never will,” Freeport Coach Paul St. Pierre said of his players. “They are fighters to the end and I am so proud of them. Whether you win or lose, you need to play this game a certain way, and they played like men until the very end. They proved they have heart; they have pride. I hope that carries on to their regular life.”

Winthrop built a 12-0 lead in the first half. Evan Jones scored on an 11-yard pass from Andrew Foster in the first quarter, and Trott had a 3-yard touchdown run in the second quarter. Trott scored again late in the third quarter.

“Going into it, we knew they were a very, very good team all around,” St. Pierre said. “We had to play almost perfect and fight to the very end, and we did. (The Ramblers) earned that win. They have a right to play for the Gold Ball next Friday.”

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