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

Trott shined on a perfect autumn day, scoring three touchdowns in the second-ranked Ramblers’ heart-stopping, 28-19 victory over third-ranked Freeport at Maxwell Field. The Ramblers will play the winner of the No. 4 Oak Hill (5-2) vs. No. 1 Foxcroft Academy (9-0) semifinal in next weekend’s state final.

“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,” Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale (7-1) coach Dave St. Hilaire said.

Despite Winthrop’s 20-0 lead in the third quarter, the Falcons (6-3) didn’t show any signs of surrendering the flag and scored three touchdowns in the final four minutes of the game.

“That was an impressive comeback,” Trott said of the Falcons. “We are going to step it up next week and smack some kids.”

Just at the four-minute mark, Freeport marched and passed the ball all the way to 2-yard line, where Jordan Knighton spilled into the end zone with Freeport’s first touchdown of the game. The conversion failed, but there was more havoc to come from the Falcons.

The next play, Freeport tapped an onside kick to Winthrop and the ball bounced out of several Winthrop players’ hands. The Falcons jumped on it at the 34-yard line and their offense was able to move the ball to the 16. Quarterback Aidan Heath stepped back in the pocket and hooked up with Tony Casale for the TD. Jackson Carr’s kick was good to make it a 20-13 game with 2:28 left.

Freeport then tried another onside kick, but Trott scooped up the ball and bolted from the 60-yard line and scored. Logan Baird did the honors and ran in the conversion in with 2:14 left in the game, making it 28-13.

Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale’s Robbie Feeney catapults a Freeport runner over his shoulder during Saturday’s playoff game in Winthrop. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

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 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.”

The Ramblers kicked off and Noah Michaud got the ball but threw it to Knighton, who ran in the TD from the Falcons’ own 30-yard line for a touchdown.

“They don’t quit. They never have and never will,” Freeport coach Paul St. Pierre said. “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 prove 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, first with a touchdown from Evan Jones, who scored on an 11-yard pass from Andrew Foster in the first quarter. Trott delivered his first TD in the second quarter on a 3-yard rush and then scored 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.”

Related Headlines


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.