Winthrop’s Aidan Grant tackles Freeport’s Nick White during a Class D semifinal playoff game in Winthrop on Nov. 13. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

The high school football season came to a close on the Midcoast this weekend after No. 3 Freeport fell to No. 2 Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale in the Class D semifinals at Maxwell Field in Winthrop.

Despite the loss, Freeport head coach Paul St. Pierre hailed the season as memorable.

“No one knew what to expect coming into this season,” said St. Pierre. “I’m proud of our effort and attitude this season, I think we exceeded many people’s expectations.”

The Falcons graduate seven seniors, including standout linemen Cody Arsenault and Cam Desrosiers. The playmaking Casale twins, Danny and Tony, also graduate. Freeport will return junior quarterback Aidan Heath and running backs Jordan Knighton and Nick White, but it will have a lot of new faces on the gridiron next season.

“While we’re losing some key players, our younger players returning next year give us some great hope for the future,” St. Pierre said.

 

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Several area players were recognized with all-conference selections.

Freeport and Morse led the way with five players honored.

Waterville quarterback Liam Von Oesen dives out of bounds as he is tackled by Morse defenders Adon Tappen, left, and Gabe Aucoin during the eight-man large North final on Nov. 6 at Drummond Field in Waterville. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Gabe Aucoin, Bradley Creamer, Ben Doughty, Josh ter Mors, and Braylen Williams were all named to the all-Campbell Conference team. The Shipbuilders also had three honorable mentions in Elliott Dorr, Alex Maccio and Brandon Read.

“Everyone of those guys played a big role in the success that we had this season,” said Morse head coach Jason Darling last week.

Arsenault, Danny and Tony Casale, Heath, and Knighton were recognized by the Campbell Conference as well.

Four Mt. Ararat players were also honored, including Elliot Douglass, Kaiden Getchell, Kyle Graffam and Shea Farrell. Junior Mack Wilkins was named an honorable mention.

In Class D, three Lisbon standouts were named to the all-conference team. Canaan Cameron, Colby Levasseur, who took on a big role due to injuries throughout the season, and Chance Versey.

 

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Two eight-man state champions were crowned on Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland. Cheverus (9-0) rolled past Waterville (7-2) 56-0 in the Large School title game. The Stags finished with five consecutive shutouts, having not been scored upon since a 44-32 win over Mt. Ararat on Oct. 1 in Topsham.

In the Small School title game, a thrilling finish unfolded between North champion Dexter (7-2) and South champion Maranacook (5-4). Down 30-28 with under 10 seconds remaining and the ball on the Maranacook 14-yard line, Dexter quarterback Bryce Connor avoided several Maranacook defenders while rolling out of the pocket. He then completed a pass to running back Avery Gagnon at the 5-yard line. Gagnon cut to his left past a defender, then back toward the middle of the field and into the end zone as the final buzzer sounded, giving the Tigers a 34-30 victory. It’s the Tigers’ first football state title since 1987, when they were in Class C.

Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale’s Nick Keezer somersaults over Freeport’s Jordan Knighton after knocking him down during a Class D semifinal playoff game last Saturday in Winthrop. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

With the eight-man football season now complete, just four games remain in this years’ high school football season. Gold Balls will be awarded this weekend; three on Saturday and one on Friday night.

On Friday, No. 1 Foxcroft Academy (10-0) will clash with No. 2 Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale (7-1) for the Class D state title at Cameron Stadium in Bangor at 6 p.m. The Ponies are in the Class D state title game for the third time in four tackle seasons.

On Saturday, three state championship games will be played at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland. First, at 11 a.m., No. 1 Thornton Academy (10-0) will play No. 2 Oxford Hills (8-1) for the Class A state championship. The two teams met on Oct. 15 in South Paris, where the Trojans won 23-21. In Class B, No. 3 Marshwood (7-3) shocked No. 1 Portland (10-1) on Saturday in the South final to secure a trip to states, where it will face Windham (8-0). The Eagles beat No. 3 Lawrence (6-4) in a thrilling double-overtime game on Saturday in Lewiston in the North final. The Class B state title game will kickoff at 2:30 p.m.

Lastly in Class C, Winslow (7-2) will face Cape Elizabeth (9-1)  at 6 p.m. The Capers defeated No. 1 Leavitt (9-1) in the South final 25-23. Winslow topped Hermon 38-30 in the North final.

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