WELLS — Motivated by the memories of an embarrassing loss, the proud Wells High football team made a statement Friday night.

The Warriors beat defending Class C state champion Cape Elizabeth, 28-21, scoring the winning touchdown with 1:01 to play on an 8-yard run by Michael Lewinski a few plays after Jonah Curley had stripped the ball from Cape’s Ceroi Mello as Mello tried to drive for extra yardage.

Last season, Wells – which won three straight state titles from 2016-2018 – lost to Cape, 69-0.

“It just came down to our teamwork, our motivation in practice. We were thinking about that scoreboard (from last year) all week and we gave it to them,” Lewinski said.

In a back-and-forth game, Cape had the ball at its own 31 with 4:36 to play and the game tied, 21-21. Cape’s defense had just forced a three-and-out after the Capers tied it on a 9-yard run by Nick Laughlin and Mello’s two-point conversion run.

But on first down, Mello was stuffed for little gain and Curley saw an opportunity.


“I read it, my brothers came up and lifted (Mello) up and I ripped the ball out,” Curley said. “I got injured last year (against Cape). We worked all summer for this. We all remember it. We all talked about it. We came out ready to win.”

Wells improved to 2-0. Cape is now 1-1.

“It’s our job offensively to convert on those and we can’t have bad penalties and bad turnovers and it’s kind of been the story the past couple of weeks,” said Cape Coach Sean Green, noting the mistakes had yet to cost Cape a win. “But against great football teams that are well coached with great history, great players, if you have those (mistakes) that’s going to happen.”

Laughlin scored three touchdowns. His others came on a 9-yard pass from Mike Foley (8 for 12, 81 yards) to open the scoring and a 92-yard kick return to give Cape a 13-7 lead. Laughlin also had a would-be 20-yard touchdown run called back on a holding penalty that would have put Cape ahead in the third quarter. Wells eventually stopped the Capers on fourth down, then drove 88 yards in 10 plays, with Conner Whitten finishing the drive with a tough 20-yard run to give Wells a 21-13 lead with 9:49 to play. The drive was keyed by a third-down conversion on a Brooks Fox (4 for 6, 43 yards) pass to Whitten.

Cape broke on top quickly with three completions Foley to Laughlin good for 60 total yards on its opening drive including the 9-yard score. The point-after attempt was blocked.

Wells responded in its traditional fashion with a grinding 12-play, 73-yard drive. Whitten busted a 40-yard run and Lewinski scored on a 3-yard run.


Laughlin, who had battled an illness during the week and needed to take extra breaks, immediately answered with his kickoff return touchdown.

Wells responded on a 40-yard scoring run by Griffin Brickett, one play after Brickett had a 30-yard score wiped out by a holding penalty and Wells led 14-13 at the half.

“Everyone remembers 69-0,” said Wells Coach Tim Roche. “For all of us that was a tough thing to swallow and we just kept saying all week block out the noise and let’s play football the way we can play football. Win or lose, let’s just go out and play.”

Both coaching staffs wore special T-shirts to support Autism Awareness Week, a project started by Cony Coach BL Lippert.

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