Leavitt 41 Cheverus 13

L- 20 21 0 0- 41
C- 0 0 7 6- 13

First quarter
L- Hathaway 33 pass from Carpenter (rush failed)
L- Carpenter 28 run (Carpenter rush)
L- Carpenter 2 run (kick blocked)

Second quarter
L- Hathaway 16 pass from Carpenter (Hathaway pass from Carpenter)
L- Coburn 45 interception return (Carpenter kick)
L- Morin 2 run (rush failed)

Third quarter
C- Smith 2 run (Huntley kick)

Fourth quarter
C- Osei 2 run (kick failed)

PORTLAND—Cheverus has done very well in its return to 11-man football this fall, but the Stags hadn’t faced anything like the force of nature that came to Boulos Stadium Saturday afternoon.


The Leavitt Hornets, arguably the state’s finest team, needed just one half to show Cheverus that while it has made great strides this season, it still has a long way to go to compete for the top spot in Class C South.

Leavitt, which barely survived last week’s thriller against Cape Elizabeth, shot to a 20-0 lead after just one quarter, as junior quarterback Noah Carpenter connected with senior Sawyer Hathaway for a 33-yard touchdown pass and Carpenter added TD runs of 28- and 2-yards.

The Hornets kept rolling in the second period, as Carpenter found Hathaway again, this time from 16-yards out, senior Brett Coburn returned an interception 45-yards for a score and senior Nick Morin had a 2-yard TD run to make it 41-0 at the half.

The Stags managed to get on the board against Leavitt’s reserves in the second half, as senior Rilan Smith scored on a 2-yard run in the third quarter and junior Joe Osei added a 2-yard TD run in the fourth period, but it wasn’t nearly enough and Leavitt prevailed, 41-13.

The Hornets improved to 7-0, locked up the top seed for the upcoming Class C South tournament, snapped Cheverus’ five-game win streak and dropped the Stags to 5-2 in the process.

“(Leavitt’s) a very good team,” said Stags coach Mike Vance. “They operate well through the air and we weren’t able to match up today.”


A new challenge

Cheverus steamrolled its way to the eight-man large division state title in 2021, then returned to 11-man play this fall, in Class C for the first time. After a hard-fought 26-20 setback at Falmouth in the opener, the Stags got on a roll, downing visiting Westbrook in a wild one (36-34), beating Fryeburg Academy in a “road game” played at Fitzpatrick Stadium (20-6), then blanking visiting Hermon (20-0), holding off visiting Wells (16-7) and last week, prevailing at Winslow (28-13).

Leavitt, which lost at home to Cape Elizabeth on the final play of last year’s Class C South Final, entered the 2022 campaign as the favorite in the region and hasn’t disappointed.

The Hornets started with a 50-0 home win over York, then really turned heads with a decisive 42-8 victory at Class B South contender Portland. Next came victories over Lewiston (53-21), Wells (36-0) and Lawrence (34-14). Last week, Leavitt hosted Cape Elizabeth again and this time held on at the end to win, 21-20.

“Last week was good and honestly, playing Lawrence the week before was the same feel,” Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway said. “They gave us a good game. It was good for our starters to play the whole game the last two weeks.”

Saturday’s meeting was the first-ever countable game between the schools.


On a beautiful mid-October afternoon (64 degrees and sunny at kickoff), the Hornets brought their ‘A’ game and the Stags simply had no answers during the competitive phase of the contest.

Cheverus junior quarterback Gio St. Onge is hounded by Leavitt junior Jace Negley during the Hornets’ 41-13 victory Saturday. Hoffer photos.

Cheverus took possession first, started at its 20 and picked up an initial first down, as Smith ran for three yards, then picked up 10, but after junior Maddox Demers dropped senior Matthew Fogg for a one-yard loss, junior quarterback Gio St. Onge scrambled for six, but he then threw incomplete, necessitating a punt.

Junior Will Keach returned Smith’s punt 15 yards and Leavitt set up at the Stags’ 49 and five plays later, the Hornets were on top to stay.

Carpenter missed a wide-open Coburn on a deep pass on first down, but he ran for nine yards on second down, then, after Demers was held to no gain, Carpenter kept the ball for seven yards on fourth-and-1 to move the chains. On the next play, Carpenter dropped back and launched a deep pass in the direction of Hathaway, who caught the ball in front of a stumbling defender and he easily crossed the goal line with 8:04 to go in the opening stanza. Carpenter tried to add the two-point conversion only to be stopped short, but Leavitt was up, 6-0.

The Hornets then surprised Cheverus with an onsides kick and freshman Mason Henderson recovered at the Stags’ 35. After Carpenter threw incomplete, senior Dayton Calder ran for seven yards, then Carpenter did the rest, breaking free to the left for a 28-yard touchdown with 7:25 on the clock. This time, Carpenter managed to add the two-point conversion rush for a quick 14-0 advantage.

Cheverus got the ball back at its 22 and after Osei gained a yard, a holding penalty pushed the hosts back, then Fogg was dropped for a two-yard loss by senior Beau Mayo and a St. Onge pass was batted down at the line, forcing another punt.


Leavitt began its next drive at the Stags’ 44 and in three plays later, was in the end zone again.

After Demers ran for five yards, the Carpenter-to-Hathaway connected picked up 37 more for a first-and-goal at the 2. Carpenter then kept the ball and bulled his way in up the middle for the 2-yard touchdown. Carpenter’s extra point attempt was low and was blocked, keeping the score 20-0.

Cheverus started at its 19 and after Fogg ran for two yards and Smith gained, St. Onge was intercepted by Hathaway at midfield.

In a drive that ate up the rest of the first quarter and the first 44 seconds of the second, the Hornets marched to extend their lead.

Leavitt went backwards initially with a holding penalty, but Carpenter got 16 yards back with a pass to Coburn, then Calder ran for six yards. On third-and-1, on the final play of the first, Keach gained nine yards and compounding matters for the Stags, they were called for unsportsmanlike conduct and the Hornets started the second period at the Cheverus 17.

Leavitt, which had a 161-19 edge in first quarter yardage, started the new frame with some trickery, but Hathaway threw incomplete after getting the ball on a reverse. After Demers picked up a yard, Carpenter threw low into the end zone, where Hathaway made a great sliding grab for the 16-yard touchdown. Carpenter then hit Hathaway for the two-point conversion, as Hathaway’s second effort got him across the goal line to make it 28-0.


The Stags started their next drive at their 37 and picked up a first down, as Smith ran for six-yards, then for five more, but Smith gained two yards, Fogg was held to no gain and on the next snap, St. Onge’s throw was picked by Coburn, who made a terrific one-handed snag, then returned the ball 45 yards to the end zone. Carpenter added the PAT to make it 35-0 with 8:31 to go in the half.

Starting at its 35, Cheverus went three-and-out, as Smith was held to no gain by junior Jace Negley, Fogg ran for three yards and Negley dropped St. Onge for a six-yard loss, forcing a punt.

The Hornets got the ball back at midfield with 5:49 on the clock and in four plays and 53 seconds, drove for their final points.

After being backed up five yards by a false start, Leavitt got a 20-yard run from Keach, then Carpenter threw a pass that Morin caught by plucking the ball off a defender’s helmet, good for 34 yards to the 1. Hathaway was dropped for a one-yard loss, but Morin swept right and scored from the 2 with 4:56 to go. Senior Braxton Rowe got the ball on the two-point conversion, but his rush was stopped short, keeping the score 41-0.

The Stags began their final drive of the first half at the 20 and after Smith gained seven yards and Osei ran for five, Smith ran for nine yards, then Osei picked up two more for another first down. After Smith was held to no gain, Fogg ran for five yards and that ran out the clock on the first half.

In the first 24 minutes of action, Leavitt had a 228-45 advantage in yardage.


Cheverus junior Joe Osei looks for running room.

The Hornets would call off the dogs in the second half, as most starters would be sidelined, and Cheverus took advantage to embark on a pair of scoring drives.

Leavitt got the ball first in the second half, but went three-and-out, as sophomore Keegan Reny gained four yards, junior Colten Taylor picked up one and sophomore Braydon Letourneau managed two on third-and-5. Reny punted the ball away and the Stags took over at their 39 with 8:39 to go in the third period.

It took nine plays and over seven minutes, but Cheverus would get on the board.

Smith got things moving with runs of six-, three- and eight-yards to put the ball at the Leavitt 44. After Osei ran for six yards, Smith gained 10 to the 28. After Smith and Osei each gained just one yard, St. Onge registered his lone completion on third-and-8, lofting a pass to Osei for 24 yards to the 2. Smith did the rest, bulling in for the 2-yard score with 1:34 remaining in the quarter. Sophomore Henry Huntley added the PAT to cut the deficit to 41-7.

The Hornets got the ball back at their 10 and after Reny gained six yards, Taylor then ran the ball for four on the final play of the third period.

Junior Aiden Turcotte lost a yard on the first play of the final stanza, then Reny gained four before Taylor was held to no gain, forcing a punt.


With 9:48 to play, the Stags started at their 48 and in five plays and 2:20, they marched for another score.

This time, Smith got things started with a three-yard run and after a bad exchange led to a two-yard loss, Osei broke free down the left side for 43 yards to the Leavitt 9. Osei gained seven more yards, then he scored from the 2 with 7:28 to play. This time, the extra point was no good to keep the score 41-13.

Leavitt’s final possession began at its 28. Letourneau was held to no gain on the first play, then Reny ran for three yards before picking up eight to move the chains. Reny gained five more yards, then Turcotte was dropped for a two-yard loss before Reny ran for five yards. After an illegal block penalty, Henderson picked up seven on fourth-and-9 and Cheverus got the ball back on downs at the Hornets’ 47.

With time winding down, Stags sophomore Matthew Baker picked up 10 yards, junior Dominic Cortez ran for five yards and a facemask penalty was tacked on, Baker ran for seven yards, then Cortez picked up one on the final play of the game, as the final horn sounded and Leavitt prevailed, 41-13.

“Coming into today against a 5-1 team that won eight-man last year, we were ready,” said Mike Hathaway. “It’s good to see the guys come in here on a Saturday and play like that. We hadn’t played any Saturday games and we’ve never been here, but the guys did a good job handling it.”

The Hornets finished with 257 yards of offense and were penalized three times for 25 yards.


Carpenter, in just two quarters of action, was 5-of-7 passing for 136 yards and two TDs. He ran four times for 46 yards with two more scores.

Hathaway caught three passes for 86 yards and two touchdowns.

“I thought the O line did a nice job with protection and opening some holes and when they do that, we have a lot of guys who can do different things,” said Mike Hathaway. “We tried to spread it out and get out to a quick start. We feel like the past few weeks, teams have stacked the box on us and if you’re going to do that, we’ll take what they give you. If they leave guys one-on-one, Sawyer, Nick, Dayton, Brett, we feel good about those guys out there.”

Cheverus gained 186 yards, with 141 of those coming in the second half. The Stags turned the ball over twice and were flagged three times for 26 yards.

Smith had a solid game, gaining 85 yards and scoring a touchdown on 17 carries.

“Rilan is a hammer, isn’t he?” Vance said. “He’s tough as nails.”


Osei picked up 67 yards and had a TD on eight attempts.

St. Onge was 1-of-5 passing for 24 yards with two interceptions.

“We talked at halftime about the way we want to play, no matter the situation, and I think overall, the kids represented themselves well today,” said Vance.

Season finale

Leavitt closes the regular season at 4-3 Fryeburg Academy Friday, then will look to finish what last year’s team couldn’t quite manage, win the Gold Ball.

“I think we’re getting where we need to be, but there are still things we can be better at,” said Mike Hathaway. “We want to play our best football going into the playoffs, so we’ll coach it up this week.”

Cheverus goes to 5-2 Cape Elizabeth for its finale Friday night.

“I’m sure we’ll lick our wounds for a minute, but we’ll get right back at it Monday,” Vance said. “We have mature guys. These guys really like playing the game and we’re looking forward to next week. The kids are excited to be back in 11 (man) and there are still some things we want to accomplish.”

Sports Editor Michael Hoffer can be reached at [email protected]. Follow him on Twitter: @foresports.

Comments are not available on this story.