TOPSHAM — Two weeks ago, the Yarmouth football team went to Mt. Ararat and lost by 24 points. When the Clippers went back to Topsham on Friday night for the rematch in the eight-man football Large School South Division championship, that loss was still a fresh bruise.

“Last time, I feel like we gave up. We kind of sat down. With that past experience, we didn’t want to do that again,” said Yarmouth senior tight end/linebacker Kai Sullivan.

This time, the Clippers came up with two big defensive stops in the final four minutes, taking a 20-18 win and the regional title.

No. 2 Yarmouth, now 8-1, will face Waterville in the state championship game next Saturday at Cony High in Augusta. Top-seed Mt. Ararat ends the season 7-2.

Two weeks ago, Mt. Ararat beat Yarmouth, 38-14.

“We struggled all year on defense, because there’s a lot of young kids out there. They’re really understanding what football is all about. Close games, how to stay tough, not get down. I think that’s the biggest compliment I can give them. They don’t know how good they are,” said Yarmouth Coach Jim Hartman.


After stopping Yarmouth on fourth-and-one at the Clippers 28, the Eagles took over deep in Yarmouth territory with 1:50 left. Mt. Ararat advanced to the Yarmouth 12, but a holding penalty pushed the Eagles back to the 23 with 1:07 left. A fourth down pass with 57 seconds left fell incomplete, and Yarmouth took over, and took a knee to end the game.

Midway through the fourth quarter, Mt. Ararat took over on the Yarmouth 35, and marched to the 19 before the drive ended with Sullivan’s interception in the end zone. The pass was intended for Shea Farrell, the Eagles top player, and when Sullivan saw him sprinting down the middle of the field, he knew he had to stay with Mt. Ararat’s playmaker.

“It’s (Farrell). That’s their favorite guy,” Sullivan said.

Mt. Ararat spotted Yarmouth a 12-0 lead before it ran a single offensive play. The Clippers scored on their second play of the game, when quarterback Sam Bradford faked a handoff to Spencer LaBrecque and pitched the ball to Michael McGonagle (29 carries for 163 yards), who ran 65 yards down the left sideline untouched. After the Clippers recovered an onside kick, they capped an eight-play, 30-yard drive with LaBrecque’s 1-yard touchdown run for a 12-0 lead.

The Eagles answered on their first offensive play, when Farrell ran 68 yards for a touchdown. Farrell added a 7-yard touchdown run early in the second quarter.

Yarmouth took the lead for good when McGonagle ran 12 yards for a touchdown with 1:20 left in third quarter, and Sullivan caught the 2-point conversion pass from Bradford. Farrell (34 carries for 209 yards) scored on a 17-yard run with 10:38 to play, but his rush on the conversion was just short.

Mt. Ararat turned the ball over three times.

“They pretty much had the same game plan as when we faced them a few weeks ago. They’re a good team, and we can’t make the mistakes we were making tonight and expect to stay with a team like that. It’s hard to overcome that,” Mt. Ararat Coach Frank True said.

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