LEWISTON — Noah Carpenter faked a handoff, took off around the left end and raced 20 yards before diving over the pylon.

“You can’t guard him!” a voice cried out from the stands.

The fan was right. Carpenter ran for 237 yards and three touchdowns on 16 carries and threw for two more scores, and top-seeded Leavitt won the Class C South football title Saturday night with an emphatic 43-0 victory over No. 3 Cape Elizabeth at Lewiston High School.

Leavitt (10-0), in pursuit of its second state championship in three seasons, will play Medomak Valley in the state final next Saturday at Cameron Stadium in Bangor.

Cape Elizabeth, the defending Class C champion, finished 8-3.

“We put a lot of work into this, and we just played as a team,” Carpenter said. “It feels amazing when hard work pays off.”


Leavitt lost 25-23 to Cape Elizabeth in the 2021 regional final on a last-play touchdown, but Carpenter dismissed that the team was driven by the opportunity for playoff payback.

“A lot of people say ‘Revenge this, revenge that,’ but I don’t really think that we were playing with that revenge kind of mentality,” he said. “I think we were just trying to prove ourselves that we were better than that.”

The teams played a 21-20 nail-biter during the regular season, but there was no drama or suspenseful finish this time. The Hornets, with the bruising Carpenter leading the way, took command early and never gave it up.

“Cape is as good as it gets. They’re one of the top five or six teams in Maine, probably,” Leavitt Coach Mike Hathaway said. “To get them 43-0 really is a credit to our offense and our defense and our special teams, all the way around. We really got it done in all three phases today.”

Cape Elizabeth Coach Sean Green said his team never executed the way it needed to.

“That’s the best-coached team that we’re going to play, it’s obviously the most talented football team that we’re going to play,” he said. “It felt like we were playing defense the whole game. We couldn’t get anything going offensively.”


Carpenter and the Hornets made a statement early. On the first series, the junior quarterback broke free around the right side for a 49-yard touchdown run. His next carry, the first play of Leavitt’s ensuing possession, went for 50 yards, and four plays later he found Dayton Calder alone on the left side of the field. Calder made a defender miss, then took off down the sideline for a 36-yard touchdown and a 14-0 lead with 2:58 to go in the first.

Cape’s defense held on the Hornets’ next two drives, but a fumble set Leavitt up on its own 44. After Carpenter ran for 22 yards, he churned out a 23-yard touchdown run with 1:03 to go in the half.

“He’s downhill,” Hathaway said. “He’s not going to run around you unless he absolutely has to. And he’s just crafty. He’s pretty patient.”

Cape’s attempt to get on the board before halftime backfired when Sawyer Hathaway intercepted a deflected pass. On the next play, Carpenter (6 of 14, 183 yards) hit Hathaway with a perfectly thrown ball down the left side for a 51-yard gain to the 3. Carpenter plunged in on the next play with 33 seconds left, giving Leavitt a 28-0 cushion at the break.

Touchdowns on a 29-yard pass from Carpenter to Brett Coburn and a 6-yard run by Will Keach rounded out the scoring.

“We weren’t too worried about the 14-point start. It was more so the last two minutes of the half, where we gave up that other two-score swing,” Green said. “That’s where the game changed for us.”

Leavitt’s defense, anchored by Coburn, Jace Negley and Nash Angstrom up front, never let Cape’s offense find a rhythm. Senior standout Nick Laughlin was held to 37 yards on 10 carries, and the Capers mustered only five first downs on their first nine possessions.

“Everyone on that field and everyone on that sideline prepared,” said Coburn, a senior. “We have great players all around, skill, linemen, everyone. It was all of us.”

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. 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.