The Skowhegan football team brought back seven senior starters on offense and defense this season, and 16 seniors altogether.

Suffice it to say, there was a sense of urgency for the River Hawks.

“It was do or die,” senior quarterback Adam Savage said. “We were waiting for this our whole lives.”

The season, and its final game, didn’t disappoint. Led by a massive performance from Savage on both sides of the ball, Skowhegan defeated Portland, 20-14, in the Class B state championship game Saturday afternoon at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

“We’ve been playing with each other since second grade,” said Savage, who ran for 154 yards, threw for 190 and made two interceptions on defense, the last of which essentially iced the victory. “For us to all come together and win it for the town is amazing.”

It’s the first state title for Skowhegan (10-2) since 1978, and the first Class B championship for a North team since Brunswick in 2016. It came in the River Hawks’ first state final appearance since 2017.


“It’s the best feeling in the world,” Skowhegan Coach Ryan Libby said. “For these kids to roll through playoffs the way they did and to finish tonight the way they just did, it’s a great feeling to see them go all the way.”

Portland, led by 155 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries from Kennedy Charles, finished 8-4 and saw its seven-game winning streak end.

“Offensively, they made the plays they needed to make. They didn’t turn the ball over,” said Bulldogs Coach Jason McLeod, whose team was unable to complete a comeback from a 20-6 halftime deficit. “We wanted to work hard to win the (second) half. … We just needed to be a little more opportunistic on offense.”

Savage ran wild and also burned the Bulldogs with his arm, finding Tyler Annis (six catches, 146 yards) and Quintcey McCray (two catches, 44 yards) for touchdown passes.

“His playoff games this season have been phenomenal,” Libby said. “He gets a ton of touches, and we ask him to do the lion’s share of the work offensively. … He’s pretty special to watch play football.”

His biggest play, however, may have come on the defensive side of the ball. Portland was down 20-14 after a 4-yard touchdown run by Charles and had the ball in Skowhegan territory with time ticking down.


On third-and-9 from the Skowhegan 34, Charles threw a pass beyond the first-down marker, but Savage was in position and made the interception with 4:37 to play. Skowhegan picked up two first downs to run out the clock.

Savage admitted he was nervous.

“I think that’s inevitable, when they’re driving on you like that,” he said. “When (the ball) got in my hands, and I didn’t drop it, I was so pumped. It felt great.”

Skowhegan encountered little trouble on offense in the first half. On the River Hawks’ second drive, Savage had runs of 30 and 17 yards to move the ball to the Portland 11, and Annis scored on a shovel pass for a 7-0 lead.

Portland came right back with a 44-yard scoring run by Charles, but Skowhegan quickly responded, as Savage hit Annis down the seam for 86 yards to the Portland 1, setting up a Savage touchdown run. Two drives later, the River Hawks moved from their 11 to the Portland 40 before Savage found McCray for a touchdown with 8.7 seconds left in the half.

The yards gained were Savage’s on the stat sheet, but the senior quarterback sent praise elsewhere.


“Our offensive line, hands down,” he said. “We’ve got some big boys, we’ve got some boys that work hard.”

Collin and Kyle LePage, Brayden Carr, Kaden Salley and Mike Welch formed the offensive front that won battle after battle on the line.

“We just worked together, worked hard and came together as a team and kicked some butt,” Carr said. “This game was the best game of the season. It was awesome.”

Portland regained its footing, however, and kept Skowhegan off the board in the second half while putting itself in position to tie or win the game.

“We had a rough start at the beginning of the season, but things worked out in the best ways for us,” Charles said. “None of it was easy, from the beginning. Every game was a challenge, every win was a challenge. … We deserved to be here.”

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