NORTH BERWICK — For Noble junior Jamier Rose, Homecoming 2023 will be remembered as the night he notched a touchdown hat trick.

Rose threw a touchdown pass, ran for a pair and had an interception return for another. All that helped the Knights take a 28-20 win over South Portland in a pivotal Class A South game Friday night at William R. Bourbon Stadium.

The win improved Noble to 4-1 and gives the Knights the inside track at the No. 4 seed and a home game in the first round of the playoffs. South Portland dropped to 2-3.

Noble struggled last season in Class B, and that led the Knights to enter this season with a chip on their shoulder, Rose said.

“It means a lot for us. We came in, we were ranked below Class C teams, a bunch of teams we felt we should be higher than,” Rose said. “But this is just the start. We’re still rolling. We’ve got Portland next week. It’s going to be a good game, a tough game. We’re past this. This game’s over now.”

Rose ran for 191 yards and threw for 143. His 67-yard touchdown run in the final minute of the third quarter gave Noble a 28-7 lead, but it almost wasn’t enough.


A pair of Gabe Galarraga touchdown catches from Easton Healy in the fourth quarter, one for 6 yards and the other for 22, pulled the Red Riots within 28-20 with just over three minutes to play. South Portland got the ball back twice in the final 2:40, but lost it on downs, then saw its final opportunity slip away when Noble’s Sean Davis intercepted a pass with 20 seconds left.

Wasting little time between snaps, the Knights moved the ball efficiently on each of their first two drives. On the first, they came away with nothing when Healy intercepted Rose at the goal line. Noble picked up two points on the next play, though, getting a safety when the Red Riots recovered a fumble in the end zone to cut South Portland’s lead to 7-2.

Getting the ball right back, Noble went 59 yards in six plays, scoring when Taivian Brown caught a Rose pass in the middle of the field and fell into the end zone as he was tackled. The 2-point conversion rush failed, and the Knights led 8-7 with 10:23 left in the first half.

Late in the first half, South Portland marched into Noble territory, but Rose brought an abrupt end to the drive and stole momentum back in one play, intercepting Healy at the 15 and racing 85 yards for the touchdown. Rose cut to his left toward the Noble sideline after securing the ball. Once over midfield, he turned away from the pursuit and sprinted to the middle of the field, outracing everybody for a 14-7 lead with 2:53 left in the half.

“A big shout out to number 50, Isaiah (Conary). He led the way for me. All I had to do was cut it back and I was gone,” Rose said. “My teammates got pressure on the quarterback and it made my job easy.”

The Red Riots controlled the ball and the clock at the game’s start, taking the opening drive 62 yards in 15 plays and scoring on Healy’s 2-yard run to cap an 8-minute, 19-second drive for a 7-0 lead. South Portland kept the drive going by converting a fourth-and-1 run from its own 47 on the fourth play of the drive.

Matthew Frey ran for 76 yards for South Portland.

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