KENNEBUNK — The game was on the line, the Kennebunk High football team’s season was on the line, and Jonah Barstow was being called on to make his first field goal of the year.

No pressure, right?

“I shouted about 50 prayers up right there in like five seconds,” he said.

And they were answered. Barstow’s 26-yard attempt snuck over the crossbar and inside the right post with 13 seconds remaining, lifting top-seeded Kennebunk (8-1) to a 23-22 victory over No. 4 Westbrook in the Class B South semifinals at Veterans Memorial Field Monday night.

“I like to believe that the Lord just took over and … it went over,” said Barstow, who in his main job as Kennebunk’s bruising tailback ran for 168 yards and a touchdown on 23 carries. “For the past 10 minutes, I was like ‘There’s no way, there’s like a 1% chance of it coming down to my leg.’ And it did.”

It was a wildly different outcome than the teams’ matchup in September, a 35-0 Rams’ victory in which Westbrook looked outmatched. On Monday, the Blue Blazes (4-6) were resilient, tough and confident – and they were seconds away from landing perhaps the upset of the playoffs.


“This thing comes to a screeching halt, right? That’s the way it works,” said Westbrook Coach Sam Johnson, whose tears after the game matched those of his players. “We don’t prepare to be close in games. We prepare to win. … The emotion you’re seeing is us feeling like we came here to win. So we’re not feeling like ‘Oh, we almost got them, we played better than the first game.’ We’re trying to compete to get to a Southern Maine final.”

Down 20-8 at halftime, Westbrook put itself on the verge of the stunner by getting first an 11-yard touchdown run from Gavin Tanner (28 carries, 104 yards), and then a 40-yard scoring pass up the seam from Giovanni Staples to Dimitri Lubin (six catches, 93 yards) for a 22-20 lead with 10:24 to play.

A Lubin interception ended a Kennebunk drive that reached the red zone with 4:25 to go, but the Rams got another try when they forced a punt and got the ball on the Westbrook 35 with 1:54 to go. The drive reached fourth-and-10 from the Westbrook 14, and Coach Keith Noel called on Barstow – who was called into kicking action because of an injury to Max Andrews.

“It’s kind of what we had to do,” Noel said. “(He’s) a senior, and you rely on your seniors to make a play.”

An offside call made the kick five yards shorter, and Barstow’s kick was true.

“(It was) a lot of pressure,” Barstow said. “But I knew that if I was nervous, it wasn’t going to go well for me.”


Kennebunk took a 14-0 lead in the second quarter, getting first a 2-yard touchdown run from Brady Stone and then a 40-yard run from Barstow. Westbrook answered back with a pass from Staples (13 for 25, 232 yards) to Tanner in the flat that the senior took 30 yards for a score with 3:44 to go in the half.

Kennebunk bumped its lead back to two scores on Austin West’s diving 3-yard touchdown catch with 23.8 seconds left before halftime.

That was all of the Rams’ scoring – until Barstow came through.

“It’s exciting. … Any game you get in November is fun,” Noel said. “We want to keep on getting as many games as we can.”

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