LEWISTON — Leavitt capped one of the greatest Maine high school football seasons in recent memory with a 71-12 victory over Oceanside on Saturday in the Class C state championship game at Lewiston High School’s Don Roux Field.

The victory gave the Hornets (11-0) their second straight undefeated season. Leavitt had three wins over Class A playoff teams, including state champion Thornton Academy and 2022 champion Oxford Hills, and one against Class B state finalist Lawrence.

“We have been so focused on what we are doing, it’s really hard to think about it. … People can argue about it; this team has done things no other team has done. I couldn’t be more prouder of them,” Leavitt Coach Mike Hathaway said.

The state championship is Leavitt’s eighth, and the fifth under Hathaway.

Leavitt senior quarterback Noah Carpenter had seven completions, including two touchdowns, for 126 yards and also ran for a touchdown while gaining 52 yards. Will Keach had a 32-yard receiving TD and two rushing touchdowns.

“Like I have always said, I (have) the three best players in Maine: That’s Noah Carpenter, Jace Negley and Will Keach,” Hathaway said. “Those guys have been phenomenal every year, with all the big plays in big games. It was no different today.”


Seven Leavitt players scored a touchdown, including Negley, a lineman.

“It feels nice everyone could get a touch on the ball, including a couple of linemen,” Carpenter said. “It’s well deserved that everyone got a chance to touch the ball. Without anyone on this team, we wouldn’t be where we are right now.”

Leavitt started off by pushing the Mariners back 4 yards on their first series. Negley then deflected Oceanside’s first punt of the season up into the air, and Maddox Demers scooped it up and ran in from the 6 for a 6-0 lead with 9:55 remaining in the first quarter.

“You don’t practice that really; you just got to react to it,” Demers said. “Jace created a great push-and-pull, and I was there to jump on the ball. All of it goes to Jace; it’s the reason why it happened.”

After another three-and-out by the Mariners (10-1) and a short punt, the Hornets started their first drive at the Oceanside 37. Following a face-mask penalty, Keach took a sweep 12 yards for a touchdown. The 2-point conversion gave Leavitt a 14-0 lead.

“I regret every second of it,” Oceanside Coach Sam Weiss said. “When I kicked the second one, I was disgusted – we should have went for it. That was kind of the plan from Day 1, in the state game, you are playing an offense that’s going to score whether you kick deep or not. … A kid like Noah Carpenter and an offense like Leavitt, they are going to drive the field whether they are on the 1, or the opposite 1.”


Oceanside did go for it on fourth down, unsuccessfully, on its next possession. Two false starts backed up Leavitt to Oceanside’s 32, but on fourth-and-18, Carpenter found Keach on a slant across the middle of the field for another touchdown. The 2-point conversion stretched the lead to 22-0.

“We ran that route all week in practice,” Keach said. “It was muscle memory.”

Weiss held out hope the Mariners could come back like in a game last season against Hermon.

“Last year, we started a game down 24-0; it was my second game coaching them,” Weiss said. “You could see they just don’t give up, and they had a lot of fight in them. We did lose (that game), 38-36, but we did have a chance in the fourth. Really, until I saw we gave up (today), I thought we’d be OK. Somewhere around the second quarter, it was pretty much run the clock.”

The Mariners lost their starting center in the first quarter and had to shift other linemen around to positions they weren’t used to playing.

Carpenter had a 34-yard touchdown run in the second quarter, and then Aiden Turcotte hauled in a 44-yard touchdown pass from Carpenter, stretching the lead to 36-0.


Leavitt’s final drive of the first half began at the Oceanside 35. Carpenter ran for 18 yards on first down. Later in the drive, Negley had a 4-yard run to the 1 and scored on the next play. Carpenter kicked the extra point for a 43-0 lead.

“If you can get a big guy in the end zone in the state game, you have to take that opportunity,” Hathaway said. “To get Jace there, and Mason (Twitchell) on a (2-point conversion), that was a lot of fun.”

Keach scored a second time after he took the second-half kickoff from Leavitt’s 40 down to 2. He ran in on the next play, and Carpenter kicked the extra point for a 50-0 advantage.

Leavitt needed just one play to score on its next possession, as Keegan Reny caught a 34-yard pass from Carpenter.

“Keegan Reny had a great year at tight end,” Hathaway said. “He’s not the prototype, but he was outstanding.”

After Leavitt forced a fumble, Mason Henderson ran for 45 yards for a touchdown and Twitchell ran in for the conversion.

Oceanside broke through in the fourth quarter when Robbie Blair scampered 46 yards.

Brandon Bilodeau scored the final Leavitt touchdown on a 14-yard run. Oceanside’s Cohen Galley capped the scoring with a 66-yard run in the final two minutes of the game.

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