WINSLOW —The Winslow High School football team is blessed with three talented running backs. Even when one goes down, as was the case in Saturday afternoon’s Campbell Conference Class C quarterfinal game against Yarmouth, the other two can step up and keep the chains moving.
The top-seeded Black Raiders ran for 465 yards Saturday afternoon to take a 50-22 win over the two-time defending Class C state champion Clipppers. Winslow, now 8-1, will host No. 4 Traip next Saturday. No. 8 Yarmouth ends the season at 2-7.
The Black Raiders played just hours after learning a pair of Winslow High School students, Scott Loisel and Alexandria Ferland, had been killed in a car accident Friday night.
“I’m very proud of our kids for the way they concentrated. A lot of them were playing with heavy hearts because it was their friends that passed away last night in that automobile accident,” Winslow coach Mike Siviski said. “There wasn’t the usual pregame hype, but the kids came out and played hard. I’m proud of them for that.”
In the first half, Joe Hopkins ran for 142 yards on nine carries for Winslow, and opened the scoring with a 52-yard touchdown run two and a half minutes into the game. Hopkins injured his right shoulder late in the second quarter and did not return. Hopkins joined his teammates after the game with his right arm in a sling.
With Hopkins out, Dylan Hapworth made sure the Black Raiders’ offense didn’t slow down. The sophomore ran for 133 of his game-high 223 yards in the second half and scored on touchdown runs of 3 and 15 yards in the fourth quarter to help Winslow seal the win.
“Taking (Hopkins’) spot is filling some big shoes. He’s just a great overall running back,” said Hapworth, who also caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Bobby Chenard in the second quarter. “Our linemen are a special group of guys that only come around so often. Today, it was just great blocking.”
Added Siviski: “It really wasn’t that easy. The game was pretty tight there, for a while. They’re the defending state champs and they didn’t go down.”
Zach Guptill (78 yards on 20 carries) scored three touchdowns for Winslow. Guptill’s third touchdown came with 1:58 to play in the third quarter and gave the Black Raiders some breathing room after the Clippers’ Matthew Woodbury scored on a 4-yard run to cut Winslow’s lead to 30-22 early in the second half.
“They’ve got some talented athletes. They pose a challenge. They’ve got some big guys up front. They run hard. They hit the holes hard,” Yarmouth head coach Chris Pingitore said.
Yarmouth’s Thomas Lord scored his second touchdown of the game with 4:26 left in the second quarter, pulling the Clippers to within two touchdowns, 27-14. The Black Raiders made it 30-14 at the half when Hapworth made a 40-yard field goal with under a second to play in the second quarter.
“I was real tired. I just took a deep breath and kicked it,” Hapworth said.
For much of the game, the Clippers had success running the ball to the perimeter. The Black Raiders held Yarmouth quarterback Brady Neujahr to 58 yards passing and 31 yards rushing. Neujahr threw one interception, a Justin Martin pick at the Winslow 1 with just under five minutes to play. Martin returned the interception to the Yarmouth 44 and Winslow ran out the clock.
“The last time we played them, we pass blocked pretty well. I think they brought more guys into the box and gave our offensive line a little more trouble,” Pingitore said. “We were having a lot of success on the edges. We were running the ball. We didn’t think we had to pass a lot. I think their line was getting too much pressure to let our receivers get open.”
Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242