PORTLAND — The Mt. Blue offense, electrifying and dominant for much of the night, delivered one big play after another Saturday in the Class B state championship game against Marshwood.
The Mt. Blue defense, battered and shredded for much of the night, came up with the one big play it needed.
Add them together, and the Cougars upended the Hawks 44-42 in a wild shootout before about 5,000 fans at Fitzpatrick Stadium to claim the Class B football state championship.
“I don’t even know what to say,” Mt. Blue quarterback Jordan Whitney said. “These are happy tears.”
The Cougars (12-0) completed an undefeated season and won their first state title since 1980.
Marshwood, which went 2-6 last season, finished 10-2.
Chad Luker rushed for 44 yards and five touchdowns on 15 carries to lead the Cougars.
But this night belonged to senior quarterback Whitney.
Whitney rushed for 117 yards on 13 carries. He also completed three of six passes for 44 yards.
“We put it all on his shoulders,” Mt. Blue coach Gary Parlin said. “He’s just a great athlete. He made big plays. He’s going to take a piece of my heart when he graduates.”
Marshwood quarterback Cameron Roll rushed for 121 yards and a touchdown on 12 carries. He also threw for 125 yards and a score. Brett Gerry rushed for 87 yards and two touchdowns for the Hawks.
The Cougars and Hawks put on a show Saturday night, particularly for fans of offenses.
Mt. Blue scored on six of its eight possessions and traded blows with Marshwood in an entertaining game from the outset.
The Cougars led 20-8 after the first quarter and 26-21 at the half. Luker rushed for a pair of
touchdowns — from 3 and 1 yards out — in the third quarter to keep the Cougars out front.
“Our offense was really good,” Whitney said. “We came out to play.”
But the Hawks rallied in the fourth. Captain Dan Lizotte rushed for a 3-yard touchdown 39 seconds into the fourth to pull Marshwood within 38-35.
The Cougars, needing an answer, recovered a squib kick and took over at its own 49-yard line.
They drove down to the Marshwood 20-yard line, but faced a pivotal fourth-and-4.
“We had to make a couple big plays,” Whitney said.
And he made one.
Whitney threw a 20-yard touchdown pass to tight end Zak Kendall with 6:18 left to put the Cougars up 44-35.
The Hawks answered with a quick score of their own, when Gerry rushed for a 10-yard touchdown to cap a five-play drive about three minutes later. The score made it a 44-42 game.
“Both offenses were on fire,” Whitney said.
Marshwood had a chance to put together a game-winning drive in the final two minutes, after it forced the lone Mt. Blue punt of the second half, but it fumbled the ball away with 1:46 remaining.
“Defenses came to play a little bit, not much though,” Whitney said. “We made a couple big stops.”
Bill Stewart — 621-5640