PORTLAND — How deep and talented is the Leavitt Area High School football team? Leading rusher Conor O’Malley left the game with an injury in the first quarter, and the Hornets still had three players run for at least 100 yards.
It was that kind of night, and season, for Leavitt, which capped an undefeated year with a dominating 47-18 win over Winslow in the Class C state championship game at Fitzpatrick Stadium on Saturday night.
It was the first state title since 2009 for the Hornets, who played in the state game for the fourth time in five years. Winslow, also Class C runner-up last season, finished at 9-2.
“We lost to a bigger, faster, stronger football team,” Winslow head coach Mike Siviski said. “They’re by far the best team we’ve seen all season. No one compares to them.”
The Hornets pulled away with 21 unanswered points in the fourth quarter. Nate Rousseau scored on a 33 yard run 28 seconds into the fourth to push Leavitt’s lead to 34-18. With 8:39 to play, Nate Coombs scored on a 4-yard run. Billy Bedard capped the Hornets night with a 7-yard touchdown run with 1:15 left in the game.
Rousseau led Leavitt with 158 yards on 12 carries. Coombs ran for 106 yards on 13 carries, while Bedard added 104 on 14 carries.
Early in the game, it was the Black Raiders who had success running the ball. Dylan Hapworth’s 34-yard run with 8:27 left in the second quarter gave Winslow a brief 10-6 lead.
The Hornets answered when Coombs returned the ensuing kick 90 yards for a touchdown, giving Leavitt the lead for good. Coombs caught the ball at the 10, cut to the right, and evaded a tackle before breaking to the middle of the field. From there, he outran everyone for his first career kick return for a score.
“In my two years, I haven’t returned a kick and the guys always gave me (grief) for it,” Coombs said. “I got a couple key blocks and that sprung me free.”
Leavitt took a 20-10 lead into the half when Tyler Chicoine hit Mitchel Davis with a 5 yard touchdown pass with 12.8 seconds left in the second quarter. The series came after the Hornets recovered a Winslow fumble near midfield. It was the second lost fumble of the half for Winslow, who lost a chance to take a 10-point lead early in the first when Leavitt recovered a fumble in its own end zone for a touchback,
Winslow led 3-0 with 7:59 left in the first on a 33-yard field goal by Hapworth. Bedard gave Leavitt a 6-3 lead with a 34-yard touchdown run as time expired in the first quarter.
Rousseau broke a 60-yard touchdown run with 9:23 left in the third to push Leavitt’s lead to 26-10, but the Black Raiders answered with a 3-yard touchdown run by Zack Guptill with 3:54 left in the third to make it 26-18.
Hapworth led Winslow with 132 yards rushing. Guptill added 99 yards for the Black Raiders.