SACO — One of the joys of The annual Maine Shrine Lobster Bowl is seeing how players from the state’s four classes of football interact and stand up to each other on the field.

On Saturday afternoon at Thornton Academy’s Dr. Paul S. Hill Jr. Stadium, players from the Class D small school thrived.

Three of the West’s four first half touchdowns were scored by players from Class D schools.

Steven Gilbert, a wide receiver from Oak Hill, opened the game’s scoring just under three minutes into the first quarter. On third down and 8 yards to go from the East 9, Gilbert lined up wide left. Gilbert gave a hitch to shake his defender, before catching the touchdown pass from Bonny Eagle’s Cam Day.

“I wanted to make (the game) memorable. We’ve been running (the play) all week and it hadn’t worked,” Gilbert said. “Being first to score definitely helped out a lot.”

Midway through the second quarter, Angelo Succi of Traip Academy made one of the top defensive plays of the game. Playing in coverage, Succi intercepted a Garrett McSweeney pass and sprinted 35 yards for a touchdown. Succi’s pick and score staked the West to a 19-0 lead.

After forcing the East to go three and out on its next possession, Lisbon’s Tyler Halls caught a pair of passes on back-to-back plays to increase the West lead to 26-0.

With the West facing third down and 13 at the East 33 yard line, Halls lined up wide right and ran a deep fade. Covered tightly by Gunner McAllister of Lawrence, Halls outjumped McAllister to come down with the Frankie Veino pass for a 29 yard gain.

“He’s a good DB,” Halls said of McAllister’s coverage. “I saw the ball up in the air and I knew I had to catch it at the high point.”

On the next play, Halls lined up right again, and curled into the end zone to catch Veino’s pass for a 26-0 lead. Halls said the play originally called for him to run an out pattern, but when he saw the coverage of the East linebackers, he changed to an option route and cut in.

Halls added a second touchdown catch early in the third quarter, making a 30-yard catch down the right sideline on a Veins pass.

At halftime, Halls was named the Class D winner of the Schmidlin Award, as the coaches association player of the year in his division. Halls said he felt no difference in the talent levels of players from different classes throughout the week of practice. Still, he was happy to see his fellow Class D players step up and make key plays.

“We all worked so hard this week,” Hall said. “It gives us a chance to show off our talent.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM