Fredette, Gagnon lead homecoming win

WINSLOW — It may have come by a whopping 47 points, but the Winslow High School football team’s victory over rival Waterville last week still left room for a nagging caveat.

The Black Raiders finished strong that afternoon, but they started slow. And with a slumping opponent in Belfast coming in this time, the Winslow players were eager to change the narrative.

“Last week, we played against a team that wasn’t as good as us and came out, three drives, didn’t score,” senior running back Ryan Fredette said. “We came out ready to play (this time). It was homecoming week, and we wanted the win.”

It showed. Winslow scored on all six of its first-half possessions, overwhelming the Lions en route to a 56-14 victory in mid-80s temperatures at Poulin Field.

“The kids seemed to execute well. Belfast has a lot of flu and stuff like that, so that was our advantage,” Black Raiders coach Mike Siviski said. “We’re pleased with the overall, a lot of people contributed offensively and defensively. Every single person had significant playing time, and that’s good for team morale.”

The first team only spent one half in the game, but that’s all the time it needed to mount a 42-0 lead by the break. The onslaught started early, with just over a minute off the clock when Fredette took a handoff, bounced right, broke free and outraced the Lions (0-4) defense to the end zone for a 66-yard run and 7-0 lead with 10:28 to go in the first quarter.

“There was this one guy right off that I had to make a move on, but other than that, it was just good blocking,” said Fredette, who ran 10 times for 148 yards, all in the first half, and often while dragging a Lion or two with him. “There was open field. Just got to run to the green grass.”

Winslow (3-1) kept up the pace for the rest of the quarter. The second drive lasted only three plays and covered 69 yards, with Ryan Gagnon (3-of-7, 125 yards) hitting Hunter Campbell for a 61-yard catch-and-run before Alex Demers ran it in from 6 yards out. Gagnon went to the air for Winslow’s third score, finding a wide-open Colby Pomeroy for a 31-yard touchdown pass and a 21-0 lead with 45 seconds left in the period.

The surge continued in the second. A 25-yard Fredette run to the 4-yard line set up Gagnon’s 1-yard keeper with 8:18 to go, and Ben Dorval (five carries, 51 yards) ran the ball on each play of the following three-play drive, covering 54 yards before he scored on a sweep from 12 yards out to make it 35-0 with 5:43 left.

“We definitely have a lot of weapons,” Fredette said of the offense’s depth. “If something doesn’t work, we can have someone else that can work. They can’t stop all of us.”

Gagnon got Winslow’s sixth drive rolling with a 33-yard pass to Dorval, and Fredette finished it off with a 4-yard run to make it 42-0 with 26 seconds left. The Black Raiders amassed 352 yards in the first half.

“We want to play to our expectations. We want to improve,” Siviski said. “We’ve had a couple of times here this year where we haven’t improved, and it’s such a short season, eight weeks. We try to improve weekly and get better, and in football, you never stay the same. You get better or you get worse. We’re pleased with our improvement.”

Winslow tacked on scores in the second half on a 35-yard pass from Justin LaFlamme to Nathan Newgard with 4:57 left in the fourth and Isaiah Goldsmith’s 45-yard run with 24 seconds to play.

Belfast, which couldn’t hold its blocks for much of the game against the more physical Winslow front, found a bright spot in Isaak Cunningham, who ran nine times for 109 yards, 77 coming in the second half. The Lions also got on the board, with Cunningham running in from 24 yards out to make it 42-6 with 11:03 to play, and Donovin Armstrong scoring from 5 yards out to make it 50-14 with 2:12 left.

“At the end, having some success putting the ball in the end zone was a good confidence-builder for these guys,” Belfast coach Chris Bartlett said. “We’re keeping things positive with these young kids. … Just establishing a pace and an identity with this group of kids. That’s one of the things I talked to them about. Establish what type of team you are, what type of player you are.”

Drew Bonifant — 621-5638

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Twitter: @dbonifantMTM