WINTHROP — The Winthrop football team got a jump on an anticipated wet Friday by moving up its regular-season finale against Old Orchard Beach to Thursday.

The Ramblers were eliminated from playoff contention at Maxwell Field, losing to the Seagulls 31-6.

Nick Carlin rushed for 42 yards and a pair of touchdowns on nine carries to lead OOB (6-2), which clinched a Campbell Conference Class C playoff berth.

Winthrop finished 2-6 and failed to qualify for the second consecutive year.

“We had guys playing three or four different positions (and) somebody was going down every week,” Winthrop coach Joel Stoneton said. “But we played hard and we kept fighting.”

OOB led 17-0 at the half and then put the game out of reach when Joe Gildard intercepted a Jared Hanson pass and returned it 16 yards for a touchdown with 6 minutes, 11 seconds left in the third quarter. The score, coupled with an extra point from Jim Strohm, gave OOB a 24-0 lead.

Gildard also rushed for 100 yards.

“We knew (Winthrop) would come out fired up,” OOB coach Dean Plante said. “We turned the tide with a couple big plays.”

Dan Moody led Winthrop with 57 yards on 12 carries. His 1-yard touchdown with 3:28 left in the fourth quarter spoiled the shutout.

Both teams were sloppy in the first half, with the two combining for seven turnovers and 14 penalties. But it was OOB that capitalized on the opportunities. The Seagulls snapped a 0-0 game when Carlin plowed into the end zone from a yard out with 48 seconds left in the first quarter.

Strohm kicked the extra point and OOB was up 7-0.

The score capped an 11-play, 80-yard drive that started after Winthrop failed to score at the other end of the field about five minutes earlier.

The Ramblers, who had four turnovers and eight penalties for 56 yards in the first half, reached the OOB 25-yard line midway through the quarter. However, penalties, coupled with a few drops, pushed Winthrop back and stalled the drive.

The Seagulls extended their lead with a touchdown and a 26-yard field goal by Strohm in the final 2 minutes, 15 seconds left in the second quarter.

Carlin rushed for his second 1-yard touchdown with 2:13 left in the quarter, finishing off a drive that started at the Winthrop 46 thanks to the second of two Bryan Roberts interceptions.

Winthrop turned the ball over on its ensuing possession — a fumble on a bad snap — and OOB again capitalized.

This time, it was a field goal by Strohm with 48 seconds left in the second quarter.

“We played with them in the first half, but you can’t spot a team a (17-point) lead,” Stoneton said.

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]

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