READFIELD — Sooner rather than later, the Poland Regional High School football team will reach the playoffs. But for the second year in a row, the Knights had to be happy in the role of spoiler, preventing their final opponent of the season from clinching a home game in the first round of the playoffs.

Last season, Winslow was the Knights’ victim. This season, on a very wet Friday night at the Ricky Gibson Field of Dreams, it was Maranacook that fell to Poland, 27-8.

“We’ve been telling the kids all year, we’ve just got to put some things together. You don’t have to do things over the top, you just have to do your job,” Poland head coach Ted Tibbetts said. “It was a really messy night and we took care of the football. That was the key.”

Officials called the game with 2 minutes, 44 seconds remaining, because of lightning. With just over three minutes remaining, Maranacook quarterback Caleb Castonguay and Poland (2-6) linebacker Tanner Marston were ejected for personal fouls. Because of the ejection, Castonguay is ineligible to play when the Black Bears (5-3) play in the Campbell Conference Class C quarterfinals next week.

Maranacook took an 8-0 lead late in the first quarter when Andrew Lachance caught a 57-yard touchdown pass from Castonguay. Lachance (three catches for 132 yards) sprinted down the right sideline, dragging a Poland defender the final 10 yards for the score. Jesse Evans scored the 2-point conversion.

The Black Bears were poised to extend their lead in the second quarter, mounting a 19-play, eight-minute drive that took them to the Knights’ 14-yard line. On fourth-and-10, Poland’s Nick Cole intercepted Castonguay at the 6 and Maranacook never regained offensive momentum.

“The defense did a fantastic job. I knew we could play pretty well against the run. I was a little worried about the pass,” Tibbetts said. “(Maranacook) made some great plays, where we thought we had people there, and they stepped up.”

Poland got on the board with nine seconds left in the first half when Tyler Sturtevant ran 28 yards for a touchdown on fourth-and-7, to go into halftime down 8-6. On its second possession of the third quarter, the Knights took the lead for good when Sturtevant (20 carries for 149 yards) ran 19 yards for a score on fourth-and-16.

Lachance dropped a snap on a punt to set up the Knights at the Maranacook 7 with 1:00 left in the third, and quarterback Tony Whalen ran in from 3 yards out for a 21-6 lead.

Everett Bertrand (five carries for 118 yards) capped the scoring with a 66-yard touchdown run with 9:30 left in the game.

Evans ran for 83 yards on 20 carries for Maranacook.

Bangor 37, Messalonskee 14: Cody Chapman rushed for 107 yards and scored three touchdowns to lead the Rams to the Pine Tree Conference win in Bangor.

The Rams scored on the fifth play of the game when Chapman rushed up the middle for 30 yards. The Eagles responded with an 80-yard drive capped by a score from running back Corey McKenzie. McKenzie led the Eagles with 23q rushing yards and two touchdowns.

Bangor is 4-4 in PTC play while Messalonskee is 6-2.

 

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