With one game left in the 2013 football season, both Leavitt and Winslow are still motivated by disappointing ends to 2012. One of them will find some sort of redemption when it wins the Class C state title tonight.

Winslow (9-1) ended last season with a loss to Foxcroft Academy in the Class C state championship game. Throughout the season, the Black Raiders focused on getting back to Portland’s Fitzpatrick Stadium.

“It’s real good to get a second chance,” Winslow senior co-captain Zack Guptill said. “We left a lot on the field last year.”

Leavitt (10-0) was upset in the first round of the Pine Tree Conference Class B playoffs last year, and that loss to Belfast still stings.

“We’ve played with a chip on our shoulder from that,” Leavitt head coach Mike Hathaway said. “We’ve been out to prove something ever since.”

This is Leavitt’s fourth trip to the state championship game in five years. The Hornets won the Class B title in 2009, and were runner-up in 2010 and 2011.

For Winslow, this is the fourth appearance in the state championship game in the last 10 years. The Black Raiders were Class B runner-up in 2004 and 2006, and fell to Foxcroft in Class C last season. Winslow is looking for its first state championship since winning back-to-back Class B titles in 2000 and 2001.

From 2003 through 2010, Leavitt and Winslow were rivals in the Pine Tree Conference Class B division. They’ve played each other enough times to know this will not be an easy game.

“They’re hard-nosed. They come off the ball hard,” Hathaway said of Winslow.

An offensive line led by senior tackles Tanner Gilliland and Troy Ellis, guards Dustin Fitch and Alec Clark, and center Bryce Gilliland are a key to Winslow’s strong running attack. Tailback Dylan Hapworth leads the Black Raiders with 1,391 yards and 19 touchdowns, and ran for almost 500 yards and eight touchdowns in two regional playoff games.

At fullback, Guptill has 943 yards and 15 touchdowns.

“Hapworth and Guptill, those guys have been around,” Hathaway said. “They’re good football players.”

Quarterback Bobby Chenard has 586 yards passing, and his favorite target is tall tight end Justin Martin. The 6-foot-6 Martin has 16 catches for 240 yards. Winslow averages 40 points per game.

Leavitt’s defense is led by senior linebacker Levi Morin, who has 33 solo tackles and 64 assists. Defensive end Connor O’Malley has 11 sacks, and safety Nate Coombs has five interceptions.

The Hornets have allowed just 62 points, and shut out four consecutive opponents in the regular season. Until last week’s 48-21 win over Spruce Mountain in the Western C final, Leavitt had not given up more than 12 points in a game.

“Their defense is outstanding,” Winslow head coach Mike Siviski said.

Winslow’s defense must contend with Leavitt’s diverse spread offense. The Hornets don’t have one guy on which the Black Raiders can focus. While Leavitt has nobody with over 1,000 yards rushing, the Hornets do have three players with at least 700 yards, and they run behind a line led by the two biggest tackles in the state.

Left tackle Matt Powell is 6-8, 290 pounds. Leavitt right tackle Matt Child is 6-5, 300. They, along with center Morin and guards Nick Nason and Will Parkin, open the lanes for an offense that averages 506 yards per game.

“They’re big and strong. They have a real good team. They aren’t in states for no reason at all,” Winslow co-captain Tanner Gilliland said.

O’Malley leads Leavitt’s deep group of skill players with 893 yards and nine touchdowns. Nate Rousseau has 743 yards and 12 touchdowns.

Quarterback Tyler Chicoine has 1,107 yards passing and 11 touchdown throws for the Hornets. Billy Bedard could also see time at quarterback in Leavitt’s spread attack. Coombs is Leavitt’s top receiver, with 32 catches for 438 yards.

“We move a lot of guys around and do a lot of things,” Hathaway said.

When looking at Winslow’s defense, Hathaway said he’s concerned with Martin. A linebacker who drops back into coverage, Martin has 26 solo tackles, 35 assists, four sacks and six interceptions.

“We’ve got to know where (Martin) is. He’s a very sure tackler,” Hathaway said.

Defensive lineman Aaron Lint has 26 tackles, 45 assists and five sacks for Winslow. Tanner Gilliland has six sacks. Linebacker CJ Kelley has 42 solo tackles to lead the team.

On special teams, Hapworth is 47 for 48 on extra point kicks.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242[email protected]Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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