WALES — Two days after they beat Bucksport to win the Class D state championship, members of the Oak Hill football team met one last time as a group Monday.

The Raiders (10-2), who won a state title for the first time since 1982, turned in equipment, discussed rings and, yes, even looked ahead to next year.

“It still hasn’t sunk in yet,” Oak Hill senior quarterback Parker Asselin said. “Coach always told us to win our last game and we did. It’s just so awesome knowing we finished our high school career with this.”

Added senior Luke Washburn, who was a disruptive force at defensive end against the Golden Bucks: “I think it’s going to take a couple of weeks for this to sink in. The immediate shock is gone, but it’s going to take some time for the whole thing to really sink in.”

Washburn and Asselin were two of five seniors who handed in their equipment for a final time.

Washburn described the meeting as “bittersweet.”

“There is no way we could be upset but it is always sad to turn the stuff in,” he said. “Usually we hand it in and it’s wait until next year. For us, though, there is no next year.”

Oak Hill beat Bucksport (10-1) 42-35 in a wild Class D state game at Fitzpatrick Stadium on a chilly Saturday.

Kyle Flaherty led the way with 217 rushing yards and three touchdowns as the Raiders prevailed in a see-saw game that wasn’t decided until late in the fourth quarter.

The Golden Bucks pulled with 42-35 with 2 minutes, 55 seconds left on a 25-yard touchdown pass from Matt Stewart to Josh Gray. The Raiders fumbled the ensuing kickoff, setting the Bucks up for a chance for a game-tying score.

However, Washburn sacked Stewart on fourth down to all but end the game.

“The whole thing was so awesome,” Washburn said. “Just incredible.”

After the game, the Raiders departed Portland for a reception at the high school.

Asselin and Washburn recalled the bus ride to Wales as surreal.

“I just held onto the Gold Ball the entire ride,” Washburn said. “I held it tight, right on my lap. It was the best bus ride I’ve ever been on.”

Added Asselin, who threw two touchdown passes to Alex Mace and also rushed for a score against Bucksport: “It was unbelievable. For awhile we were just trying to grasp what had happened.”

Doucette met with the team for awhile Monday afternoon. They talked about ordering championship rings, sweatshirts or hats, and reminisced about the game Saturday.

Then, Doucette said, they shifted the focus to next year.

“We were enjoying it,” he said. “We talked about rings but then we talked about the positions that would be open next year. We always have to keep the kids hungry. We talked about how there would be a few spots open and what people could do to go and earn them in the offseason. We told them, ‘If you want it, you have to go earn it.’ We have some good athletes coming back.”

The Raiders will return key skill players Mace and Flaherty, but will need to replace Asselin and Washburn, among others.

Dalton Therrien filled in at quarterback this fall when Asselin was hurt and performed admirably. He’s the frontrunner to earn the starting job next season.

“We have some other guys who plan to play it, too,” Doucette said. “We’re looking pretty stout at quarterback. We have a lot of players coming back but we’ll miss the ones who are leaving. But they did create some very special memories here.

“We told them all to take a mental picture before the game Saturday and to remember it. Now, they have a mental picture from after the game, They will have that forever. It’s not often you can say you were the best at something but they can. They’ll always have that.”

Bill Stewart — 621-5640[email protected]

Twitter: @billstewartkj

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