WINSLOW — Winslow High School quarterback Bobby Chenard threw just nine passes in Saturday afternoon’s Eastern Class C championship game against rival Waterville. Most of Winslow’s offensive plays were runs between the tackles.

What the Black Raiders lacked in flair, they made up for in effectiveness. Three of Chenard’s nine passes went for touchdowns, and Winslow took a 29-12 win for its third consecutive regional title.

“We’ve still got one more,” Chenard said. “Three years in a row now, but it’s not enough.”

Runners-up in Class C in each of the last two seasons, Winslow (10-0) will face defending state champion Leavitt (10-1) at the University of Maine at Orono on Friday night in a rematch of last season’s title game.

For Waterville, it was the third consecutive season that ended in a conference championship game, and the Purple Panthers finished the season 8-2, with both losses coming to Winslow.

Winslow’s judicious use of the passing game worked after the Black Raiders began running their no huddle offense out of their goal line formation midway through the second quarter. After stopping a long Waterville drive at their own 19, the Black Raiders went 81 yards in 15 plays. The only pass play of the drive was the final play, an 11-yard touchdown pass from Chenard to Justin Martin. After a Waterville facemask penalty on a fake kick conversion try, Dylan Hapworth ran in the 2-point conversion for an 8-0 lead with 4:06 left in the first half.

“We ran our goal line offense, just pounding the ball. We kept running the ball. After a while, that quick pass just opened up because everyone was biting up on the run. It was wide open,” Chenard, who threw for 92 yards, said. “We’re in pretty good condition, and we like to be quick off the ball. We just try to make teams feel uncomfortable. When we run the goal line (offense), they can’t get their subs in. It’s just on the ball, on the ball, on the ball. It wears them out, and we run right over them.”

Winslow coach Mike Siviski went to the no huddle after Waterville mounted a seven-minute drive that spanned the first and second quarters. While the drive stalled at the Winslow 19, Siviski felt his team needed a spark.

“It was ball control. We needed it. Waterville controlled (the ball) for most of the first half and we needed to get a few first downs,” Siviski said.

Winslow capitalized when Dylan Hutchison intercepted a pass near midfield on the second play of the third quarter. After five runs, Chenard found a wide-open Jacob Trask for a 30-yard touchdown pass and a 14-0 lead.

Waterville capitalized on a turnover of its own late in the third. After a Devon Begin interception set the Panthers up at their own 42, Waterville mounted a nine-play scoring drive, capped by quarterback AJ Godin’s 1-yard touchdown run with 19.9 seconds left in the third quarter.

Waterville coach Matt Gilley was looking for an intensity he didn’t see from his team in a 35-7 regular-season loss to Winslow, and liked his team’s effort.

“The seniors came out determined, and that rubbed off of the rest of the team. They were in the right mindset,” Gilley said.

With 10:11 left in the game, Chenard and Trask hooked up for a second 30-yard touchdown pass. This one came on fourth-and-2. With Waterville loaded up to stop the run, Trask came off the line from his tight end spot uncovered and scored easily.

“It was just a quick pass to the tight (end), pop out from the coverage, and he was wide open,” Chenard said.

After Godin connected with Cam Thomas (68 yards rushing, 48 yards receiving) on a 17-yard touchdown with 5:53 left in the game, Winslow’s Kenny Rickard (14 carries for 72 yards) scored on a 14-yard run up the middle to seal the game for the Black Raiders.

Hapworth ran for a game-high 128 yards on 25 carries. Nat Beckwith had two sacks for Winslow.

“Football is a special game because, different bounces of the football can determine the final outcome. There were a few bounces that just didn’t go our way, and sort of put us on our heels for a second,” Gilley said. “We recovered nicely, but there were some opportunities that they cashed in on, and that was the difference in the game.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM


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