ORONO — How did Dylan Hapworth feel about his 236-yard, seven-touchdown performance in Winslow’s 62-14 thrashing of Leavitt in the Class C championship Friday night?

“Honestly, I didn’t do much,” he said.

Hapworth’s clearly being modest about his performance, but not as much as one would think.

From the opening whistle at the University of Maine’s Alfond Stadium the Black Raiders’ offensive line delivered a clear message that they were not going home one game short of capturing the Gold Ball again.

“I don’t know if we’ve ever had a group that was any more ready to play and any more focused than this group,” Winslow coach Mike Siviski said. “Part of that is because we’ve been denied the last few years.”

After winning the toss and electing to receive the Winslow offensive line went to work.

“We’ve been waiting for this game since the summer,” senior lineman Bryce Gilliland said. “We’ve been at this for 14 weeks and this is what we wanted.”

Gilliland, Alec Clark, Evan Gammon, Nathaniel Beckwith, Cameron Morrison and Justin Martin — a tight end more known for his pass catching ability than his blocking — led the way for an 11-yard gain on first down for Trenton Bouchard.

“We kind of knew coming in that (Max Green) was going to key on me, so we really couldn’t have gotten that many passes to me so I just tried blocking as best as I could,” Martin said. “I realized it’s actually fun blocking because you get the joy of getting them the touchdown. It feels pretty good.”

The group paved five yards for Kenny Rickard the following plays and then 13 for Hapworth to pick up another first down. Back-to-back 4-yard gains from Bouchard and Hapworth set the table for Hapworth to score the first of his seven touchdowns, this one from 24 yards out.

All it took was six plays and 2 minutes for the Black Raiders to go 61 yards, setting the tone for what would ultimately become a long night for the Hornets.

“They just outplayed us,” Levitt coach Michael Hathwaway said. “That’s about as simple as it is.”

Winslow did not do anything too special in its play calling and it did not really need to either. Each time quarterback Bobby Chenard turned to hand the ball off to Hapworth or Rickard — the primary benefactor of the strong play up front — there was seemingly yards of open space.

“It’s really unbelievable what they did today,” Hapworth said. “We really stuck to our basic stuff. We didn’t really run anything special. They really had the push.

“I ran through the hole and there was a huge hole every time. I just couldn’t be more proud of our line and just our whole team.”

The Black Raiders ran 25 offensive plays before they had one go backwards, a five-yard false start penalty early in the second quarter. By that time though it was already 28-0 Winslow.

In the Black Raiders’ march to their 49-0 halftime lead they lined up for 44 offensive plays. Only three — a Chenard interception, a Chenard incompletion and the false start penalty — did not go for positive yards.

“We give it all we’ve got every play,” Clark said.

Offensive line is not a glory position. It’s one that is often overlooked as fans’ eyes shift towards the player celebrating in the end zone.

For the Winslow offensive line though, Saturday night was their turn to shine in the bright lights at Alfond Stadium.

All those hours trudging away at the sled in practice finally paying dividends.

“It’s awful but it makes us better,” Gammon said. “We do it every day and we just keep pushing and pushing.

“That’s how we win. Keep practicing 110 percent every day and that’s how we get the Gold Ball baby.”

Evan crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan Crawley


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