WALES — Alex Mace does not seek the spotlight, just the end zone.

The two, however, often go together in high school football and this fall Oak Hill’s humble leader found himself in both on a weekly basis.

When the limelight was at its brightest, Mace was at his best though as he played a major part in leading the Raiders (11-1) to their second consecutive Class D championship.

For his efforts, Mace has been named the 2014 Kennebec Journal Football Player of the Year. Cony’s Mitchell Caron, Tayler Carrier and Reid Shostak were also strongly considered for the honor.

“Alex is a great athlete,” Oak Hill coach Stacen Doucette said of Mace after the Raiders’ first game of the season, a 47-14 win over Telstar in which Mace scored four touchdowns. “Alex is a two-dimensional athlete, receiving and running. He has some speed, he has some size and he has some strength. He’s a very coachable kid and an all-around team player.”

He certainly proved that throughout the season.

Much like Mace himself, his play on the field did the talking for him. Offensively he totaled 2,137 yards, 20 touchdowns and just a single fumble, and he also added a 98-yard interception return for a touchdown on Oct. 18 against Traip and a 57-yard punt return for a touchdown in the Class D title game against Maine Central Institute.

For all the numbers Mace put up this year though, the most important part was when he did so — in the playoffs.

Oak Hill struggled to a 6-0 deficit in the opening round of the Western D playoffs on a cold, wet Saturday against Maranacook, but it was Mace that provided the spark to keep his team’s hopes of repeating as champs alive.

Kyle Flaherty ultimately scored the go-ahead touchdown from 2 yards out in the Raiders’ 7-6 win, but it was Mace that accumulated 40 yards on the 65-yard scoring drive when the Raiders’ offense had spent the bulk of the afternoon sputtering in the mud.

In Oak Hill’s 25-6 regional semifinal win over Dirigo, Mace provided the knockout blow with a 75-yard touchdown early in the fourth quarter. The following week at Lisbon, Mace’s 40-yard touchdown catch and run — with an extra emphasis on the run portion of the play — was the difference in a 7-6 Oak Hill victory in the Western D championship.

The Raiders’ 41-21 victory over then-unbeaten MCI truly showed what Mace was made of though. He scored three touchdowns in three different ways — one pass, one run and one punt return — on his way to an impressive 342 total yards.

“This is something I’ll never forget,” Mace said after the win.

Mace also played a key role when Flaherty was lost to a hamstring injury for two and half games early in the regular season, however, the two most certainly made each other better.

“We as a team we don’t care who we give the ball to but when it’s to Alex and (Flaherty) it just goes 20 more yards,” senior offensive lineman Mike Pease said. “They just know how to fight for the yards.”

For their careers the duo combined for 8,908 total yards and 99 touchdowns, the bulk of which came in the past two championship winning seasons. Prior to the previous two seasons, Oak Hill had won a state title just once, in 1982 when it defeated Foxcroft 28-6.

“Alex and Kyle are the two best athletes I’ve ever seen in my life,” first-year Oak Hill starting quarterback Dalton Therrien said.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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