WINTHROP — How much more of this can Winthrop/Monmouth football fans take?

A week after winning with six seconds left on the clock, the Ramblers gave their huge homecoming crowd another thrill Friday night, this time beating Maranacook 17-14 on a dramatic pass play with 12 seconds remaining.

The play carried 28 yards from quarterback Matt Ingram to senior Ben Ames who fell into the end zone as he caught the ball.

“We were worried no doubt about it,” said Ames.

The Ramblers got the ball back with just over a minute left to play and went 57 yards for the score. Ingram completed four passes in the drive, kept alive by a critical fourth down run of 9 yards from Alec Brown. That set up the final play.

“It was a hitch and go,” Ames said. “I didn’t have time to think about it. I just wanted to catch the ball.”

Ingram was falling backward as he threw and hit Ames, who had a step on his defender, right between the numbers.

“I was on my back,” said Ingram, who witnessed the reception. “I got drilled a lot of times.”

The win leaves Winthrop/Monmouth at 3-1 in Class D Campbell Conference play while Maranacook falls to 2-1.

The game was Maranacook’s for the taking. The Ramblers turned the ball over five times, four of those in the second half.

“We really didn’t deserve to be in this one,’ Winthrop coach Dave St. Hilaire said. “Five turnovers, a blocked punt and blocked PAT, you just don’t win games like that.”

The Black Bears made some mistakes of their own. They coughed up the ball at the Winthrop 22 midway through the fourth quarter and Ames recovered the ball. The Ramblers returned the favor by fumbling on their next possession at the Maranacook 25 with Zach Lacasse recovering for the Black Bears. Winthrop/Monmouth held the Bears on downs to force a punt and set up the final drive.

“We played some pretty good defense, but they had a few balls over the top,” Maranacook coach Joe Emery said. “Winthrop’s a really good passing team. We couldn’t capitalize at the end, that’s why we lost. Those last two drives we couldn’t get four or five first downs and run the clock out.”

The Black Bears, operating out of their double wing offense, just pounded the ball down Winthrop’s throat in the first half. Lacasse capped a 72-yard drive, all on the ground, in the first quarter with an 8-yard run to make it 6-0.

The Ramblers tied the game in the second quarter when Ingram hit Bennett Brooks behind the defense and he broke a tackle at the 10 on a play that carried 44 yards. Winthrop/Monmouth took a 9-6 lead when Tyler Cody kicked a 23-yard field as time expired in the first half. The play was set up by Nate Scott weaving a 55-yard punt return that carried to the M-30.

The Black Bears, who ran behind Lacasse, Drew Davis, Brandyn Michaud and quarterback Kyle Morand, took the lead in the third quarter when Davis capped a short drive with a 1-yard plunge. Michaud rushed the conversion to make it 14-9.

Lacasse led Maranacook with 112 yards on 20 carries.


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