WALES — The Winthrop/Monmouth football team’s last-second magic finally ran out.

Undefeated Oak Hill High School (5-0 Campbell Conference Class D) raced out to an early lead and held on from there for a 28-19 victory over the Ramblers (3-2) on Saturday afternoon.

“Their past two games we all know they won in the last 30 seconds of the game,” Oak Hill quarterback Dalton Therrien said. “Coach told us, ‘if you let them hang around something is going to happen.’ We just came out on top and made some big plays.”

Therrien led the way for the Ramblers, as he rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns and also threw for 93 yards, including a 9-yard scoring strike to Jonah Martin. His second rushing score from 4 yards out with no time remaining in the third quarter allowed Oak Hill to build a 28-13 lead and minimize the chances of another late comeback from the Ramblers.

The Raiders also got a key stop on a two-point conversion attempt midway through the fourth quarter to keep it a two-possession game.

“We just thought we could do a few things and I thought we executed in the first quarter pretty well,” Oak Hill coach Stacen Doucette said.

The Raiders, who feature one of the conference’s most diverse offenses, wasted little time in putting the Ramblers in an early deficit.

Levi Buteau capped off a 64-yard drive with an 18-yard touchdown run on the game’s opening possession in which the Raiders gashed the Winthrop/Monmouth defense on the ground in bunches.

Oak Hill got the ball back again shortly after and debuted a new wrinkle in its offense, lining up with Therrien at wing back and taking a jet sweep handoff 51 yards for a touchdown to put the Raiders up 14-0 just 3:47 into the contest.

“We’ve played four teams and a bunch of teams have been scouting, obviously. Every week we try to throw a wrinkle in there that somebody is not prepared for,” Therrien said. “It’s just kind of our offense.”

The early advantage had the Ramblers playing catch up all afternoon.

Winthrop/Monmouth cut the deficit to 14-7 with 2:02 remaining in the opening quarter when quarterback Matt Ingram capped off a 72-yard scoring drive with a 3-yard plunge, but the Raiders quickly answered.

After grinding away on the ground for the entirety of the possession, Therrien found Martin for a 9-yard touchdown to finish off a 10-play, 59-yard drive early in the second quarter. Oak Hill threatened to build on its lead with a drive late in the second quarter, but Therrien was sacked on second-and-10 from the Ramblers’ 15-yard line to end the opening half.

“What I told the guys at halftime was I went up to them and said, ‘guys, we’ve got them right where we want them,'” Winthrop/Monmouth coach Dave St. Hilaire. “We challenged the kids to play more physical in the second half.”

After trading turnovers to open the second half, Alec Brown rumbled his way for a 13-yard touchdown to make it a one-possession game at 21-13 midway through the third quarter.

Once again, though, the Raiders responded. A 24-yard completion from Therrien to Connor Nilsson down to the Ramblers’ 7-yard line helped set up a 4-yard touchdown run from Therrien three plays later to make it 28-13 Raiders heading into the fourth quarter.

“We knew that they were a team that would play until the end,” Doucette said. “We felt we had to get a lead and withstand their comeback.”

Winthrop/Monmouth threatened to make another bid at a last-second comeback when Andrew Pazdziorko caught a tipped pass for a 20-yard touchdown with 6:09 to play, but Brown was stopped short of the goal line on a run up the middle on the ensuing two-point try to maintain Oak Hill’s two possession lead.

The Ramblers got the ball back twice more before the end of the contest, but the first ended just two plays in on an interception from Martin and the second on a turnover on downs.

“We’re confident after watching what we saw today that we can play with them,” St. Hilaire said. “It’s just a matter of getting better every day and every week and getting ready for if we meet them in the playoffs.”

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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