WALES — Each opponent of the Oak Hill High School football team this season has had to answer the same question: How do we stop Dalton Therrien?

Through eight games the answer continues to be murky, as the senior quarterback has put up big games both through the air and on the ground. He has completed 53-of-86 passes for 1,093 yards, 16 touchdowns and no interceptions this season for a sparkling passer rating of 144.138. He has also only been sacked twice this season, a credit to his scrambling ability and the Raiders’ offensive line in passing situations.

Therrien has been equally deadly running the ball. He leads the team in rushing with 10 touchdowns and 633 yards on 57 carries — an average of 11.1 yards per tote. He also has just one lost fumble on the season.

Even with how well Therrien has played, the Raiders’ Campbell Conference Class D semifinal opponent, No. 4 Winthrop/Monmouth, is hopeful it can keep the senior signal caller in check when the two teams meet Saturday at 12:30 p.m. at Oak Hill.

“We have the ability to stop him if we do what we need to do,” Ramblers junior running back Nate Scott said. “Every player can be stopped if you have the right mindset.”

While the Ramblers are well aware of Therrien’s passing ability, keeping him inside the pocket may be even more paramount. Therrien rushed for 115 yards and two touchdowns — including one on a 51-yard jet sweep look with the senior lined up at wing back — in a 28-19 win over the Ramblers on Oct. 3.

“We can’t let him run wild,” Winthrop/Monmouth head coach Dave St. Hilaire said. “We can’t give him the edge. He had the edge against us a few times the last time we played them — one was when he came out of the jet sweep formation — but we can’t let his legs beat us.”

While Therrien is Oak Hill’s most dangerous threat, he is not its only one. Levi Buteau and Cruz Poirier have combined for 975 yards rushing and nine touchdowns as the team’s primary running backs, while Jonah Martin has 22 catches for 369 yards and six touchdowns.

Defensively, the Raiders have been just as impressive. Oak Hill is allowing just 11.25 and 162.13 yards per game this season mainly by dominating possession. Teams are 3-of-19 on third downs, 1-for-5 on fourth down and have converted just 12 first downs while turning the ball over 17 times against the Raiders this season.

Oak Hill, meanwhile, has converted 136 first downs, 26-of-70 third downs and 10-of-17 fourth downs while turning the ball over just nine times. The Raiders’ defense this season has been led by Connor Elwell, who has 55 tackles, three sacks, nine tackles for a loss and three forced fumbles in seven games.

If the Raiders have been vulnerable at all, though, it has been against bigger running backs. Oak Hill has won all of its games by at least 10 points with the exception of three: A 20-14 decision over Dirigo on Sept. 12, the 28-19 win over Winthrop/Monmouth and a 27-18 victory over Lisbon on Oct. 10.

Against the Cougars, quarterback Riley Robinson rushed for 103 yards and two touchdowns on 24 carries, and had a chance to give his team the lead late in the game before he fumbled in the red zone in the final three minutes. Brown had 13 carries for 77 yards and a score — to go along with 12 rushes for 79 yards for Scott — in the Ramblers’ loss, while Noah Francis carried the ball 30 times for 116 yards and a score in the Greyhounds’ defeat.

“We worked on a lot of technique this week and assignment football,” Oak Hill coach Stacen Doucette said. “Everybody has to do their job.

“(The Ramblers) are a no-quit football team and they’re going to play right to the end. We can’t make mistakes.”

Brown has been the Ramblers’ leading rusher this year out of the Wing T with 753 yards and seven touchdowns on 127 carries, but Winthrop/Monmouth has shown some balance with Dustin Tripp and Scott combining for 735 yards and four touchdowns on 132 carries.

Winthrop/Monmouth quarterback Matt Ingram has completed 49-of-104 passes for 717 yards, seven touchdowns and six interceptions, with Bennett Brooks his top target with 20 catches for 367 yards and four touchdowns in seven games.

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley


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