ORONO — For Levi Buteau and his fellow seniors on the Oak Hill High School football team the 34-21 victory over Maine Central Institute in the Class D championship Friday night was a dream come true.

It was a moment he and his classmates have now experienced three time over, as the Raiders joined Orono (1979-81 Class C North) and Morse (1970-72 Class B) as the only schools to win three straight outright state football titles since 1970. For Buteau, though, this one was special.

“I dreamed about it last night,” Buteau said of the win. “I dreamed about it every night this year since … whenever we started.

“…What made this group of seniors so special was growing up together our whole lives with rec and middle school and high school (football).”

Many members of this year’s senior class for Oak Hill began playing together in fourth grade dreaming of state titles and many of them played key roles in Friday night’s win over MCI.

Quarterback Dalton Therrien has starred throughout the season and — despite throwing three interceptions — shone brightly once again as he ran for 179 yards and four touchdowns and also threw for 243 yards and a score.

“It’s something I’ll never forget because these are the guys that I grew up with playing football since fourth grade,” Therrien said. “Garrett Gile, he’s been there the whole way. To go out this way with my senior family it’s something special.”

Gile had a strong game on the line and made four and a half tackles playing predominately at linebacker. He had seen time at nose guard throughout the season, but backup Nick Aripez came in off the bench and effectively clogged up the middle.

“We just kept rotating bodies in,” Oak Hill head coach Stacen Doucette said. “Nick had a great game and we just asked every senior to make a play (Friday) and every single one of them did.”

Few played bigger Friday than the undersized Buteau. The senior linebacker had a forced fumble and interception in the final five minutes to squash any thoughts of a last-minute comeback for the Huskies.

“Levi is our dirty work guy. He’s little but he’s mighty and he’s just that type of kid,” Doucette said. “He works hard at everything he does. We’re going to miss Levi. He’s special.”

It was on Buteau’s forced fumble with 4:37 remaining in the fourth quarter that epitomized what the senior group has been about.

Brendon Tervo — who played despite battling an injury that kept him out of the Class D South final against Lisbon — wrapped up MCI’s Greg Vigue as the quarterback tried to fight for extra yards. It was then that Buteau charged in from left to right and lowered the shoulder, popping the ball free. There fellow senior Austin Goucher was waiting to cover it up.

The Raiders hardly would be where they are without Connor Elwell and he was everything you would expect him to be Friday night. An offensive and defensive lineman, Elwell led the Raiders in tackles this season and had a team-high 10 against MCI.

Wide receivers Jonah Martin and Connor Nilsson played a key role for Oak Hill throughout the season and once again came through Friday night. Martin’s 63-yard touchdown catch and run in the first quarter gave Oak Hill a 6-0 advantage, while Nilsson had six catches for 148 yards. He also perfectly executed a squib kick off a MCI player that bounced back to the Raiders for an extra possession.

“You’ve heard it a thousand times. When we say family we mean it,” Therrien said. “It’s not just a cliche thing football players say at the end of practice. It might be at other schools. If you play for Oak Hill you’re family.”

Evan Crawley — 621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley

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