WINSLOW — The Winslow High School footbal team lost three defensive standouts selected to the Lobster Bowl — Nate Beckwith, Jacob Trask, and 2015 Morning Sentinel Football Player of the Year Alec Clark — to graduation. On Saturday afternoon, the returning Black Raiders showed they can still get after the ball.

Winslow held Belfast to 69 yards of total offense, opening the defense of its back-to-back Class C state titles with a 59-0 win at Poulin Field. The win extended Winslow’s undefeated streak to 23 games and was the Black Raiders’ fifth consecutive regular-season shutout.

“A lot of people think we’re going to suffer because of (the graduation losses). I think we have people who can fill some spots and I think we’ll be fine,” senior linebacker Kenny Rickard said.

On Saturday, the Black Raiders were more than fine. They were dominant. The Lions did not get a first down until there was under five minutes left in the first half, as Winslow defenders swarmed to stop Belfast’s running game. Often, three or four Black Raiders were on the ball carrier to make the tackle.

“We’re hustling to the ball. It’s just awesome,” Rickard said.

Dylan Hutchinson had a pair of first half interceptions for Winslow, as Belfast advanced into Black Raider territory just once.

Offensively, Winslow was efficient. The Black Raiders needed just five plays to go 46 yards on their first posession, ending with Rickard’s one yard touchdown run. The burly fullback scored three times, all on runs of three yards or less.

“It’s a totally different mindset,” Rickard (eight carries for 31 yards) said on goal-line carries. “I just go crazy. Punch it in there, get it in.”

Winslow’s second touchdown was set up when Hutchinson returned a punt 76 yards to the Belfast 1. On the next play, Nate St. Amand scored. Just 28 seconds into the second quarter, Hutchinson caught a 15-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Gagnon for a 21-0 lead. St. Amand (11 carries, 106 yards) added a 19-yard touchdown run, and Gagnon capped the first half scoring with a 37-yard field goal for a 31-0 halftime lead.

When Rickard scored on a two-yard run early in the third quarter, it triggered the running time rule, which goes into effect when a team has a 35-point lead.

Starting quarterback Gray Dinsmore and running back Tyler Macleod each had 23 yards rushing for the Lions.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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