WINSLOW — The Winslow and Waterville high school football teams are at different levels of development right now. That was readily apparent throughout Saturday’s Battle of the Bridge game, a lopsided 61-7 Winslow victory. While the Black Raiders (7-1) now enter the playoffs with their sights set on a third consecutive Class C state championship, Waterville (0-8) starts the clock on the 2017 season immediately.

“It’s a whole new season, and we’ll get ready for the playoffs,” Winslow coach Mike Siviski said.

Winslow, the No. 3 seed in the Big Ten Conference playoffs, will host No. 6 Old Town (4-4) in the regional quarterfinals next Saturday, in a rematch of last season’s conference championship. Saturday’s win was Winslow’s fifth straight win over the Purple Panthers. Waterville leads the all-time series, 51-34-4.

Winslow outgained Waterville in total offense, 436 yards to 90. The Black Raiders scored each time they had the ball in the first half with the exception of when the half ended. Running back Nate St. Amand scored four touchdowns, on runs of 5, 46, 10 and 20 yards. St. Amand had just eight carries, gaining 115 yards.

“It’s just incredible. We work so hard in practice all week, to come out here and have a big win. It’s really nice,” St. Amand said.

Ryan Fredette open the scoring with a 50-yard touchdown run on Winslow’s first play from scrimmage, 29 seconds into the game. Patrick Hopkins scored on a 4-yard run early in the second quarter to push Winslow’s lead to 42-7. A 38-yard run by Dylan Hutchinson and a 24-yard fumble return by Keanu Earle closed the first half scoring for the Black Raiders, who led 55-7 at the break.

Waterville’s touchdown came on a 9-yard run by sophomore quarterback Jack Thompson midway through the first quarter. Thompson is one of a handful of Waterville sophomores asked to play a lot this season. John Evans, a sophomore two-way lineman, showed versatility with a 48-yard kick return on Saturday. Sophomore tight end Cooper Hart caught three passes for 27 yards.

“In a season like this, there’s a lot of things to consider. Although the record doesn’t show it, there’s a lot of bright spots. There are a lot of football players that made some big plays that are in position that under normal circumstances, they’d probably be dominating a JV schedule, getting ready to step up as juniors. That’s just not where we’re at right now,” Waterville coach Matt Gilley said.

Gilley said he thanked his seniors for playing hard all season and mentoring the younger players. This season reminded Gilley of some Waterville teams that struggled in the late 2000s, before talent caught up with experience and the Panthers went to three consecutive conference finals in 2012, 2013 and 2014.

“We’re at that point again. Our young guys, they showed up. People were bigger, faster and stronger than them, but they fought four quarters all season long, in every game. Now, they’ve got a chip on their shoulder, and they’re hungry,” Gilley said. “You can’t hide on a football field. I think a few of our guys this year learned that pretty quickly.”

Before the game, Winslow honored Siviski, who last week earned the 250th win of his career in a 53-0 win at Hermon. Now in his 32nd season as Winslow’s head coach, Siviski has a record of 251-81, with seven state championships and 11 regional titles. Winslow has been to four straight state championship games.

“It means I’m old,” Siviski joked about the milestone. “We’ve had very nice staffs here, and generally good effort with the kids. There’s football tradition, and that all plays into it. I think our staff is outstanding.”

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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