Football powerhouse Marshwood High turned in a near-perfect performance to keep its Class B title.

Led by the passing of senior Tommy Springer and a swarming defense, the Hawks beat Brunswick 49-0 at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

“We played very well on both sides of the ball. A lot of big plays on offense. Defensively, we turned the ball over a few times. I just thought it was a really good effort all the way around,” said Marshwood Coach Alex Rotsko, who has directed the Hawks to four state titles in five years after winning 11 Western Massachusetts Super Bowls in 19 seasons at Longmeadow High.

It’s Marshwood’s 20th football championship.

“Our hard work definitely paid off. This is definitely the dream coming out of your senior year,” said Springer, who also led the Hawks to a 63-20 win against Skowhegan in last year’s state final. “I like the end of the season even more this year as a senior.”

Springer completed his first six passes and finished 9 of 12 for 167 yards, with two touchdowns and an interception. He did most of his damage in the first half, connecting with six different receivers with the inclusion of a 2-point conversion to Connor Nickerson. Springer’s touchdowns went to Cullen Casey on a 22-yard middle screen and to John Valentine for 46 yards. Springer’s 7-yard touchdown run pushed Marshwood’s lead to 29-0 at the half.

“I know all of our receivers and running backs can catch the ball, so if they’re open, I’m going to throw to them,” Springer said.

Marshwood (11-1) limited Brunswick to 44 yards in the first half and forced three turnovers. Valentine had a fumble recovery and an interception. Brunswick (8-4), which overcame numerous injuries during the season, had no luck throwing the ball, and its two best drives ended with fumbles.

“It was quite an accomplishment just to get here,” said Brunswick Coach Dan Cooper. “We couldn’t get the big play on offense, and they just kept getting the big play themselves. We just couldn’t prevent it. We were stopping their runs, and then they would just have those pass plays that opened things up for them.”

The Hawks overcame two 10-yard penalties on their first possession. Springer spread his first four passes to four different receivers, including a 19-yard strike to Trevor Chase and a deep 40-yarder to Valentine on third-and-12. That set up Nickerson’s 4-yard scoring run.

Marshwood faked the extra-point kick, and Springer completed a pass to Nickerson for an 8-0 lead 3:16 into the game.

A senior, Nickerson subbed in for fullback Justin Bryant, who reinjured a sore ankle on his first carry. Nickerson had seven carries for 46 yards.

“(Bryant) kind of told me at the beginning of the game to be ready to go,” Nickerson said. “I mentally prepared myself. We’ve got plenty of depth.”

Casey’s touchdown catch, set up by a Valentine fumble recovery, and a Jake Lindsay extra-point made it 15-0.

Chase (nine carries, 175 yards) put the game away in the second half with scoring runs of 51 and 72 yards. The second came after Springer changed the play at the line to counter an overshifted Brunswick front.

“Coming into this week, we knew they were going to do a lot of blitzing and practiced changing the play at the line, and (Springer) did a great job reading the defense,” Chase said.

Sean Maguire, the backup quarterback, scored Marshwood’s final touchdown with 1:01 left on a tackle-breaking 53-yard run.

Steve Craig can be reached at 791-6413 or:

[email protected]

Twitter: SteveCCraig

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