WALES — Saturday’s Class D South quarterfinal had the rhythm of Elaine Benes on the dance floor. It also had plenty of Gavin Rawstron.

Oak Hill’s junior quarterback rushed for three touchdowns and threw for two more to send the third-seeded Raiders to the regional semifinals with a 41-8 win over No. 6 Madison/Carrabec on Saturday.

The Raiders (5-4) will face rival Lisbon, the No. 2 seed, next Saturday. The Greyhounds won the regular-season meeting between the teams last Saturday in Wales, 16-13.

The Bulldogs end their season at 2-7.

Oak Hill, which led 27-0 at halftime, tallied over 400 yards of total offense and balanced it fairly evenly between the air (213 yards) and ground (190). But penalties, choppy execution and mental mistakes muted the Raiders’ postgame celebration.

“The scoreboard shows that we played well, but we’ve got to execute better,” senior two-way lineman Kyle Stilkey said. “We’ve got to execute every play. They beat us mentally, but we’re going to come back next and we’re going to have a game.”

“It was just a weird game at the beginning — turnovers and penalties and tough calls — not normal play, so to speak,” Oak Hill coach Stacen Doucette said. “There wasn’t a very good flow. But I think the kids reacted well at times and we did OK.”

Part of the lack of flow was attributable to frequent and sometimes extended discussions between Madison head coach Paul Withee and game officials. Withee was upset with several calls and quick whistles that cost the Bulldogs.

It started with what appeared to be a muff by an Oak Hill up-man on the opening kickoff that Madison recovered, but the Oak Hill player was ruled down. Madison argued, correctly, that the player never had control of the ball.

The Bulldogs also recovered a punt that went off of a Raider player’s foot which they thought would allow them continue a drive, but officials ruled they did not get past the first-down marker. A muffed fair catch of another punt that Madison pounced on was ruled dead due to an inadvertent whistle.

“It’s very frustrating when you get in a playoff game to blatantly have two inadvertent whistles,” Withee said. “The opening kickoff, that kid fumbled the ball. He wasn’t down and they said he was down (with) no discussion. It was tough enough as it was to play Oak Hill, a very good team with good athletes, and we knew it was going to be a battle for us, but when you’re getting calls that are blatantly going against you …”

It’s debatable whether a reversal of any or all of those calls would have affected the outcome, as the Bulldogs had no answer for Rawstron (9-for-17 passing, 97 yards rushing on seven carries).

The Raiders’ junior quarterback opened the scoring with a 43-yard touchdown, then, after a slow start in the opening stanza, got the passing game going in the second quarter with a 22-yard strike to Sam Lindsay that set up a 14-yard touchdown pass to Liam Rodrique that made it 13-0 with 9:39 left in the first half.

“It was a little bit of a read,” Rodrigue said. “I saw Gavin rolling out and I just thought, I’ll take it to my right and see if he can place the ball, and he did. He placed the ball right in the perfect spot.”

Oak Hill took advantage of the break it got on the muffed fair catch with three consecutive strong runs up the middle by Quentin Pelkey. Rawstron also had a 14-yard run to set up his second rushing touchdown, which came on a one-yard keeper.

Rawstron masterfully executed the Raiders’ two-minute offense, marching them 78 yards in 1:24 with long completions to Rodrigue, Jackson Arbour and Caden Thompson before running another QB sneak that made Oak Hill’s lead 27-0 with 10 seconds remaining in the half.

Pelkey’s three-yard touchdown run made it 34-0 late in the third quarter. Alex Hand recovered a fumble to set up Madison’s lone score, a 13-yard run by senior Reid Campbell (17 carries, 67 yards) early in the fourth. Thompson capped the scoring by taking a swing pass from Rawstron 57 yards to paydirt.

“I definitely think we came out flat in the first half,” Rodrigue said. “We came out showing a little bit more intensity in the second half, but we’ve definitely got to work on some things this week in practice. We’ve got to work on our mental toughness.”

Madison junior quarterback Bryce Willette finished 10-for-22 for 118 yards and two interceptions and also caught an eight-yard pass from Danny Handley. Junior wide receiver Cameron Cobb caught eight passes for 91 yards.

“We had success earlier in the year when we played them, and we have moved the ball on a lot of teams. It’s just that we don’t finish drives, or our inexperience has us make a mistake,” said Withee, who had two seniors on offense.

D’Andre Daniels and Ramon Spearman had interceptions for Oak Hill.

Comments are not available on this story.

Augusta and Waterville news

Get news and events from your towns in your inbox every Friday.
  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.