PORTLAND – Jacob Humphrey didn’t play football in middle school. He didn’t play in his freshman year, either. Or his sophomore year.

In his junior year, however, Humphrey returned to the sport. And on Saturday, the Bonny Eagle football team was sure glad he did.

Humphrey was a vital cog in the Scots’ 34-21 victory over Thornton Academy in the Class A title game, catching three passes for 48 yards — 33 coming on one touchdown grab — and making a highlight-reel interception to help lead Bonny Eagle to its first title in three years.

“Jacob Humphrey, he’s one of a kind,” Scots coach Kevin Cooper said. “We’re glad that we have him. He’s a pleasure to coach. … His ability to be a great athlete, people probably know he’s a great basketball player, a great baseball player, and certainly it translates onto the football field.”

Humphrey played in elementary school, but said his smaller frame was a reason he opted to focus on his other sports. Going into this season, however, he reconsidered.

“All the coaches (persuaded me),” Humphrey said. “All these players, I love all of them. We’re all best friends. I just want to play sports with all (these) people.”

If there was any rust to knock off, it had vanished by Saturday, as the speedster was making the instinctive plays of a seasoned veteran. Following a Scots turnover on downs late in the second quarter, Thornton Academy looked for the kill shot with the game tied at 14. Quarterback Kobe Gaudette threw deep down the right side, where he had Hayden Pomerleau seemingly wide open for a go-ahead score.

The ball never reached him. Humphrey peeled off of his underneath coverage, where he had been watching the tight ends, and raced back and made a leaping grab of the pass five yards in front of Pomerleau.

“I saw (Gaudette) square his shoulders away and point it toward that direction,” Humphrey said. “I just thought ‘There’s got to be a player over there.’ Once he threw it, I just tried to make a play for the team.”

Even after the final whistle, Cooper was marveling at the play.

“That interception that he had really swung the whole momentum of the first half right around,” he said. “It was at a point where it might have been looking pretty bad for us, Thornton Academy dialed up a great play, had a guy open, and Jacob just came back and made an unreal play.”

He wasn’t done. Eight plays later, on third-and-10 from the Thornton 33, Scots quarterback Keegan Meredith slung a pass on a deep post to Humphrey, who beat the deep coverage and made a leaping catch for the touchdown and a 21-14 lead with 1:24 left in the half.

Bonny Eagle led the rest of the game.

“He’s a natural athlete,” Meredith said. “We have some plays where (I) try to throw it as far as I can and have him get under it, that’s kind of the idea of what we did on that play. … We always say, you can’t out-throw Hump.”

 

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Lisbon didn’t look like a potential state champion in the middle of the season. Just ask the Greyhounds coach.

“Everyone that overlooked us had a legitimate reason at the time,” Chris Kates said. “We were playing pretty bad in the first half of the season.”

Lisbon had everything figured out by the end of the season, however. The Greyhounds won their first championship since a Class C title in 2006, beating Bucksport 28-8 in the Class D final.

“I’m pretty happy with how they kind of put their foot down and said ‘This isn’t going to happen anymore,’ ” Kates said. ” ‘This is not how we want our senior year to go.’ ”

Lisbon started 3-3, and was out of position for a bye going into the final week of the regular season. But the Greyhounds flipped the switch, beating Oak Hill in back-to-back games to get the bye and then reach the D South final, and then upsetting Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale to punch their ticket to Portland.

Lisbon completed the turnaround with a dismantling of the undefeated Golden Bucks Saturday, and the Greyhounds were playing with a little extra motivation every step of the way.

“We had a major chip on our shoulder,” said junior Daytona McIver, who ran for 103 yards and a touchdown Saturday. “Every reporter was picking against us, and coach came in every practice and said ‘You’re not favored to win this game.’ We proved them wrong here.”

 

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Run-heavy Brunswick gave the passing game a shot in the Class B final – with some fleeting success.

A spectator can normally count the Dragons’ pass attempts on one hand, but they were out throwing in an attempt to catch favored Marshwood off guard. Noah Goddard completed a 20-yard playaction pass to Treyvon McKenzie on third-and-10 on Brunswick’s first series of the game, and helped set up the Dragons’ first score with passes of 15 and then 18 yards to Chandler Coombs before Owen Richardson’s 3-yard run made it 7-6 Marshwood with 2:34 left in the first quarter.

The fast start through the air, however, didn’t last. After completing three of his first four passes, Goddard threw incomplete on the next six before the half, and Marshwood built a 28-14 lead.

 

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Zach Maturo did a little of everything for Bonny Eagle on Saturday. His coach hoped everyone was watching.

Maturo ran 20 times for 110 yards for two touchdowns, but that was only part of the senior’s contributions. He also blocked the extra point after Thornton’s first touchdown, returned the ensuing kickoff 71 yards to the Thornton 16-yard line to set up Bonny Eagle’s second score, and boomed a punt 51 yards down to the Thornton 6 with the Scots still up only 21-14 late in the third quarter.

“Zach Maturo should win the Fitzpatrick Trophy,” Cooper said. “He is the best football player in the state. I will back that up with any stats, film, anything. … In four games against Scarborough and Thornton Academy he was the best player on the field all four games. … I enjoy coaching him, and he led us to victory today.”

 

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The Class D final was a contrast in approaches. While Bucksport had freshman Jaxon Gross run 35 times for 207 yards, Lisbon saw McIver run nine times, quarterback Seth Leeman (86 yards) run 10, Cam Bourget (13 yards) run six and Justin Le (12 yards) run three.

In the Greyhounds’ win over Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale in the D South final, Leeman led with 16 carries. In the semifinals against Oak Hill, Bourget (20) and Le (14) led the way.

“Honestly, we do not know (who will lead),” McIver said. “Today was speed, last week was power and speed. We kind of mix it up.”

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