WINSLOW — The last time the Winslow and Maine Central Institute football teams met, it was MCI who got to celebrate the victory at Hampden Academy’s Weatherbee Complex and along with it a trip to the Class C championship game.

Evan Bourget hadn’t forgotten that. Neither had his fellow seniors on the Black Raiders’ roster. And on Saturday, they got the payback they were waiting for.

Bourget ran nine times for 129 yards and a touchdown, part of a lethal Winslow running attack that overwhelmed the Huskies and carried the Black Raiders to a 44-8 victory on a hot afternoon at Poulin Field.

“These guys gave us a hard time last time we played them,” said Bourget, a sophomore when MCI earned its 49-21 victory in 2019. “It’s more of a revenge game for us. … We really wanted to get this win today.”

Bourget actually played a supporting job in the Black Raiders’ backfield. The featured role went to sophomore Matt Quirion, who ran 26 times for 145 yards and three scores.

“During practice, Coach kind of cycles through what we do and I can see how much I’m going to get the ball,” Bourget said. “It’s all a team effort. The linemen did a really good job of blocking. They make massive holes for me to go through.”

That line of center Joseph Pfingst, guards Allan Rogers and Jaxen Wiegand, tackles Owen Schuchardt and Tim Lessa and tight ends Tyler Brockway and Travis Reed steamrolled the Huskies throughout the afternoon, allowing the Black Raiders to gain 356 yards on 44 carries.

“The whole week we worked hard in practice, our linemen worked extremely hard,” Quirion said. “They have a good defensive line, and I think our line held up pretty well today.”

“We preach that,” Winslow co-coach Wes Littlefield said. “Without those hogs up front, we do nothing.”

MCI running back Braeden Kennedy, left, gets tackled by Winslow defensive back Pedro Garcia during a football game Saturday at Gerry Poulin Memorial Field in Winslow. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

The Winslow line had a difficult assignment with standout MCI lineman Bryce Bussell looming on the other side of the ball.

“(He’s) probably one of the best defensive linemen in Class C,” Winslow co-coach Pete Bolduc said. “He’s a real good player, and the linemen took it to heart and worked hard this week.”

The Black Raiders had the upper hand from the very beginning as they went 63 yards in seven plays on their first drive, with Quirion finishing off the march with a 10-yard run. The Black Raiders made it to the MCI 9 on their next possession before fumbling, but two drives later Bourget broke through for a 55-yard run that made it 13-0 with 7:51 to go in the second quarter.

A Quirion 6-yard run made it 21-0 with 3:10 to go in the half, and the Black Raiders kept up the intensity after the break. Quirion found the end zone for the third time on a 1-yard run on the opening drive of the second half, quarterback Jared Newgard (three carries, 34 yards; 4-of-4 passing, 44 yards) scored on a 7-yard run on the next series, and Newgard found Jack Dorval (five carries, 28 yards) with a 5-yard touchdown pass to make it 44-0 with 4:08 to play.

Littlefield said the Winslow running game allows for the balance that was on display Saturday.

Winslow running back Jack Dorval runs the ball during a football game against MCI on Saturday at Gerry Poulin Memorial Field in Winslow. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

“Running the double wing, it can be anybody,” Littlefield said. “We try to feature Matt a little bit more, running downhill because he’s a downhill tailback. And Evan’s that slasher up and inside, and Jack’s a great counter back. With the three of them, they kind of really complement each other, and it’s getting better every week.”

MCI got on the board when Lincoln McAlpine scored on a 2-yard run with 1:08 to go. The Huskies had bright spots, particularly the connection between quarterback Kyle Hall (13-of-23, 176 yards) and receiver Braydon Fitts (seven catches, 131 yards), but couldn’t get a run game going against the Black Raiders front seven, a group led by Dorval and Bourget, and had trouble all afternoon sustaining drives.

“We knew what they were going to do, and they came out and they did it,” MCI coach Tom Bertrand said. “We had some guys go down early, and it affects our gameplan when we don’t have those guys out there, we scramble a little bit. But we also couldn’t get any rhythm going offensively.”

Bertrand said games like Saturday’s are part of the learning curve for his team, which returned only two varsity starters from 2019.

“The war in the trenches is one that we have to get some experience at,” he said. “Our guys, other than one, just haven’t done it before. It’s just that, and finding out how to get better at that.”

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