TOPSHAM — It wasn’t pretty and it wasn’t perfect, but it was good enough.

And in the playoffs, where seemingly every stop and score is magnified, that was all that mattered for the Mt. Ararat football team Friday night.

Kaiden Getchell rushed for 208 yards and three touchdowns while Shea Farrell turned in a spectacular performance in all three phases of the game to lead the No. 2 Eagles past No. 3 Spruce Mountain 44-36 in an eight-man large school South semifinal game.

The victory propels Mt. Ararat (7-1) into the large South final next weekend, where it will face either top-seeded Cheverus (5-0) or No. 4 Lake Region (3-4). The Stags host the Lakers in the other semifinal on Saturday at 11 a.m.

No. 3 Spruce Mountain‚ which carried a four-game winning streak into the showdown, finished 6-3.

“It’s a good feeling,” Mt. Ararat coach Frank True said. “We get to move on. We struggled at times (Friday), but we made some plays when we had to.”


Farrell rushed for 155 yards and two touchdowns on 27 carries. He also had a key interception in the second half and returned a kickoff 77 yards for a score. His nine tackles were a team-high as well.

“I’m proud of how we competed,” he said. “It was a tough game, Spruce played well. We did what we had to do.”

The teams last met in the Sept. 3 season opener, with Mt. Ararat taking a 42-12 victory. However, Spruce Mountain quarterback Camden Phillips missed that game with an injury. Phillips has since returned, and he made his presence felt in a big way Friday.

The 6-foot-3 senior completed 16 of 23 passes for 266 yards and three touchdowns — all to junior Elie Timler.

His 59-yard touchdown pass to Timler a minute into the third quarter pulled the Phoenix to within 38-28.

The Eagles quickly responded when Getchell rushed for a 21-yard touchdown to cap an 11-play, 53-yard drive with 4:40 left in the third. The score gave Mt. Ararat a 44-28 lead and some momentum heading into the fourth.


“We ran with a lot of purpose,” he said. “It was a tough game and we needed to make some plays.”

But Spruce Mountain made things interesting late when Phillips connected with Timler on a 22-yard touchdown pass with 1:53 left in the game.

But it never got the ball back, as Mt. Ararat picked up enough first downs on its ensuing possession to run out the clock — and Spruce’s season.

“We had some grey hairs there in the end,” Farrell said. “It definitely wasn’t easy.”

The Eagles, who had a bye into the semifinals, appeared to put the game out of reach early, scoring two touchdowns before the Phoenix offense took the field.

Farrell rushed for a 1-yard touchdown a little more than two minutes into the contest to cap a five-play, 37-yard drive.


Spruce Mountain then fumbled the ensuing kickoff, and the Eagles capitalized.

Starting at the Spruce 47-yard line, Mt. Ararat marched down the field and found the end zone again, when Farrell rushed in from 8 yards out.

“We wanted to start strong and we did,” he said.

But a rout this would not be, as Spruce Mountain — behind the arm of Phillips — stayed in the game throughout.

“It wasn’t easy,” True said, “but we’ll take it.”

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