Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale running back Robby Feeney runs the ball during a Sept. 2 game against Foxcroft in Winthrop. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

WINTHROP — Dom Trott vividly remembers the last time Freeport came to town.

Up 20-0 in the fourth quarter, the Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale football team looked like it would cruise to a Class D semifinal victory over the Falcons at Maxwell Field. However, in the last four minutes, the Falcons came alive and forced the Ramblers to hang on for a 28-19 victory.

“They just never stopped,” said Trott, now a senior running back for Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale. “Even when we (had that big lead), they just kept going. I’m not expecting anything different from them this week.”

The rematch comes Friday night, again at Maxwell Field. And once again, both squads are in the hunt for a Class D championship. Although a state title game appearance isn’t on the line Friday night, the game could go a long way in determining who ultimately hoists that Gold Ball in November.

Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale (3-1) has been playing good football all season with its only loss coming in overtime (28-27) against reigning state champion Foxcroft in the season opener. Since then, the Ramblers have beaten a strong Hermon team 34-28, blown out Madison/Carrabec 56-0 and claimed a comfortable 35-7 win over Winslow.

“We have some things to clean up, but I think we’ve looked pretty good so far, and that was the case for us again Friday” said Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale head coach Dave St. Hilaire. “We have a group of guys who are laid back at practice, but when you turn the lights on, they turn into animals and are ready to go. They’ve really shown that this year.”


Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale quarterback Owen Harding completes a pass to Brayden Stubbert during a Sept. 2 game against Foxcroft in Winthrop. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale has seen some new players step up offensively in Owen Harding and Robby Feeney. Harding (28 of 43 passing, 444 yards, five touchdowns, two interceptions) has done an admirable job replacing Andrew Foster at quarterback, and the speedy Feeney (260 rushing yards) has given the Ramblers an added dimension in the run game.

Brayden Stubbert (144 yards, three touchdowns) has been a reliable weapon for Harding in the receiving game, and R.J. McKenzie (30 tackles, three sacks) has been a key leader on defense. Then, of course, there’s Trott, who has rushed for 287 yards and seven touchdowns while recording 46 tackles, four tackles-for-losses, an interception and a forced fumble defensively.

In Trott and Feeney, Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale has multiple ways to gash teams for big yardage through the run game. Trott is a bulldozing back with great lateral ability who can also ram his way through opposing defenders, and Feeney, a track runner, gives the Ramblers an extra burst of speed.

“We’ve been running with each other since we were in sixth grade, I think, and it’s awesome that I have him behind me now this year,” Trott said. “We just have such a great connection on the field; we block for each other and are always looking out for each other. It’s awesome.”

Freeport’s Maximillian Peters of Freeport runs the ball during a Sept. 24 game against Medomak Valley at Freeport. Gregory Rec/Portland Press Herald

Although Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale has played a gauntlet thus far, Freeport (3-2) might be one of the Ramblers’ biggest challenges to date. The Falcons are just as loaded on offense with Jordan Knighton, one of Class D’s top players, at running back, and Aidan Heath, who’s improved greatly from what was already a strong season a year ago, at quarterback.

“We have to be at our best tackling because if you miss a tackle on Knighton, he’s gone,” St. Hilaire said. “(Heath) is a very good thrower, and he also can run this year. Last year, he didn’t run a lot, but this year, he’s been more comfortable running. They threaten up the middle, and they threaten to your left and to your right.”


Freeport will be battling some injuries with standout receiver Nick White likely to miss the game and linebacker Drew O’Hara out for the season. The Falcons will welcome back tight end and linebacker Cort Lefebvre, who was forced to miss last Week’s 28-7 loss to Fryeburg Academy.

Like Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale, the 2022 schedule has been a gauntlet for Freeport, whose loss to Fryeburg came in its third straight contest against Class C contenders after the team previously played Wells and Medomak Valley. The Ramblers, then, will be the fourth straight tough opponent for the Falcons before the team gets a Week 7 bye.

Freeport’s Theodore Peters tries to haul in a pass as Medomak Valley’s Chase Peaslee defends during a Sept. 24 game in Freeport. Gregory Rec/Staff Photographer

“There is no relief on this schedule for anyone in this league, I can tell you that,” said Freeport head coach Paul St. Pierre. “Winthrop is another one of those teams, but we love playing those teams because it makes you stronger. … That’s a tough place to play, and they have a big home field advantage there. It should be an entertaining game.”

The key for Freeport, St. Pierre said, will be bringing and maintaining an extra level of intensity against an extremely physical Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale team. For the Ramblers, it will be about stopping the Falcons’ aforementioned playmakers and controlling the game at the line of scrimmage.

“We’ve been missing some blocks here and there, so we have to clean that up,” St. Hilaire said. “We’ll need to be able to do that and get the ball to a bunch of different guys in space because that’s where they can be ballers.”

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.