WATERVILLE — Morse’s lengthy slump against Waterville ended in dramatic fashion Friday.

Calin Gould’s 35-yard touchdown pass to Braylon Williams with 1 minute left in the game lifted the Shipbuilders to a 16-14 win over Waterville in a Campbell Conference eight-man football game at Drummond Field.

Morse (2-1) won its second straight game after an opening-night loss to Camden Hills. Waterville (2-1) suffered its first loss after having not allowed a point in its first two games.

Morse had lost to Waterville four times over  the last two years, including a pair of season-ending playoff losses. But according to coach Jason Darling, the Shipbuilders’ woes against the Purple Panthers go further back.

“Well, not that we’ve been paying attention, but we haven’t beat Waterville since 2007,” a beaming Darling said afterward. “It was good to get that monkey off the back and that was a big one, mentally, for our kids to overcome that.

“Waterville is as tough and well-coached a team as you’re going to find, and they play tough and they play hard and they’re going to have a good season.


Up 14-8 late in the fourth, Waterville seemed to have Morse in check, having allowed only one play of more than 10 yards heading into the Shipbuilders’ final drive. But that all changed with 2:39 left, when Gould and company took the ball at their own 14-yard line after the Panthers failed to covert on fourth-and-4.

On Morse’s first play from scrimmage, Gould found Daruis Goulette down the left sideline for a 27-yard gain. After runs by Miles Norris and Braden Cunningham brought the ball to midfield, Gould gained 11 yards on a bootleg to the left. Two more runs by Norris and Cunningham set up third-and-6 at the Waterville 35. Gould faked the handoff and fired a perfect spiral to a wide-open Williams near the front of the left side of the end zone. Williams evaded Waterville defensive back Donovan Porter and dove into the end zone for the touchdown.

Waterville’s Ben Foster (28) intercepts a pass intended for Morse receiver Braylon Williams during a game Friday afternoon at Drummond Field in Waterville. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Gould barreled up the middle for the 2-point conversion and the lead.

“The big joke around the locker room is that when we run bootleg, he’s going to run the ball every time,” Darling said. “He made the right decision this time and hit his best friend and his target and made a great play on that one.”

Waterville got the ball baked at their own 41-yard line, but quarterback Ben Foster threw an interception to Gould, playing defensive back, to end the threat.

“Morse just made a couple more plays than us,” Waterville coach Isaac LeBlanc said. “They played better situational football down the stretch than we did. I give them all the credit in the world. They made the big plays when they needed to.”


Morse’s comeback win spoiled an excellent effort by Foster. The junior finished 8-for-13 passing for 123 yards with a TD and two interceptions. On defense, he recovered a fumble and had a hand in at least five tackles.

“Ben’s a heckuva player,” LeBlanc said. “Ben works his tail off and he just plays hard. He’s a football player. He’s a physical guy.

Waterville Senior High School’s Ben Foster (28) intercepts a pass intended for Morse High School’s Braylon Williams (88) in the first half in Waterville on Friday, September 15, 2023. (Staff Photo by Michael G. Seamans/Staff Photographer) Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

After a scoreless first quarter, Morse broke the ice when Gould (13 carries, 76 yards) barreled down the left sideline 47 yards to set up a first-and-10 at the Waterville 12. Two plays later, Gould ran four yards up the gut to give the Shipbuilders a 6-0 lead, and Cunningham’s 2-point conversion made it 8-0.

Waterville knotted the score on its next drive on the arm and legs of Foster. Three completions to Wyatt Gradie, a pass-interference penalty (Morse ended the day with nine for 80 yards) and several scattered runs set up Foster’s 1-yard TD run up the muffle with 4:36 left in the half. Foster’s 2-point jump pass to Felix Chapa made it 8-8.

Foster worked his magic again in the third after a poor punt gave Waterville the ball at the Morse 35. Foster threw a perfect rainbow to a wide-open Dawson Harrison down the right sideline with 4:44 left in the quarter to make it 14-8 after the failed 2-point attempt.

Morse middle linebacker Ashford Hays made a team-high 11 tackles, followed by Gould with five.

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