Kennebunk High players had heard all week heading into the Class B football state championship game about how dominant Lawrence’s rushing attack could be.

By the end of the chilly contest Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium, it was the Rams who could say they were the best running team in Class B – and the new state champions.

Kennebunk (10-1) rolled up 378 rushing yards, and four backs scored touchdowns as the Rams’ offense assertively pounded away and kept getting stronger to beat Lawrence, 40-20, in a matchup of old-school wing-T offenses.

“They didn’t expect us to come out of halftime tied up 14-14. I saw the papers. I saw the reporters. They all picked against us. They thought (Lawrence) was going to blow us out,” said senior fullback Jonah Barstow, who gained 166 yards on 22 carries. “They weren’t ready for us that second half. We just realized it was our last half, let’s end this on a bang.”

It’s the first state championship for Kennebunk since 1991. First-year head coach Keith Noel, a 2001 Kennebunk graduate, was hired in April to replace Joe Rafferty, who retired after 44 seasons.

Lawrence (8-3) was trying to win its first title since taking Class A in 2006.


“I’m speechless. I really am,” Noel said. “It’s surreal. It really is. We’re happy to bring that Gold Ball back home.”

Barstow and the Kennebunk offensive line set the tone. Center Kaden Stevens, guards Owen Bourque and Brandon Lemire, and tackles James Spinney and Gabe Jewett were able to get push up the middle, seals on the outside, and quick trap blocks to spring all of the Rams’ runners.

“It was just that energy. We come out and punch them in the face, and we just wanted to do it again the next play,” Stevens said.

Moose Keys, a junior, took sweeps 8 and 46 yards for touchdowns in the fourth quarter, both times pushing Kennebunk to two-score margins, the latter coming with 3:21 remaining. Keys gained 103 yards.

“We all had this dream and this goal to win states, and we just wanted to pound the ball, because all we heard on the media was that Lawrence has got a huge run game, but so do we,” Keys said.

Brady Stone (six carries, 46 yards) had touchdown runs of 15 and 7 yards, the latter capping Kennebunk’s first drive of the second half to put the Rams up 21-14. Barstow busted the first play of the drive for 55 yards. Austin West (eight carries, 46 yards) finished the scoring with a 14-yard sweep with 2:01 to play.


“When you’re running the wing-T and you can get your fullback going first, it does open up for the halfbacks. Definitely getting all the backs involved and each having the success they had in the second half was something we just couldn’t overcome,” said Lawrence Coach John Hersom.

After falling behind by two scores in the fourth quarter, Lawrence (8-3) had to use its passing game. One long screen pass helped set up Colton Carter’s 1-yard run that cut the lead to 27-20. But Keys answered with his second touchdown, and Lawrence quarterback Michael Hamlin (4 of 13, 53 yards, one touchdown) then threw five consecutive incomplete passes.

The teams traded first-half touchdowns. Kennebunk scored on its first possession to take a 7-0 lead, with Barstow going in from the 12. Lawrence responded with a 17-play, 88-yard drive, with top backs Colton Carter (14 carries, 73 yards) and Gavin Wilson (13 carries, 56 yards) carrying the load before Hamlin broke into the end zone on a designed quarterback run from the 7.

Kennebunk went back ahead on Stone’s first touchdown. Lawrence tied it 41 seconds before halftime when Gavin Lunt dove to catch a Hamlin pass that had been deflected.

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