State football championships in Class A, B and C are on the line Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.
Here is a rundown of the games:
Class A, Cheverus (11-0) vs. Bangor (10-1), 2:30 p.m.
Both teams squeaked by in regional finals last week. Cheverus downed Deering 35-34 when a last-second 36-yard field goal attempt by Deering’s Jamie Ross missed by two feet. And Bangor won 28-25 against Lewiston when the Blue Devils gambled on fourth and one from their own 10-yard line with two and half minutes left. Bangor held and scored the game-winning touchdown to seal the win.
Cheverus is making its first appearance in a state game since it won in 1985. The Stags, however, have made a rapid climb in the past four years under Coach John Wolfgram who has won seven state titles at Gardiner and South Portland and is the state’s winningest coach. They rely on the passing and running of quarterback Peter Gwilym who has accounted for 21 touchdowns. Running back Evan Jendrasko has rushed for 13 touchdowns. Equally important is the play of the Stags’ special teams which has accounted for several scores.
Bangor has a history on state title appearances, having won five since the current format began in 1967 while also losing in the state game eight times. The Rams lost to Windham in the state final last year and to Bonny Eagle in 2004. They last won a championship in 2001. They led the East in points scored behind a balanced attack that features the passing and running of 6-foot-6 quarterback Joe Seccareccia and the running of Josiah Hartley. They’ve combined for 36 touchdowns. Included in that number are eight receiving scores by Nick Sherwood.
Class B, Leavitt (11-0) vs. Mountain Valley (11-0), 11 a.m.
Leavitt defeated Gardiner, 27-7, in the East regional game last week while Mountain Valley shut out Wells 18-0. The shutout was the seventh of the season for the Falcons who have allowed just 30 points in 11 games. Quarterback Cam Kaubris leads the offense along with running backs Josh Allen and Taylor Bradley who have combined for 29 touchdowns. The Falcons are looking for their fourth Class B title in seven, last winning in 2008.
Leavitt is the defending Class B state champion and is riding the state’s longest winning streak at 23 games. The Hornets allowed 81 points during the regular season and outscored their three playoff opponents 110-23. Junior quarterback Jordan Hersom accounted for 26 touchdowns in the regular season and an additional five in the playoffs. Running back Jake Ouellette is a complement, having scored 15 touchdowns.
Class C, Stearns (11-0) vs. Yarmouth (11-0), 6 p.m.
Stearns defeated John Bapst in the regional final 26-7 while Yarmouth downed Lisbon 14-12 thanks to a late 65-yard scoring run from freshman quarterback Brady Neujahr.
Stearns, located in Millinocket, has the longest trip of any of the state finalists at 200 miles. It’s doubtful the Minutemen will complain too much, though, since this is their first trip to the state championship game since winning in 1998. The team is both the northernmost as well as the smallest football playing school in the state. This season they carry a roster of just 29 players. Stearns also features one the toughest defenses in Class C, having allowed 49 points. Running back William Eurich leads the offense with 18 touchdowns.
Yarmouth is playing just its fourth year of varsity football, yet the Clippers excelled under coach Jim Hartman with an offense that led the state in the regular season with 391 points. Four players — Neujahr, Anders Overhaug, Nate Pingitore and Nick Proscia — have scored 10 or more touchdowns this season. Neujahr has passed for eight touchdowns and rushed for 10. A win by the Clippers would give them a unique double this fall since the soccer team won the state title last weekend. A win by the football team would complete unbeaten seasons for both.
FOOTBALL TOP 10
4. Bonny Eagle
6. Mtn. Valley
MIKE LANDRY AWARD
Scarborough football coach Lance Johnson recently won the Mike Landry Award, given annually to the top coach in the Southern Maine Activities Association. Johnson led the Red Storm to a 7-1 regular-season record, its best ever, as well as its first playoff victory.
LOOKING FOR RARE DOUBLES
The Bangor and Yarmouth football teams will look to duplicate the success of their soccer teams in state championship games this weekend. No Maine high school has ever won a football and soccer championship in the same year. The Bangor soccer team defeated Portland 3-2 for the Class A title while Yarmouth won the Class B crown with a 5-0 win against Ellsworth.
Yarmouth can also complete an unbeaten season for both teams if it stops Stearns in Saturday’s Class C football championship game.
SOCCER TITLES AWARDED
Soccer titles in four classes were decided earlier this month.
In boys Class A, Bangor downed Portland 3-2 to win its second title overall and first since 2006. In girls Class a, Scarborough won its first state title with a 3-0 win against Bangor. The Red Storm allowed only one goal all season.
In Class B, the Yarmouth boys completed a 17-0-1 season with a 5-0 victory against Eastern Maine champion Ellsworth. The Falmouth girls won their second title in three years and eighth overall with a 1-0 win over Caribou in a game decided on a penalty kick.
In Class C, the Fort Kent boys downed North Yarmouth Academy to win their first state championship. Sacopee Valley won the girls' title with a 2-1 overtime win against Fort Kent.
In Class D, the Richmond girls defeated Van Buren 1-0 for their seventh state title. Bangor Christian won the boys title with a 5-2 victory against Richmond.
DURGIN PLACES 2ND
Cheverus junior Emily Durgin finished second at last Saturday’s New England cross country meet in Thetford, Vt. Durgin, who won the title last year, finished 12 seconds behind Linda Crevoiserat of Glastonbury, Conn.
Durgin placed second her freshman year behind Kennebunk’s Abbey Leonardi, who skipped this year’s meet to concentrate on the Foot Locker Regionals the Saturday after Thanksgiving. Last fall, both Durgin and Leonardi qualified for the Foot Locker Nationals in San Diego.