Freshman Finn Holmes gains 33 yards to move the football from the Madison-35 to the 2-yard line in the opening quarter of Foxcroft’s 69-0 quarterfinal victory on Nov. 4. Credit: Stuart Hedstrom / Piscataquis Observer

Old Orchard Beach ran for 285 rushing yards on Saturday afternoon as the Seagulls pulled away from Orono for the eight-player small school state title, 46-22.

OOB needed to find a way to stop the Orono passing attack, but the Red Riots couldn’t stop the Seagulls’ rushing attack and fell in the title game.

“Very good football was played and it was well-coached,” Orono coach Bob Sinclair said. “They took our pass game away and we had a tough time with their run game. They outplayed us today. Hats off to them. Their kids played hard, ours did too, and it just wasn’t our day.”

It seemed like every time Orono sent receivers down the field for a pass, OOB played physically and stopped a lot of the plays. Sometimes they’d get called for defensive holding or pass interference, but it was all part of the game plan.

“We went into the game and we played with no fear,” OOB coach Dean Plante said. “We trust them and we get good pressure and our backers are smart. We knew we could challenge them on the outside all day.”

Orono knew it would be physical on Saturday, and Sinclair admitted that his team was beat by a better squad.

“They jammed our receivers and there was a lot of contact, which is fine,” Sinclair said. “We aren’t making any excuses. They played hard, are well-coached and we wanted to come out of here with a W but they were the better football team.”

Orono sophomore receiver Will Francis had two kick return touchdowns on Saturday and also caught a pass before lateraling the ball to a cutting Pierce Walston on a hook-and-ladder play who then scored the third touchdown for the Red Riots.

By giving up just one touchdown through the air, the Seagulls did find a way to slow the Orono passing offense, something no team in the playoffs had done before.

Not all is lost for the Red Riots.

Orono returns almost everyone next season, losing just three seniors. Sinclair said he knows how much the team will bring back next year, but wanted to be with his seniors after the game and didn’t talk about next season.

Quarterback Jack Brewer, Ben and Will Francis, Kase and Pierce Walston and more are all returning to Orono’s high-flying offense in 2023.

Hermon falls in C North final

Similar to how Orono got beat, Hermon fell to Medomak Valley on Friday night in the Class C North final, 40-20, thanks to a strong running game from the Panthers.

Medomak Valley ran the ball exclusively on its first two drives, picking up a quick 13-0 lead on the Hawks.

Hermon’s Gary Glidden answered with a rushing touchdown of his own on the next drive, but Hermon couldn’t make enough stops to pull back into the game.

Medomak Valley celebrates winning the Class C North football championship over Hermon 40-20 at Hampden Academy on Friday night. Credit: Adam Robinson / BDN

Hayden Staples ran for 147 rushing yards on Friday and helped the Panthers take a lot of time off the clock on each drive.

It was a special season for Hermon as the Hawks improved their record from 4-5 a year ago to 7-4 this year. The Hawks have reached the C North final the past two years, while in 2019 the Hawks reached the C North semifinals.

“I’m gonna have an emotional night tonight,” Hermon coach Kyle Gallant said after the game. “I won’t let the kids see if but I’ll have an emotional night missing those seven seniors. They’ll do some great things. Hopefully the underclassmen, this makes them hungry. We’ve been to three of these and lost three and I’ll take the blame for them.”

Medomak Valley will face the Leavitt Hornets in the Class C state championship game on Saturday at Cameron Stadium in Bangor at 2:30 p.m. Leavitt defeated Cape Elizabeth 43-0 in the C South final on Saturday night.

Foxcroft looks for repeat

Foxcroft Academy steamrolled the Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale Ramblers in the teams’ fourth meeting in two years, 32-0, easily the largest margin of victory of the four contests.

Caden Crocker had 135 yards and two touchdowns in the victory, continuing his impressive senior season for the 9-1 Ponies.

Foxcroft will face Lisbon in the Class D final on Saturday at Cameron Stadium in Bangor at 11:30 a.m. Foxcroft is looking to repeat as Class D champs after beating Winthrop 16-13 last season in the title game.

Lisbon handed Foxcroft its only loss of the season in Week 3 when the Greyhounds won 14-13. Lisbon had possession for much of the game, keeping it away from Crocker and the Ponies’ offense as much as possible.

Lisbon is 7-3 on the season after losing its opening two games and is on a four-game win streak.

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Adam Robinson

Adam Robinson is a native of Auburn, Maine, and graduate of Husson University and Edward Little High School. He enjoys sports, going on runs and video games.