Two successful, yet championship-starved, football programs in No. 1 Lawrence (8-3) and No. 1 Kennebunk (10-1) squared off in Saturday’s Class B state title game, with the Kennebunk Rams overpowering the favorited Bulldogs 40-20 for their first gold ball in 32 years.
In a battle of wing-T offenses and talented running backs, Kennebunk outscored Lawrence 26-6 in the second half, and rushed for 378 yards on the day. The Bulldogs’ defense had been stifling in October and November of this year — allowing fewer than nine points per game across five games — but first-year Kennebunk head coach Keith Noel had his squad prepared.
Four different backs punched in touchdowns for the Rams on Saturday, including two for junior Moose Keys (103 yards rushing), two for junior Brady Stone (46 yards) and one apiece for senior Jonah Barstow (166 yards) and sophomore Austin West (46 yards).
“We all had this dream and this goal to win states, and we just wanted to pound the ball,” Keys told the Press Herald. “Because all we heard on the media was that Lawrence has got a huge run game, but so do we.”
Lawrence’s speedy Colton Carter managed 73 yards and a touchdown, and quarterback Michael Hamlin also ran in a keeper for the Bulldogs, but it wasn’t enough to keep pace with the Rams.
It was Kennebunk’s third appearance in the Class B title game in the past ten seasons, coming up short against Brunswick in 2016, and Cony in 2013.
“I’m speechless. I really am,” Noel told the Press Herald. “It’s surreal. It really is. We’re happy to bring that Gold Ball back home.”
In that same stretch, 18-year head coach John Hersom and his Bulldogs have appeared in six Class B North regional championship games, winning their first this year. The Bulldogs’ last state title came in 2006, as a member of Class A.