BATH — Forget the highest scoring football offense in the state, regardless of class, as much as it’s possible.

If Leavitt Area High School’s defense and special teams perform at anything close to the level they exhibited Friday night, the rest of Eastern Class B might as well turn in their pads and helmets.

Two interceptions and two fumble recoveries probably were enough ammunition for the undefeated Hornets, who limited Morse to only three first downs for good measure in a 35-0 Pine Tree Conference shellacking at McMann Field.

“Our offense gets a lot of attention,” said Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway, “but those guys have been great all season long.”

Leavitt pitched one prior shutout: A 75-0 drubbing of relative newcomer Nokomis two weeks ago. 

Winning so convincingly against Morse, which dealt Leavitt (6-0) two frustrating losses on its home field last fall and eliminated the Hornets from the regional playoffs, was a much different animal.

“It’s big,” said senior two-way lineman Matt Pellerin, “but we’re only worried about next week.”

Last year became a distant memory from the opening kickoff, which Morse’s Everett Moye ran back to his own 40-yard line before losing the handle.

Leavitt sophomore Jake Ouellette fell on the loose ball, and the Hornets needed only seven plays to reach the end zone on a 3-yard keeper by quarterback Eric Theiss.

“That was a huge momentum change,” said senior defensive lineman Mat Porter.

“We wanted to get on the board first. We almost took the ball (after winning the toss), but we changed our mind at the last minute and decided to go with the wind and see if we could get ourselves a short field,” Hathaway said. “And we wound up getting it right away.”

Lucas Witham’s interception and 25-yard return put a stop to Morse’s initial series and set up the first of Josh Strickland’s two touchdowns. Strickland broke Moye’s tackle at the 5 and covered the remainder of the distance backwards to punctuate his 16-yard jaunt.

Solo tackles by Jordan Hersom, Witham and Pellerin produced a three-and-out and led to another Leavitt TD before the half. After lining up for what would have been a 30-yard field goal by Nick Urquhart, Leavitt called timeout and designed a flanker reverse for Hersom.

He raced 13 yards untouched to the pylon on fourth-and-8. Urquhart booted the third of his five extra points for a 21-0 halftime lead.

Morse (4-2) sputtered to 43 total yards in the first half and 108 overall. The Shipbuilders ran 20 fewer plays than the Hornets in the wet conditions.

“They’re a complete team,” Morse coach Jason Libby said of Leavitt. “We’ve been kind of a hurdle for them, and I’m sure they were ready for us. I can’t imagine what the (statistics) were. I’m not sure I want to know.”

Porter and Zach Frost shared two sacks of Shipbuilders QB Michael Walton.

Ouellette also picked off Walton, leading to a 7-yard TD run by Jon Letourneau on the next play. And Leavitt provided a fitting bookend by recovering a muffed punt in the closing seconds.

Letourneau was the fourth different Leavitt runner to reach the end zone. Strickland punched in a 2-yard TD in the third quarter for his second score of the night after Hersom narrowly missed returning a punt for six.

“We tell all our guys if you want to play offense for us, you probably won’t be an all-conference player,” said Hathaway, “because you won’t get the ball enough.”

Then again, neither will your opponent.

[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.