WALES — Oak Hill High School has nearly double Winthrop High School’s enrollment and a small fraction of its football tradition.

Even though the schools exist in different conferences and classifications in almost every other sport, the Raiders haven’t needed to drive far down Routes 132 or 135 to watch the Ramblers win championships. Which is why Saturday’s 27-0 blanking of the defending Western Class C champions arguably meant more than any of Oak Hill’s three previous victories this fall.

“We don’t beat Winthrop in anything, normally,” said Oak Hill senior fullback and linebacker Josh Prue. “(To get a shutout) feels great. We call it ‘team defense.’ We just hit as hard as we can, all the time.”

That formula produced six turnovers on the Raiders’ home turf for the second time this season, mirroring a September win over Campbell Conference North Division rival Jay.

Brett Turcotte recovered two fumbles and logged an interception for Oak Hill (4-2). Prue and Foss also picked off passes. Keith Saunders pounced on a loose ball and added a quarterback sack.

“Our line did what it had to do on both sides,” said Nick Wells, a junior guard and linebacker. “We pushed the ball down the field on offense. And when you hit hard on defense and force turnovers, it gets the other team down.”

Prue rushed for two touchdowns, including an 8-yard surge to cap Oak Hill’s first series of the afternoon. Josh Allen set up the score with a 39-yard scamper off left tackle.

Allen rushed for 132 of his game-high 169 yards in the first half. Saunders’ recovery of an errant shotgun snap set up Allen’s 17-yard TD with 49 seconds remaining in the first quarter.

That 14-0 lead stood up as the halftime margin. Turcotte’s interception of Travis Luce stymied a late Winthrop drive after Oak Hill committed its second turnover of the half on an ill-advised reverse with a punt return deep in its own end.

“I think we started off almost too easy, and then we got lackadaisical,” said Oak Hill coach Dave Wing. “We’re picking it up pretty well with our defense right now. We’re going to have to with Livermore Falls next week.”

Winthrop (3-3) lurked until midway through the third quarter. Then the Ramblers sent their offense back onto the field after an Oak Hill encroachment penalty in punt formation made it fourth-and-2 at the Winthrop 41.

Wells and Kyle Emmons met Spencer Smith head-on for a one-yard loss.

Five plays later, including a pass interference penalty that further shortened the field, Allen zigzagged through the heart of the Ramblers defense for a 13-yard TD.

“I made some key decisions in the game that hurt us. That one’s on me,” said Winthrop coach Joel Stoneton. “I felt like we played with those guys for most of the game, but they kept having things go their way and we did things to ourselves that made things go their way even more.”

Tyler Arsenault’s tackle of tight end Cody Provost punctuated a goal-line stand for Winthrop in the fourth quarter. But Turcotte’s third possession-changer of the game at the Winthrop 16 led to a 1-yard plunge by Prue (16 carries, 59 yards).

Cory Harris led Winthrop with 29 carries for 135 yards. Oak Hill limited Winthrop to three first downs in the second half.


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