Oak Hill’s Joel Wells gets past Maranacook defenders for a gain on the carry in football game played at Oak Hill on Saturday.

WALES — Oak Hill switched formations, changed ball carriers and tweaked the tempo from time to time Saturday afternoon.

What never wavered were the results. The Raiders pounded out 355 yards on the ground, forced three turnovers and ran off with a huge 30-14 win over Maranacook, their fourth straight Western Class C football victory.

It set up a clash between Oak Hill (6-1) and Dirigo (6-1) in Dixfield on Friday night, with the winner earning the No. 1 seed in the upcoming regional playoffs. Maranacook (5-2) remains in the fight to host a first-round game.

“I give all the credit to our line. There were perfect holes everywhere,” Oak Hill sophomore Alex Mace said. “We just made the runs. It’s a great feeling to know our whole team counts on us.”

Mace’s classmate Kyle Flaherty was the headliner with 17 carries for 198 yards and three touchdowns, including a 70-yard scoot to give Oak Hill an 8-0 halftime lead. But it was Mace who made three consecutive huge plays to maintain that momentum in the third quarter.

Capping a drive on which the Raiders dusted off a double-wing formation they showcased two weeks ago at Lisbon, Mace scored from 8 yards away. He also added the two-point rush to make it 16-0.

Oak Hill jarred the ball loose from Logan Emery’s grasp on the ensuing kickoff. Mace pounced on it at the Black Bears 36.

Nine plays later, Flaherty was in the end zone for the second time.

“I thought we had a lot of momentum,” Oak Hill coach Stacen Doucette said. “We were physical. That fumble gave us a little bit of a kick start.”

The Raiders’ all-senior front five of Caleb Provost, Richard Fillion, Mike Saunders, Alex Duquette and Brian Daniels created lanes for Flaherty, Joel Wells (12 carries, 75 yards), Mace (8 for 49) and quarterback Parker Asselin from start to finish.

“That double wing, they have the horses to run it. We covered it this week in practice,” Maranacook coach Joe Emery said. “What are you going to do? They have bigger, stronger kids. If you get that initial surge, you’re almost guaranteed to get four or five yards every play. We tried a bunch of different stuff.”

Flaherty added an 8-yard touchdown in the fourth quarter.

Mace intercepted a pass and Cody Collingwood collected a fumble recovery to keep Maranacook off the board in the first half.

Oak Hill also forced three straight incomplete passes from Caleb Castonguay to stall the Black Bears’ best early drive at the Raiders 15.

And even when Maranacook’s offense roared to life late in the game, Oak Hill’s pass rush took its toll. The Raiders sacked Castonguay four times after intermission, including three by Brandon Potvin for the second straight week.

“We knew that they were a passing team. We knew we had to put the pressure on him to try to stop him from getting the pass off,” Potvin said. “I think it was good all-around defense.”

Castonguay (9-for-18, 115 yards) scored on a 1-yard run in the final minute of the third quarter.

Jesse Evans (18 carries, 120 yards) picked up a touchdown from 9 yards out in the fourth.

“They just came out and it seemed like they wanted it more. They’re a really good team and they played hard all game long,” Evans said. “The first half we came out a little flat. Fourth quarter, definitely everybody stepped up. We just got behind by too much.”

Oak Hill honored the 30th anniversary of its 1982 Class D state championship team at halftime. This season represents one of the few times since that the Raiders have been in that conversation.

“All I know is we’re going to play a football game Friday night at Dirigo, and that’s our focus,” said Doucette, in his first year at the helm. “They’re physical and they’ve got some great athletes.”

[email protected]


 Oak Hill’s Alex Mace powers through the Maranacook defense in football game with Maranacook on Saturday at Oak Hill. On the play for Maranacook is Caleb Castonguay.

 Oak Hill’s Kyle Flaherty looks for running room on the carry in football game with Maranacook on Saturday at Oak Hill.

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.