DIXFIELD — In a battle of will and determination, Oak Hill proved it had just enough of each to eke out a victory Friday night in a Campbell Conference football showdown with Dirigo.

The Raiders scored on a Parker Asselin pass to Luke Washburn midway through the second quarter and Kyle Flaherty rushed the two-point conversion, the eventual difference in an 8-6 win to spoil the Cougars’ early homecoming at Harlow Park.

It was the third meeting between the two teams in less than one year. Dirigo knocked Oak Hill out of the playoffs last November.

This time around, the ending was exciting as Oak Hill came up with two crucial plays in the final 23 seconds to secure its second straight win this season.

“It wasn’t pretty,” Oak Hill coach Stacen Doucette said. “We are a young team and made some mistakes, but Dirigo is a good team. We were resiliant (tonight).”

In the fourth quarter, Dirigo finally put things together — including a halfback option pass from Joe Casey to Heath Hersom that set up a first and goal. Three plays later, quarterback Riley Robinson snuck over guard Jesse Hutchinson from six-inches out. The conversion attempt was plugged by the middle of the Oak Hill defense, with 23 seconds left.


“It was very ugly because we hadn’t been able to move the ball,” Dirigo coach Dave Crutchfield said. “On the scoring drive I saw it in the kids eyes. They knew what the goal was and went for it.”

On the kickoff after the touchdown, Gavin Arsenault recovered an onside kick and Dirigo had a chance. The Oak Hill defense was relentless, though, with Austin Goucher and Washburn, who were always in the backfield. Robinson threw a screen pass to Tyler Frost on the final play of the game.

“The screen pass worked well,” Crutchfield said. “They were coming after us, but, you can only throw it a couple times during a game. Our biggest running plays were sneaks by Robinson behind wedge blocking and that certainly isn’t good enough.’’

Oak Hill utilized Flaherty (97 yards, 25 rushes) on a drive that started on the Raiders’ 24. Asselin (6-of-11, 90 yards, two interceptions) threw a 20-yard pass to Alex Mace. On second and goal, Asselin rolled right and tossed a high floater to Washburn in the end zone. Flaherty (three rushing first downs on the 11-play drive) rushed the conversion to give Oak Hill an 8-0 lead.

“Kyle Flaherty is quite a runner and also a good lacrosse player,” Doucette said. “Our offense fits Kyle who runs well up the middle and Alex Mace is a threat on the outside. We have a well-balanced team.”

Robinson interception two passes for the second game in a row and also recovered a forced fumble. Frost made 10 tackles.

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