PORTLAND — For the second consecutive year, Oak Hill will play for high school football’s Gold Ball in the late afternoon at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

The Maine Principals’ Association announced Monday that the Class D final between defending champion Oak Hill (10-1) and Maine Central Institute (11-0) of Pittsfield will kick off at 2:36 p.m. Saturday.

Oak Hill defeated Bucksport, 42-35, in that time slot last year, winning its first state championship since 1982.

Saturday’s other games are the Class A final between Thornton (9-1) and Windham (9-1) at 11:06 a.m. and the Class B title featuring Marshwood (11-0) and Brunswick (9-1) at 6:06 p.m.

Leavitt (10-1) and Winslow (10-0) square off for the Class C crown at 7 p.m. Friday. That game will be played on Morse Field at Alfond Stadium on the Orono campus of the University of Maine.

The Raiders returned to the final in hard-fought fashion, beating both Maranacook in the Class D West quarterfinal and Lisbon in the title game by identical 7-6 scores. Oak Hill also beat Dirigo, 25-6, in the semis.

Two of Oak Hill’s three playoff wins were on the road. It is following the same pattern with practice this week, working out at the indoor facility in Topsham on Tuesday and Bates College on Wednesday in an effort to get reacquainted with FieldTurf.

Both Class D finalists have overcome injuries to marquee players.

Running backs Jonathan Santiago and Eric Hathaway were beaten up at various points during the season but led MCI to its first title game since 2000. The Huskies lost to Winthrop that year.

MCI, which was winless only two seasons ago, rallied from a 7-0 halftime deficit to dethrone Bucksport, 21-7, in the Little Ten Conference final.

Both Alex Mace and Kyle Flaherty went over 1,000 yards for Oak Hill this fall and have accounted for more than 8,500 yards in their stellar career. Flaherty missed three early-season games with a hamstring injury.

Oak Hill rides a nine-game winning streak into the final and has won 17 of 18 dating back to last season.

Leavitt and Winslow meet for the second consecutive year. The Hornets beat the Black Raiders, 47-18, for their fourth state title since 1995. This is Leavitt’s fifth state final in the past six seasons.

It’s a showdown of two top quarterbacks. Levi Craig of Leavitt threw his 34th touchdown pass of the season and ran for his eighth score Saturday in a 14-9 win over Wells for the Class C West title. Bobby Chenard connected for three touchdowns through the air in Winslow’s 29-12 victory over Waterville.

Windham (2009) and Thornton (2012) each have a recent Class A title to their credit.

Marshwood seeks its first state title since winning Class A in 1989. The Hawks lost to Mt. Blue in the 2012 B final. The 42-40 score marked the highest combined point total for two teams in state finals history.

Admission to the games is $8 for adults and $5 for students. That price entitles those attending Saturday’s session to stay for all three games, but anyone leaving the stadium is required to pay a separate admission to return.


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.