One week after spoiling Falmouth’s undefeated regular season in a win-or-else game to make the Class B South football playoffs, No. 7 Greely dominated the second half to oust No. 2 Leavitt, 34-26, in a quarterfinal stunner at Libby Field.

Greely (4-5) won a postseason game for the first time in the 13-year history of its program and erased any chance for Leavitt (6-3) to play in its third consecutive state championship game.

“It’s history,” Greely sophomore quarterback Nick Gauvin said. “Absolutely amazing. Guys are pumped up. It’s great. I love seeing happiness on the faces of my team.”

Gauvin, who took over for injured senior star Matt Pisini at the start of the season, threw two touchdown passes and rushed for two scores.

He was 5-for-6 through the air, including a 49-yard touchdown toss to senior John Riolo in the second quarter and a 44-yard scoring strike to freshman Joey Cassella in the third.

“Nick Gauvin was the key,” senior running back Sam Peck said. “He had a tough situation at the beginning of the year. That’s tough shoes to fill. He came in tonight and played the best game I could have asked for.”

Peck carried 38 times for 132 yards and helped the Rangers control the clock in a second half dominated by their defense.

After being torched for 150 yards through the air before intermission, most of it by Leavitt’s senior tandem of Levi Craig and Max Green, Greely held the Hornets to only four more first downs.

Chase Steuer’s 30-yard interception return for a touchdown off a tipped ball effectively sealed it, giving Greely a two-touchdown lead with just over three minutes to play.

“We have gone through so many things this year. These kids are just resilient,” Greely coach Dave Higgins said. “They just answered. They played. I wish I could say it had something to do with my pep talk at halftime, but it had nothing to do with me.”

Leavitt went the length of the field on long pass plays to Billy Bedard and to Green, culminating in a quarterback sneak by Craig with one second left, to grab a 20-14 lead at the half.

The Hornets’ first two drives of the half went three-and-out, and another ended on downs with Paul Buchanan’s sack of Craig.

In the meantime, Greely took the lead for good. Gauvin’s 25-yard scramble set up his throw to a startlingly open Cassella with 3:50 remaining in the third. Peck’s two-point rush provided the 22-20 margin.

“I thought we sputtered a little bit to start the third quarter. We couldn’t get a lot of traction and string together a couple of first downs,” Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway said. “We knew that was going to be their game plan coming in (to control time of possession), and it was well executed on their part.”

Leavitt’s first full drive of the fourth quarter ended when Greely took down Bedard after a reception a half-yard shy of the stick at the Hornets’ 22, forcing another punt.

“Their special teams played a little bit better than ours. That was part of it,” Hathaway said. “It’s a lot easier to go for it on fourth down when you’re out in the middle of the field than when you’re in your own end. They had that working for them, and we had that working against us.”

Greely took over at its own 49 and handed off to Peck eight consecutive times. He converted a third down immediately before rolling up a 24-yard gain to the Leavitt 5. Gauvin eventually scored from the 1.

“That’s what we do anyway. We just run the ball and pound it and pound it and pound it,” Higgins said. “It was just a beautiful thing to watch. That clock was not moving fast enough.”

Next came the pick-six. Craig (17-for-30, 203 yards) rebounded and led the Hornets downfield, connecting with Green (8 catches for 150) for their second TD of the night from 10 yards out with 1:39 to play.

Greely stopped the two-point conversion and recovered the ensuing onside kick. Peck went 21 yards on the first play to help drain more of the clock.

Leavitt was left with nine seconds to go 79 yards. Bedard caught a quick slant, but the first lateral ended up on the ground as the horn sounded.

“It’s such a nice thing. We were down on ourselves at the beginning of the year when Matty got hurt,” Peck said. “We rallied as a team. We’re a good team now. We’re a full team. We’re peaking at the right time for sure.”

The Rangers avenged a 20-14 loss at home three weeks ago. It was the game in which the Hornets lost guard and middle linebacker Adam Smith for the season with a shattered spleen.

Leavitt struck first on a 3-yard Hunter Sirois run, set up by Green’s diving grab, but Greely answered in the second with the aid of a pass interference call on fourth down. Gauvin scored on a sneak three plays later.

“I thought we played pretty well in the first half,” Hathaway said. “There were a few things that were working against us, but Greely played a good football game and coached a good football game.”

The Hornets retrieved the lead when Craig hit Green on a deep post for 45 yards with 1:33 to go. Leavitt curiously squib kicked, however, and the Rangers took advantage of the short field with the Gauvin-to-Riolo score.

Nolan Anderson, Evan McCarthy and Steuer joined Buchanan with sacks of Craig.

Eighteen Leavitt seniors enjoyed a four-year record of 35-7, including two state games and one Gold Ball.

“When those guys came in, it’s a group of guys that weren’t given much of a chance by a lot of people to be very good,” Hathaway said. “Coming out of middle school, there was a lot of talk about that group not having a lot of character and not having a lot of toughness. They’re proven a lot of people wrong in that regard. There’s a lot of quality kids there that I’m going to miss coaching.”

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