Dalton Therrien of Oak Hill pulled it off Friday night at Alfond Stadium, with a game that never will be forgotten for a team and a program that have achieved immortality.

The Raiders’ senior quarterback rolled up 426 total yards and was responsible for all five Oak Hill touchdowns in a 34-21 victory over Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield for the Class D title.

Oak Hill (11-0) won its third consecutive Gold Ball, something no team in any class has accomplished since Marshwood claimed at least a share of the Class C championship each year from 1983 to 1986. The Raiders have won 21 successive games, including two convincing triumphs over MCI in the past two finals.

“It seems like an impossible thing to do,” Therrien said. “If you told me freshman year this was going to happen, I would have told you you’re crazy. With hard work, dedication, we came together and found a way to get the job done.”

Therrien overcame three interceptions to throw for 243 yards, including a 63-yard touchdown pass to Jonah Martin to put the Raiders on the board.

He ran 31 times for 183 yards and four scores, highlighted by a 16-yard scamper to give Oak Hill the lead for good on the final play of the third quarter. Therrien clinched it by running 48 yards for a TD with 1:16 left.


“As a coach, what you do is put your best players in a position to make plays,” Oak Hill coach Stacen Doucette said. “In the fourth quarter, we were going to win or lose with Dalton running the show.”

Oak Hill contained MCI tailback Willie Moss (30 rushes, 142 yards, two TDs) effectively enough to force the Huskies airborne, and they repeatedly disconnected.

Darryn Bailey intercepted Greg Vigue twice in the first quarter to trigger the trend. Levi Buteau, Colby Spencer and Brendon Tervo all picked off passes in the fourth period.

“That’s what we focused on all week was defense, because we had a good offense, but we knew we had to stop them. They’re a top caliber offense,” senior defensive lineman Connor Elwell said. “It’s shocking, but we have good players and they made some plays.”

Matthew Clifford recovered a surprise squib kick that deflected off an MCI player, providing the link between two second-quarter touchdowns that furnished an 18-7 lead. Austin Goucher also picked up a loose ball in the fourth quarter, forced by Tervo and Buteau.

“We’re used to tight games like that, then we win at the end,” Tervo said.


MCI (10-1), which rolled through the North with an average victory margin of 47, was seeking its first state title since 1974.

“They just executed their game plan,” MCI coach Tom Bertrand said. “They knew what they were going to do, and they came out and were able to do it. We made too many mistakes.”

The Huskies scored both of their first-half touchdowns on a short field off Oak Hill giveaways, the encore with 15 seconds remaining to pull within 18-14 at the break.

Braden Monteyro’s interception of Therrien and 37-yard return — Therrien, in typical fashion, tackled him at the 1 — led to Moss’ second 1-yard TD plunge.

Monteyro notched his third pick of the half on a Hail Mary at the horn.

“We always find a way to come out,” Therrien said. “We’re a strong team, especially in the second half. When times get tough, we stick together. We don’t break apart. We just come closer.”


MCI drove 63 yards in 10 plays to take the lead for the second time with 1:23 to go in the third. Goucher, Garrett Gile and Brian Thorpe stopped Vigue and Moss on consecutive tries from the 1 before Eli Bussell finished the job. Devon Varney’s kick made it a three-point lead.

Therrien’s runs of 21 and 4 yards preceded a facemask personal foul against MCI. That moved the ball to the Huskies’ 21, where Therrien forged ahead for five before finishing his next keeper with a furious second-effort as time expired in the period.

Matt Strout caught the two-point conversion after three earlier Oak Hill misses for a 26-21 edge.

“We needed to just get momentum going back in our favor, get everyone believing that we could win,” Therrien said.

Spencer’s interception gave Oak Hill a lift to start the fourth quarter, but MCI held at its 41 and forced a Buteau punt. Spencer let it roll dead inside the 1.

Vigue fumbled the ensuing snap. Although Alex Bertrand covered it up, his knee went down in the end zone for a safety.


“Colby let it roll. Senior, smart play. And then we had a good push on the line,” Doucette said. “It wasn’t one play. They’re all special. That senior group is 40-5. Not many senior groups can say that. They changed the culture and kept the train rolling.”

Therrien was stopped on fourth-and-1 at midfield when he bobbled the snap with just under three minutes left. Two plays later, Buteau got his mitts on a Vigue offering over the middle.

“We could never really find that offensive rhythm, and when we did, they made plays on us,” Tom Bertrand said. “You can look back and second-guess all day long, but we’re going to put the ball in the hands of the guys that got us here.”

Martin gave Oak Hill the early edge after an exchange of interceptions by Monteyro and Bailey. He caught Therrien’s toss into the left flat at midfield, made two Huskies miss, slashed right and dove for the pylon.

MCI found its footing on the initial play of the second quarter, when Curtis McLeod stripped the ball from Buteau’s hands and cradled it on his way to the turf at the Raiders’ 19. Four consecutive carries by Moss and a Varney boot put the Huskies on top.

Oak Hill answered with a 10-play, 68-yard march. Therrien found Connor Nilsson (six catches, 157 yards) for consecutive gains of 13 and 29 yards. Buteau picked up 21 more on four carries to the 10.


Therrien took care of matters in three plays from there, capped by a 1-yard sneak for a 12-7 lead with 7:04 to go in the half.

Nilsson unleashed a line drive on the ensuing kickoff that bounced right back to Clifford, a junior.

“I think that was a big turning point in the game,” Therrien said.

Therrien immediately went to the skies, locating Nilsson for 14 and 26 and Martin for 11.

Two plays later, he spun away from a tackler at the 2 to finish a 5-yard TD run.

Only four schools — Morse, Orono, Marshwood, and now Oak Hill — have won three consecutive state titles since the 1960s.

“It was a lot of turnovers, a lot of back and forth, but it was for both teams, so it wasn’t a one-sided game,” Therrien said. “They fought, a hell of a game.”

“Sometimes we were very lucky,” Doucette added, “but you’ve got to create your luck.”

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