WINTHROP — Keegan Choate’s fourth-down touchdown pass to Jevin Smith with 2:32 remaining was the difference in Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale’s 33-29 victory over Poland in a Class D South football game Friday night at Maxwell Field.

The back-and-forth contest lasted more than three hours due to an early injury delay for an ambulance to take Poland’s Ben Olson off the field.

Olson’s injury came after the host Ramblers (2-2) marched down the field on their opening drive, which was capped off by an Ian Steele 1-yard touchdown run. The Knights (2-2) responded to both Steele’s score and Olson’s injury by taking the lead, 7-6, when quarterback Brady Downing ran into the end zone from 14 yards out and Zach Cote kicked the go-ahead extra point.

“Just really happy about the way we responded after that,” Poland coach Spencer Emerson said.

Downing added to the lead with a 45-yard touchdown pass to Isaiah Hill. But Choate answered with a scoring strike to Dylan Lajoie, and the Ramblers went into the half down 15-12.

That same connection gave the Ramblers the lead midway through the third quarter, but Downing and Hill hooked up again 65 seconds later for a 21-19 Poland advantage.


“We knew that we were going to have our hands full, and obviously, we did,” Ramblers coach Dave St. Hilaire said. “They do a lot of things, they do a lot of things well — very well. Their execution is a lot better than ours sometimes. They throw the ball well, catch the ball well, and they’re tough. They’re a tough team.”

Kyzer Card bruised his way into the end zone early in the fourth quarter for the Ramblers, but again the Knights answered right back, with Tyler Tucci running in a touchdown and Joe Ringuette the two-point conversion, giving Poland a 29-27 lead with 10:16 left.

“You know, we feel like — as crazy as it sounds — we did what we expected,” Emerson said. “We feel like we have playmakers, we feel like we have a quarterback that knows what he’s doing.”

St. Hilaire has a similar trust in Choate, who started the Ramblers’ game-winning scoring drive with a 40-yard run from his own 4-yard line. His touchdown pass to Smith was from 3 yards out to complete the 96-yard drive.

“He missed some throws in the first half,” St. Hilaire said. “But, you know, a couple of drives to answer after they had scored, and fourth-and-goal from the 3-yard line, it’s pretty good. He’s gotten more comfortable each week. He had a great week last week, and this one was pretty solid as well.”

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