Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale’s Jake Sousa carries the ball while Madison’s Bryce Williette tackles him Friday night in Winthrop. (Jennifer Bechard photo)

WINTHROP — When things weren’t going well for Madison/Carrabec in the first half, senior quarterback Eric Wescott put the Bulldogs football team on his back and helped carry it to a come-from-behind 28-22 victory over Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale at Maxwell Field on Friday.

“He’s the guy that I’m going to trust above all,” Bulldogs coach Scott Franzose said. “You know, not that I don’t trust my other guys, but when push comes to shove in the offensive backfield I want the ball in No. 11’s hands, and he showed that he can get it done.”

Wescott threw for three touchdowns, and ran one in from four yards out to give the Bulldogs (4-3) their first and final lead with just over three minutes left in the game.

“He’s their team, he’s their offense. And it centers right around him,” Ramblers coach Dave St. Hilaire said. “He throws the ball decently, but, boy, he’s a heck of a runner and he does well with his fakes.”

The Bulldogs adjusted their offensive game plan to heavy doses of Wescott runs late in the first half. Their final drive before halftime saw Wescott run six times in 10 plays, then he capped off the drive with an 11-yard scoring strike to Kaleb Nichols with 5.8 seconds left. That cut the deficit to 16-6.

Wescott found Nichols for a 63-yard touchdown pass three plays into the second half, then ran in the two-point conversion himself to make it 16-14 Ramblers.

A rare Wescott mistake came on the Bulldogs’ ensuing drive, when a fourth-down pass fell short of Jacob Meader deep in Ramblers territory. The Ramblers then responded with an 84-yard drive that ended with Ian Steele running 38 yards for a touchdown late in the third quarter.

Wescott drew the Bulldogs within 22-20 with a 13-yard shovel pass to Josh Savage for a touchdown with just over nine minutes left.

The Bulldogs signal-caller was 11-of-17 passing for 147 yards and ran the ball 27 times for 153 yards.

“He’s huge. I mean, I could probably give you 10 minutes on that kid. Can’t say enough good things about him,” Franzose said. “He’s a leader, he’s a fighter, he’s gritty.”

The Ramblers started out with all the momentum. Keegan Choate hit Jevin Smith for a 33-yard touchdown pass five plays into the game, and then connected with Dylan Lajoie on the two-point pass for an 8-0 lead. The Ramblers’ junior QB also hooked up with Beau Schmelzer early in the second quarter and found Ryan Baird for the two-point pass to go up two scores.

“Everything we called in the first half was working,” St. Hilaire said. “We didn’t even have to pull stuff out that we had in our back pocket.”

The downfall for the Ramblers was themselves. They lost three fumbles, threw three interceptions, and were flagged 13 times for 117 yards.

“We just kept shooting ourselves in the foot,” St. Hilaire said.

It looked like the Ramblers finally caught a break and had a chance to re-take the lead with 1:36 to play when Jacob Meader’s punt for the Bulldogs went out at the Madison 34-yard line, but Choate was picked off by Brad Peters for the second time with 1:08 left, and the linebacker returned the interception 80 yards to kill clock and give Wescott plenty of space for two kneel-downs at the end.

“He’s really that quarterback of our defense, and I was excited to see him make plays tonight,” Franzose said.

Bryce Willette picked off Choate as well, with 1:59 left. Choate was 10-of-17 for 128 yards, including 6-of-7 in the first half.

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Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale’s Ian Steele carries the ball as Madison’s Bryce Williette closes in during Friday night’s game in Winthrop. (Jennifer Bechard photo)

Madison quarterback Eric Wescott carries the ball against Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale on Friday night in Winthrop. (Jennifer Bechard photo)


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