LEWISTON — It took the top-seeded Leavitt Hornets about a half to settle into their home away from home, Lewiston High School’s Don Roux Field. 

After their 33-7 Class C South semifinal win over fourth-seeded Cape Elizabeth on a windy Saturday night, the Hornets might be convinced to return to the turf.

Leavitt used a multi-pronged rushing attack to overcome a pair of first-half turnovers and pull away from the Capers in the second half.

Seven different ball-carriers contributed and five scored as the Hornets (9-1) rolled up 389 yards on the ground.

Damion Calder led the way with 171 yards 13 carries, including a 74-yard touchdown. Wyatt Hathaway (14 carries, 56 yards), Mark Herman (four carries, 72 yards), Cam Jordan and Allen Peabody also contributed touchdown runs.

“We knew with that wind we were going to have to rely heavily on our run game,” Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway said. “I thought our O-line did a great job. We just mixed it up with all of our backs, and between Damion and Mark and Al and Bradley (Moreau) and Cam and Wyatt, we had a pretty good thing going there.”

Leavitt will host No. 2 Fryeburg, which handed the Hornets their only defeat this season, 13-0, in the C South final next week at a time and place to be announced. It is Leavitt’s first regional title game since 2014.

Marred by penalties and two Hathaway interceptions, the Hornets led only 13-7 at halftime.

They faced fourth-and-18 at Cape’s 34 on the first possession of the second half when Hathaway rolled right, cut back inside at the 25, broke a tackle, evaded another defender lined up to hit him and surged into the end zone for a 19-7 lead.

“We called a play so I could roll out to the right,” Wyatt Hathaway said. “I was trying to look for Damion on a wheel (route) and they played it really well. I started running and noticed I was already past the line (of scrimmage) and Oren Shaw came back and made an amazing block on (Garrett Mello), who was going to make the play. I cut off some blocks and did whatever I had to do to get the first down. Then their safety came and tried to hit me. Thank God he missed, and I ran it in.”

Cape threatened to answer when its first series of the second half reached Leavitt’s 17, but Tommy Casey picked off Andrew Hartel’s pass over the middle at the 10-yard line. 

That was as close as the Capers (5-4) got to the end zone for the rest of the night. A Cole Melanson sack on third down forced them to punt deep in their own territory. The snap sailed high and punter Matt Laughlin retrieved it in his own end zone in time to try to get the kick off, but Jordan blocked it out of the back of the end zone for a 21-7 lead with 6:01 to go in the third.

“At first, I was trying to lay back so they wouldn’t fake it, but I saw the ball go over Matt’s head,” Jordan said. “I rushed him and he was about to kick it and I just went up and hit it.”

Touchdown runs by Peabody (7 yards) and Herman (46 yards), who had two TDs called back by penalties in the first half, capped the scoring for the Hornets.

Cape had changed its tune on offense since throwing the ball 47 times in Leavitt’s 42-20 win during the regular season. The Capers hoped to control the ball and the clock on the ground, but finished with 103 yards rushing on 33 carries, including a three-and-out on the game’s opening series.

“We did a way better job on (tight end Matt) Conley this time. That was a big point of emphasis,” Mike Hathaway said. “That left us singled up a lot more on (wide receivers) Laughlin and (Ethan) Convey, and I thought the guys that were covering them, Damion and Desean (Calder) did a great job singled-up in coverage all day.”

Leavitt’s offense started its day in good field positions, its own 47. Rushes by Calder, Jordan and Hathaway got it to the 4, where Jordan took a hand off and found the end zone for a 7-0 lead.

“I’m usually not the run type of guy. I like to catch more,” Jordan said. “I was willing to let everyone else get the ball but they called me with four yards to go. I feel like everyone contributed.”

On Cape Elizabeth’s next possession, Laughlin leapt to catch a high snap, tucked and ran for 50 yards to the Leavitt 13. The Capers couldn’t capitalize, though, as Hartel’s pass into the end zone on fourth down fell incomplete.

The Capers came up short again on two more drives into Leavitt’s territory in the half. Jordan’s sack of Hartel pushed them back from Leavitt’s 7 and helped force them into a fourth-and-goal from the 13, where the receiver on Hartel’s screen pass was stopped well short of the goal line.

“It’s kind of been an issue with us all year,” Cape Elizabeth coach Aaron Fileo said. “We’ve been able to move the ball and our ‘green zone’ efficiency hasn’t been good. Tonight, it wasn’t again. We’ve had a hard time stopping big plays, too. It’s kind of fitting that’s how the season ended.”

Leavitt got a big play from Calder, a 74-yard touchdown run on a sweep around the left side, two plays into the second quarter to take a 13-0 lead.

An interception by Laughlin near midfield set up Cape’s lone score, which came on Hartel’s 12-yard pass to Laughlin that made it 13-7 with 1:08 remaining in the first half.

“We knew we were shooting ourselves in the foot every possession, so we just needed to get our heads out of the ground and do what we’re supposed to do,” Jordan said.

Saturday’s game was moved to Lewiston due to concerns about the condition of Leavitt’s field after the recent rain fall.

Oren Shaw of Leavitt Area High School hauls in a pass over Cape Elizabeth linebacker Sean O’Sullivan during the first half in Lewiston on Saturday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Stephen Gray of Leavitt Area High School takes down Garrett Mello of Cape Elizabeth during the first half in Lewiston on Saturday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)

Damion Calder of Leavitt Area High School runs up the sideline for a 74 yard touchdown run during the first half against Cape Elizabeth on Saturday. (Daryn Slover/Sun Journal)


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