Oak Hill’s Caden Thompson heads towards the end zone on a touchdown run against Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale last month. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

MADISON — Caden Thompson made his share of highlights. Then Tiger Hopkins impressed when he got his chances. And so did Quentin Pelkey.

It made sense. When one running back for the Oak Hill football team makes a big run, chances are the others are buckling their chin straps, waiting for their turn to go out and do the same thing.

“Me, Caden and Quentin rotate in, and we just feed off each other,” Hopkins said. “(If) Caden makes a nice run, I get pumped in there, I want to run farther than him. It’s a fun little friendly rivalry that we bond over.”

On Friday night, all three had chances to shine. Hopkins ran nine times for 107 yards and a touchdown, while Thompson ran four times for 51 yards and two scores and Pelkey, the more downhill runner of the three, had eight carries for 41 yards and a pair of touchdowns.

“That’s the type of skills we have. It’s the guy that’s hot or the guy that makes a play,” Oak Hill coach Stacen Doucette said. “We really don’t focus on one. I think that’s our strength of our offense. There is no one person to focus on.”

Thompson had the first big run of the night, a 37-yard touchdown on a sweep that started left, then changed course right through the Madison defense to make it 7-0. Then it was Hopkins’s turn with a 29-yard run that set the stage for Pelkey’s 5-yard touchdown run, upping the lead to 28-0, and Thompson struck again when he scored from 13 yards out on the next drive for a 35-0 advantage. Hopkins had one more big run in the half, a 40-yard scamper that made it 41-7.

“I think the kids are just competing,” Doucette said. “I think the backs are competing against each other to push each other. They’re competing for reps, and they know it.”

A byproduct of that competition is hard running. Broken tackles were a theme of the night, as Thompson was hit behind the line of scrimmage on the sweep that became the first score of the game, and on Hopkins’ 40-yard run he appeared to be tackled by a group of Bulldogs by the left sideline, only to spin out and break through for the rest of the run.

“We did go back to conditioning and a little bit of physicality,” Doucette said. “And we think it paid off.”

“I think in practice we do hit kind of hard,” Hopkins said. “We love hitting hard, so we can break tackles pretty easily.”

BIG GAMES

This week’s game of the year — Wells (5-0) at Leavitt (5-0) on Saturday — should give the winner the edge in the race for the top seed in the Class C South playoffs. Wells carries a 33-game win streak into the game.

• There’s an interesting crossover game in Class D this weekend, with Oak Hill playing at Bucksport. These teams met for the Class D state title in 2013, with Oak Hill winning to take the first of its three straight state titles.

• Maranacook remained the lone undefeated team in the eight-man division with a 22-12 win over Ellsworth last week. The Black Bears play at Sacopee Valley (1-4) Friday.


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