Leavitt’s Damion Calder scampers down the sidelines on his way to a first-half touchdown as York’s Hayden Henriksen gives chase during Friday night’s Class C South championship game in Turner. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

TURNER — In the second quarter of the Class C South final, York quarterback Teagan Hynes dropped back to pass and tried to find a hole in Leavitt’s defense. Instead, Hynes’ throw went to Hornets senior Damion Calder for an interception. 

A penalty after the play sent Leavitt back a few more yards to the Hornets’ 18 yard line, but Damion’s twin brother DaSean was unphased by the extra distance and found an opening in the right side of the offensive line and sprinted downfield for an 82-yard touchdown run on the play directly after his brother’s pick. And the Hornets were off, on their way to a 42-7 win that locked down a spot in the Class C state title game.

Leavitt’s DaSean Calder breaks up a pass intended for York’s Hayden Henriksen during the first half of Friday’s game in Turner. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

“That was amazing,” Damion said. “It was a great feeling, conference championship, it was just such a great feeling that me and DaSean committed to this.”

“When you can tilt the field like that on the first run, that’s big time,” Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway said. “DaSean has had runs like that all year and it doesn’t surprise me.”

DaSean didn’t get too high after of the long score. He continued to hit the holes that his line created all game long.

“You spend all this time trying to get here, so you might as well do what you gotta do,” DaSean said. “Everything came out the way we wanted. Our line changed their scheme with how they were blocking and it opened it up for me. They had a wide-open hole for me and I just tore through that.”

The brothers were ball hawks in the Leavitt secondary, terrorizing, as Hathaway said, “as good of a passing team as you’re going to see in the state of Maine,” the entire 48 minutes. 

Damion had the interception, and DaSean was also locked-in on defense and continuously positioned himself perfectly to swat multiple passes down. There was a string of five consecutive incomplete passes by Hynes in the second half, and it would have been six if an amazing catch hadn’t been made despite DaSean having a hand on the ball. The senior was seemingly in perfect position every play.

“We planned to put Dasean on (Riley) Linn, but they didn’t line him up in the slot much, so we put DaSean on (Hayden) Henriksen and Damion on Linn and those two guys shut them down,” Hathaway said. “Then, with Mark and Peabody and then Wyatt over the top we felt we had good matchups on everybody and we could cover and we did.”

After Leavitt defeated York 36-12 in the team’s regular season meeting, Damion went back and critiqued his film. The changes he made paid off. 

“There were some adjustments because we were watching the film and we just knew they were a passing team so we had to figure out who we were gonna have, how to change up the setup for our players and just performed out there well,” Damion said. “My man-on-man, I wasn’t up on them last game, and I figured out that I can’t play soft, I gotta play hard and I gotta get up on my guy and play up on him. I played pretty good and I had confidence.”

Damion made the right changes on the defensive end and maintained his effectiveness on offense. including the game’s first touchdown, a 46-yard run. 

The team pulled confidence from the regular season win over the Wildcats.

“It gave us a lot of confidence going in,” DaSean said. “Anyone could get the win, but knowing we beat them before gave us good leverage over them.”

DaSean ran for 112 yards while Damion totaled 70. Both scored a touchdown. 

“We figured they’d be pretty keyed in on Cam (Jordan), and they were,” Hathaway said. “Damion has always had good runs against those guys and DaSean did last time. But really we wanted to get behind the O-line and get our run game going early and get some play-actions off of it. That was kind of the plan going in and the line did a good job blocking. Damion and Dasean, those guys can run and they can cover.”

Quarterback Wyatt Hathaway talked a few weeks ago about how close he and teammates Keegan Melanson, Cole Morin and the Calder twins are, having played football together since elementary school. For the Calders, Friday’s win couldn’t be more important. 

“Very excited, really excited,” Damion said. “Going to states, it’s the best feeling ever. We’ve been planning this since eight or nine years old. It’s a dream.”


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