WINTHROP — Foxcroft converted a fourth down into a touchdown late in the game then clinched victory with a pair of interceptions as it handed Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale its first loss of the football season, 24-14.

With the score 17-14 in favor of Foxcroft (7-0) — following a 10-yard touchdown run by Winthrop’s Logan Baird — the Ponies faced a fourth-and-10 from the Winthrop 12-yard line with 5:30 left in the game.

Foxcroft coach Danny White called back-to-back timeouts because, he said after the game, he was uneasy about the defensive formations the Ramblers lined up in. When the Ponies finally ran their fourth-down play, quarterback Austin Seavey dropped back to pass and found Gideon Topolski for a 12-yard touchdown in the back of the end zone. Kicker Kemsley Marsters hit the extra point and Foxcroft’s lead was up to 24-14 with just 5:25 remaining in the game.

“We were going to throw it no matter what,” White said. “I burned two timeouts there because they didn’t give us the look we wanted, so we changed the play. Caden (Crocker) is obviously getting a lot of attention, so we thought we could slip in on the backside, and Austin ripped the throw and Gideon made the play.”

The two-score deficit forced Winthrop (5-1) to rely on its passing to try move down the field more quickly on its next two drives, but interceptions by Foxcroft’s Jaydon Richard and Gage Beaudry clinched the Ponies’ seventh win of the season.

Foxcroft started building its lead early in Friday’s game. After the defense forced Winthrop to go three-and-out, Seavey led the Ponies’ offense down the field, accounting for all 58 yards of the drive that was capped by a 12-yard touchdown pass to Crocker for an early 7-0 advantage.

A touchback pinned the Ramblers at their own 20-yard line. Five plays into the drive, quarterback Andrew Foster found Robbie Feeney for a 52-yard completion to get inside the red zone. Three plays later, though, Crocker intercepted Foster’s pass in the end zone to give possession back to the Ponies.

“To go down and answer would have put us back in the game, but not only that, they flipped the game on that play because they returned it to midfield,” Ramblers coach Dave St. Hilaire said. “That hurt.”

Jesse Drury kick-started the ensuing drive with a 32-yard run that advanced the Ponies to Winthrop’s 25-yard line. Later in the drive, Seavey found Crocker for an 11-yard touchdown that put Foxcroft ahead 14-0.

Seavey put up 182 yards of offense on Friday night, including 153 yards in the air. Crocker tallied 103 receiving yards and two touchdowns.

“He’s a problem,” White said of Crocker. “His size, speed, strength and ball skills. Austin has the ability to get the ball to him in places only Caden can get to it. He was a big part of the game plan, definitely, and he executed when we needed him to, and Austin continued to deliver strikes.”

A mix of runs and passes helped the Ramblers on an 11-play drive, but they were stopped on fourth-and-2 and turned possession over at the Foxcroft 33.

A 30-yard Crocker catch helped the Ponies get in field goal position. Later in the drive, Marsters kicked a 29-yard field goal with five seconds left in the half to push the lead to 17-0 at halftime.

Winthrop forced a three-and-out punt at the start of the second half, and a bad snap went over Marsters’ head and the Ramblers took over possession on Foxcroft’s 10-yard line.

Three plays later, Foster ran the ball up the middle and scored on a 14-yard touchdown to put the Ramblers on the board. Foster hit the extra point, and with 8:36 left in the third Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale’s deficit was 17-7.

“It was just that we hadn’t started to play,” St. Hilaire said of the Ramblers’ halftime adjustments. “We needed to be more physical up front, but I don’t know that we were. They were more physical. We needed to just settle down and we could do some things offensively, but it was a matter of executing and not giving up anymore touchdowns.”

Winthrop later went on a 10-play drive at the end of the third quarter and into the fourth quarter that ended with Baird’s touchdown run that made it a three-point game, 17-14.

St. Hilaire said that the Ramblers’ offensive line was, for the first time this season, outplayed by an opponent’s defensive line.

“Their defensive line was better than our offensive line,” St. Hilaire said. “That’s the first time that’s happened to us and we’ve got some work to do to get to where we know we can be heading into playoffs.”

Foster finished with 157 passing yards and led the Ramblers with 29 yards rushing.

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