BANGOR — Austin Seavey’s fourth-quarter touchdown gave Foxcroft Academy the lead, and the Ponies’ defense made big plays on Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale’s final drive to secure a 19-16 victory in the Class D championship game Friday at Cameron Stadium.

Dominic Trott scored twice for the Ramblers, including late in the third quarter to put them up 16-12.

Jesse Drury helped Foxcroft quickly bounce back with a 33-yard run at the end of the third quarter to put the Ponies on Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale’s side of the field. Seavey then found Caden Crocker on a 30-yard pass down the left sideline to the Ramblers’ 3-yard line on the first play of the fourth quarter.

On the next play, Seavey took the snap and ran left for a 3-yard touchdown, giving Foxcroft a 19-16 lead with 11:33 left to play in the game.

Austin is their leader,” Foxcroft coach Danny White said. “He’s the father figure, he’s the extension of the coaching staff on the field, and while they made it difficult for us, we kind of hung our hat on the fact that we had the best leader out there for us that we could possibly have on the field.”

Later in the fourth, Winthrop turned the ball over on downs on an incomplete pass at Foxcroft’s 47, ceding possession to the Ponies with seven minutes left.

Facing fourth-and-2 on the ensuing drive, Seavey took the snap and ran up the middle for what would have been a first down, but he fumbled and Winthrop recovered with about three minutes remaining in the game.

Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale coach Dave St. Hilaire said he was confident the Ramblers would score and win the game with the momentum they gained from the fumble recovery.

I thought we had the game, and I said, ‘We’re going for this. We have the ball, some momentum, plenty of time and we don’t need to get out of our offense,’” St. Hilaire said. “They looked like they were running the clock out, and our defense put us in position when it looked bleak to come back and win. It’s all we ask, to just have a chance late, but it just didn’t work out for us.”

Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale running back Logan Baird (22) comforts quarterback Andrew Foster (10) after losing to Foxcroft Academy 19-16 in the Class D state championship game at Cameron Stadium in Bangor on Friday. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

Ramblers quarterback Andrew Foster ran for two first downs but, on fourth-and-10, threw an incomplete pass with 55 seconds remaining that all but sealed Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale’s fate.

The state title is Foxcroft’s first since 2012 when it earned the Class C championship.

The Ponies’ (11-0) first drive of the game started on Winthrop’s 48-yard line after a long kick return by Drury. Seavey completed three passes to wide receiver Gideon Topolski, but Topolski fumbled the third and the Ramblers (8-2) recovered on their own 21-yard line.

The running trio of Trott, Logan Baird and Robby Feeney then marched Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale down the field to set up a 3-yard Trott touchdown. Feeney ran in the two-point conversion and the Ramblers took an 8-0 lead with just over five minutes left in the opening quarter.

We came out with the double-wing,” St. Hilaire said. “We put that in, knowing that Oak Hill ran some power football against them and couldn’t capitalize but were pretty successful. With a bigger line and some good, solid running backs we came right out and scored with that.”

Seavey continued his strong start on Foxcroft’s second drive. The senior QB ran for 25 yards and connected with Caden Crocker three times, including a 13-yard touchdown. The point after kick was wide, so Winthrop held onto an 8-6 lead with 52 seconds left in the first quarter.

Baird ran for 16 yards over three carries on the ensuing drive, but then Foxcroft slowed the Ramblers’ run game. After Trott caught a pass and was tackled for a one-yard loss on third-and-long, Winthrop decided to punt from its own 42-yard line.

The Ramblers’ defense forced the Ponies into a fourth-and-12 on their next possession. Foxcroft tried to punt, but Kemsley Marsters bobbled the snap and he decided to instead attempt to run for a first down, which he did, picking up 17 yards to keep the drive alive.

Their kicker and punter is a soccer player and kicks for them on weekends,” St. Hilaire said of Marsters. “To come up with a first down on a fumbled snap, from where he was standing it was about 25 yards, that was probably the big play early on.”

After a false start, Drury took a handoff, cut left and ran up the left sideline to the end zone for a 52-yard touchdown. Drury finished the game with 131 yards rushing.

With snow falling from the sky, Foxcroft tried a two-point conversion, but Crocker’s run up the middle was stonewalled. Still, Foxcroft took over the lead, 12-8, with 4:17 left in the first half.

Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale punted on its next possession, setting up Foxcroft at its own 49 with 1:54 to play in the half.

Crocker broke a 17-yard run and later Seavey an 8-yarder on fourth down to keep the drive alive, but Marsters missed a 35-yard field goal attempt with 11 seconds remaining.

Winthrop out-ran Foxcroft by one yard, 138-137, in the first half, but Seavey tacked on 40 passing yards on 7-12 passing.

On Winthrop’s second drive of the third quarter, Foxcroft made a stop to seemingly force a fourth-and-5, but an unsportsmanlike penalty gave the Ramblers a first down at the Foxcroft 24.

Trott ran the rest of the yardage, including a power run up the middle for a 2-yard touchdown. Feeney again scored the two-point conversion and the Ramblers took back the lead, 16-12, with 29 seconds left in the third quarter.

Baird finished with 104 yards rushing, while Trott ran for 80.

The Ramblers were playing in their first state final since 2008. Their only losses this season were to the Ponies.

We didn’t know really what we had, but we knew we had a pretty good team going into the season,” St. Hilaire said. “As we told the kids, though, it’s going to hurt tonight, tomorrow, it’s going to hurt next week and it might even hurt forever, but the memories, you’ll cherish those forever. To get this far, the guys love each other. They really do. You don’t see this in a lot of other programs, but the Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale kids are all one team. There are teams in the area that don’t get it yet, but these kids get it. It’s one team, one program and we did a heck of a lot this year, and I am so proud of these guys.”

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