“Ice Ice Baby” was the No. 1 song on the charts; “Marked for Death” was the top-grossing movie; the Soviet Union was still a year away from falling; the Hubble Space Telescope had just been launched into orbit.

That was life on Oct. 20, 1990, the last time a football player from Hall-Dale High School scored a touchdown in a regulation football game — that is, until Cody Cobb changed that Friday night when he scored on a 5-yard run in Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale’s 56-0 win over Madison/Carrabec.

Hall-Dale hasn’t fielded its own varsity team since the 1990 season. The school has been in a cooperative arrangement with nearby Winthrop and Monmouth since the 2019 season, though those other two schools still account for a much bigger share of the Ramblers’ roster.

The Cobb name has long been part of Ramblers football lore. Cody’s great uncle, Willis Cobb (1955-58), owns the program’s all-time touchdown record, and his grandfather, Dickie, scored 12 touchdowns in 1962 and shares the program record for the longest run from scrimmage (95 yards).

Then, there’s Cody’s father, Geoff Cobb, who holds the Ramblers’ single-season records for rushing yards (1,530), touchdowns (20) and interceptions (nine), all set in 1992. He also played against Hall-Dale in that final game as an independent program for the Bulldogs in 1990 and scored two touchdowns in the first half.

Cobb finished with 30 rushing yards for a Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale team that totaled 243 on the ground with seven different backs earning carries. He also made three tackles for the Ramblers on defense.


THINK IT’S EASY coaching in a blowout win? Tell that to longtime Lawrence coach John Hersom.

Lopsided games, such as the Bulldogs’ 58-6 thumping of Bangor on Friday, turn into de facto preseason contests once the regulars exit and the running clock turns on. Younger players dominate the lineup, and coaches such as Hersom get a sneak preview of the future.

If Friday was any indication, Lawrence’s future might be pretty good. Sophomore running back Colton Carter galloped 52 yards for a touchdown in the fourth quarter, which followed junior Braden Littlefield’s 19-yard TD run in the third. The Lawrence defense also recovered a Bangor fumble.

“We have younger players that go out and work their tails off,” Hersom said after Friday’s win. “We want to see them in varsity games. We were just very proud of getting a lot of guys to play tonight. The opportunity for them to play but also for us to see them is really a rewarding thing for our program.”

PAT MUNZING HOPES the defensive effort the Gardiner football team showed in Friday’s 16-14 win over Messalonskee is a sign of things to come.

While the Tigers (2-1) had their struggles throughout their game with the Eagles (1-2), the defense managed to step up, creating multiple turnovers. Gardiner managed to adjust to Messalonskee backup quarterback Drake Brunelle, who entered the game after starter Sam Dube was knocked out of the game with an injury. Brunelle provided a run-pass threat that was a challenge for the Tigers’ defense.


“It kind of threw us for a curveball when the quarterback went down, I hope he’s going to be all right,” Munzing said. “They were able to bring someone in like that and really start stretching the field, that was not what we were prepared for. It changed some things, we had to adjust some coverages and some different fronts to be able to do that. For our kids, that’s what it takes to win football games.”

Gardiner still proved to have an opportunistic offense, as Kayden Weston took a reverse 51 yards for a touchdown in the third quarter to take over the lead. The Tigers are only a week removed from an outstanding offensive performance in a 43-0 win over Belfast in the home opener.

But on Friday night, it was all about the defense.

“For our defense to turn around and step up, playing really well, creating the turnovers is something we really harp on in practice,” Munzing said. “Fundamentals, being able to create those turnovers, especially down in (the red zone). We’re kind of getting back to the way the Tiger football team plays defense. We’re gritty, we bend but we don’t break, we create turnovers. It’s great to see that we’re starting to get into that flow.”

FOR DECADES, GAMES against the Mt. Desert Island Trojans have been a staple for the Waterville football team. The two program’s moves to the eight-man ranks have done nothing to change that.

A year ago, Waterville and MDI met twice in what was the inaugural season of eight-man ball for both programs. Both showdowns were dramatic with the Purple Panthers beating the Trojans in overtime in the regular season and prevailing in a grueling 50-40 battle in a playoff rematch.


Waterville got the best of MDI again Friday, beating the Trojans 26-20 in Bar Harbor. Once again, though, nothing came easy for a Purple Panthers team that’s now gotten all it could handle from MDI three times over the past two seasons.

“It seems like whenever we have a game against them, it’s a nail-biter,” said Waterville head coach Isaac LeBlanc. “They’re a quality opponent, and we know we’re going to have to be at our best to beat them. We knew from last year’s experiences what type of game it was going to be and what type of battle we were facing.”

Waterville, the reigning champ in eight-man Large-School North, entered the game 2-0 with the wins coming by a combined margin of 66 points. It was what was to be expected, perhaps, against an Ellsworth/Sumner team that went winless last year and a Greely program that had not fielded its own team in four years.

MDI, on the other hand, entered 2022 with many of the weapons that pushed Waterville to the limit a year ago. The Trojans had defeated a tough Spruce Mountain team in Week 1 and had two weeks to prepare the Panthers following a bye in Week 2, and, unlike last year, had the luxury of taking on Waterville at home.

Although MDI pulled ahead twice in the first half with touchdowns early in the first and second quarters, Waterville responded both times and then scored on both sides of halftime to pull ahead 26-14. The Trojans fought back to make it a one-score game again midway through the third, forcing the Panthers to stave off the host team late to secure the win.

“It’s a tremendous challenge to get ready for that program because they have so many sets and alignments and a good group of skill players, but our team is just a very battle-tested group of guys,” LeBlanc said. “Our defense really stepped up in some critical situations to help us hold on.”

Waterville needed to improvise offensively to do it after starting quarterback Wyatt Gradie went down with an injury. The Panthers did so by moving Dustan Hunter, who had caught three passes for 68 yards prior to Gradie’s injury, under center, where he would run for 185 yards and tossed two touchdown passes to Gage Hubbard.

“Our guys collectively just adapt so well to whatever they need to do and whatever the situation is,” LeBlanc said. “It’s really a great group, and they know how to minimize the negatives and work through anything.”

Central Maine Newspapers staff writers Dave Dyer and David Bailey contributed to this report.

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