WINTHROP — Knowing this would be the last time he would be playing under the lights at Winthrop’s Maxwell Field, senior running back Dominc Trott left it all out in the field Friday night.

Trott scored all three touchdowns for fourth-seeded Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale, which held off fifth-seeded Poland for a 20-9 victory in a Class D football quarterfinal. 

The Ramblers (6-3) move on to face top-ranked Foxcroft Academy (8-1) in Dover-Foxcroft next week in the semifinals — a rematch of last year’s state championship game, which was won by the Ponies. Foxcroft also won the teams’ regular season matchup, 28-27 in overtime in the season opener on Sept. 2.

“I knew this was my last time I am ever going to step on this field under the lights for these people,” Trott said. “We all executed together as a team and as a family. There is nothing better than that. 

“We messed up in some places (during the game), but we came back. We fought. We knew that if we kept going the way we were going, we might lose, but … we did it.”

Penalties haunted the Ramblers all night, but didn’t prevent them from getting the job done.


“That is just one of those things that bit us all year — the penalties,” Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale football coach Dave St. Hilaire said. “But when we didn’t have the penalties, I thought we executed well. 

“But you can’t be second-and-20, third-and-20, and we don’t play well that way. We are a run-first team, and then set the play action up with running. I think we had two goal-line stops, but the kids are resilient, and when they’ve needed to be tough, they have been tough.” 

Despite Trott’s heroics on offense, the Knights (4-5) did a good job pushing the Ramblers to the edge.

Trott scored a touchdown in each of the first two quarters on 1- and 5-yard rushes, and it looked like Winthrop had built a cushy 14-0 lead at halftime.

But Poland didn’t go quietly and dominated the the third quarter. The Knights (4-5) turned to freshman quarterback Damon Howze to take control of the backfield and use his speed and solid throwing arm to get them back into the game.

“We knew we were going to throw the ball,” Poland coach Gus LeBlanc said. “We thought he was throwing the ball better. There was nothing wrong with Dylan Cook, our quarterback. It was more that we got more speed on the outside going with (Howze).”


On the Knights’ opening possession in the third quarter, Howze broke free at the Poland 24-yard line on a keeper and made it to the Winthrop’s 39. The Knights eventually got to the 10, which set up 20-yard field goal for Brady Lawrence.

The Knights quickly got the ball back when the Ramblers fumbled on the ensuing kickoff at their 30-yard line. Poland pushed, passed and shoved their way to the 9-yard line, and from there Howze ran the ball into the end zone for a touchdown. The extra point failed, but the Knights had made it a 14-9 game going in the fourth quarter.

“I told the kids I was really proud of them,” LeBlanc said. “We had a couple big chances to make some big plays and we did OK. But we have a lot of young kids … so you end up with trying to rely on some of those younger kids make big plays — and sometimes they do and sometimes they don’t.” 

Winthrop removed seven minutes from the clock in the fourth quarter by driving from the 24-yard line all the way to Poland’s 18, aided by a fake a punt in the middle of that drive.

Robby Feeney’s crucial 8-yard rush from Poland’s 48 to the 40 on the fake punt gave the Ramblers a much-needed first down. From there, Winthrop advanced to the 18, from which Trott muscled his way into the end zone for his third touchdown with 5:12 left in the game. The conversion failed, but the Knights had some breathing room with a 20-9 lead.

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