Note: While thinking about the four games this weekend involving area teams with spots in state championship games on the line, sports editor Lee Horton decided to look through old copies of the Sun Journal to see what significant playoff games were played with similar stakes on Nov. 11 and 12 during the past couple decades. This is what he found:


SATURDAY, NOV. 12, 2017
Sun Journal headline on Nov. 13, 2017: “All hail Lisbon”

Lisbon captains Tanton Mattson, left, Tyler Halls, center, and Noah Francis celebrate after their last-minute come-from-behind victory over Winthrop/Monmouth in the Class D South championship on Nov. 12, 2016. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

When Winthrop/Monmouth drove down the field in less than two minutes and scored on an 18-yard pass from Matt Ingram to Nate Scott on fourth-and-13 play to take a 17-14 lead with 16.4 seconds remaining, it appeared the Ramblers had pulled off a miraculous victory over Lisbon in the Class D South final.

But there was still more magic remaining in a back-and-forth fourth quarter that had already featured several clutch plays and three lead changes.

The Greyhounds got the ball back and quarterback Tyler Halls heaved a pass into a crowd of players from both teams. Someone tipped the ball and then Lisbon’s Kurtis Bolton caught it and bolted toward the end zone. He almost made it but was pulled down at the 1-yard line with eight-tenths of a second remaining in the game. The Greyhounds had time for one more play. Halls handed off to Noah Francis, who scored on a 1-yard run as time expired to give Lisbon a 20-17 win and claim a spot in the Class D state title game, which the Greyhounds lost in an equally miraculous manner.


FRIDAY, NOV. 11, 2011
Sun Journal headline on Nov. 12, 2011: “Turner 2-step”

In this photo that appeared in the Nov. 12, 2011, edition of the Sun Journal, Leavitt’s Jake Ouellette attempts to muscle past Mt. Blue’s Colin Richards in the Eastern Class B championship in Turner.

Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway decided earlier in the week that if the Hornets had a choice between going for a win or trying to tie the score, they would go for the win. When the moment arrived in the Pine Tree Conference Class B championship game against Mt. Blue, the Hornets went for the win.

Both teams fumbled the ball away on their first possessions of overtime. On its second possession, Mt. Blue scored on a 4-yard run by Izaiha Tracy, then an extra point by Shawn Keach, to take a 21-14 lead. Leavitt quickly answered on its drive. On the first play, QB Jordan Hersom connected with Brian Bedard for a 10-yard TD pass, setting up the moment of truth for the Hornets. Hathaway sent the kicking team onto the field, but it was a ruse. He called a timeout and set up the 2-point conversion play, a shovel pass from Hersom to Jake Ouellette that gave Leavitt a 22-21 win and its third consecutive Eastern B title.

SATURDAY, NOV. 11, 2006
Sun Journal headline on Nov. 12, 2006: “Slam dunks”

In this photo that appeared in the Nov. 12, 2006, edition of the Sun Journal, Mountain Valley’s Devin Roberts dives over Cape Elizabeth’s Brenden Shields during the second quarter of the Western Class B championship game in Rumford.

Mountain Valley and Lisbon each remained undefeated and advanced to state championship games with regional final victories on their respective home fields.

The run-oriented Greyhounds’ passing game sparked the offense to a pair of second-quarter touchdowns that turned a 6-0 deficit into a 15-6 lead. Three completions by QB Mike Unterkoefler set up Dan Willis’ 17-yard TD run and later Unterkoefler tossed a 7-yard scoring pass to Joe Stevens. Unterkoefler added a 1-yard touchdown run in the fourth to give Lisbon a 23-6 win over Livermore Falls in the Western C title game. The Greyhounds then defeated Foxcroft to claim the Class C crown.

In this photo that appeared in the Nov. 12, 2006 edition of the Sun Journal, Livermore Falls’ Kyle Stebbins is upended by Lisbon’s Scott Wing as Stebbins attempts to drive past the Lisbon defense in the Western Class C championship in Lisbon.

In the Western B championship, Justin Stairs scored two of Mountain Valley’s three first-quarter touchdowns as the Falcons built a 21-0 lead on their way to a 47-6 victory over Cape Elizabeth, their second regional title in three years. Stairs scored four touchdowns and Andy Shorey tossed four TD passes for Mountain Valley, who went on to defeat Winslow in the Class B state final.

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