BANGOR — Foxcroft Academy finally found success on offense against Lisbon’s defense in Saturday’s Class D state championship football game.

The Ponies were held to their season-low in points on only six possessions in the regular-season meeting between the two teams, but they scored four times on six first-half possessions in Saturday’s rematch, on their way to a 41-22 victory at Cameron Stadium.

Lisbon’s Josh Carter, right, reacts as time runs out in the fourth quarter during the Greyhounds’ loss to Foxcroft in the Class D state championship football game Saturday in Bangor. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

It’s the second straight Class D state title for Foxcroft, and the fifth time the Ponies faced the Greyhounds in the state final. Lisbon had won the previous two and three of the first four.

“For our school, it’s history. It’s never been done,” Foxcroft coach Danny White said of going back-to-back. “I think for high school sports, winning a state championship is pretty remarkable in and of itself, and two in a row is, like, I don’t know. We feel very blessed and fortunate, that’s all I can say.”

After scoring two touchdowns in a 14-13 loss in September to Lisbon, which also includes players from St. Dominic Academy, the Ponies (10-0) put up 14 points in the first quarter on a pair of possessions, both ending in Wyatt Rayfield quarterback keepers for touchdowns (3 and 4 yards). Kemsley Marsters converted both extra points for a 14-0 lead.

A Greyhounds (7-4) team that took advantage of three Foxcroft turnovers in the first meeting turned the ball over on its second possession Saturday, two plays into the second quarter.


Ponies playmaker Caden Crocker, who left the first meeting with an injury in the first half, appeared to throw a halfback pass for a touchdown on the next play, but a Foxcroft penalty negated the score. No matter, Crocker ran the following play 51 yards for a touchdown.

“The whole idea was we were going to get the ball into our playmakers’ hands, and get the ball to Caden Crocker early in the game so that he could have his impact quick, and force their hand a little bit defensively. And that’s what we were able to do,” White said. “We were able to build enough of a lead so that when their wave came, which was bound to come, we were able to have enough of a gap so that we could keep the separation. That was huge for us.”

After a Lisbon three-and-out, Marsters finished off the next possession with a 28-yard touchdown run. His fourth extra point of the half made it 28-0 with 8:32 left in the second quarter.

The Greyhounds fumbled two plays later, but the Lisbon defense was then able to turn the Ponies over on downs four plays later.

Lisbon then went on an 80-yard scoring drive that was capped off by a Josh Carter 2-yard touchdown run with 47.7 seconds left in the half. Carter also ran in the two-point conversion to make it a 28-8 game at halftime.

“Just getting a little bit of momentum coming in (to halftime), especially where we were getting the ball in the second half. So the kids were fired up, as opposed to being down, going in the locker room,” Lisbon coach Chris Kates. “So it was big. And I think we came out hot second half, we just didn’t quite have enough at the end there.”


The Greyhounds made it interesting in the third quarter.

They opened the second half with a 16-play, run-only drive that was capped off by a Colby Levasseur 6-yard touchdown run.

Lisbon then recovered its own onside kick to get the ball back at the Foxcroft 38-yard line. Nine plays later, Levasseur rumbled into the end zone again from 8 yards out, and Carter’s two-point run cut the deficit to 28-22 with 2:28 left in the third quarter.

“I think just once you’ve strung together a little bit of success, a couple good plays in a row, I mean, the kids started to get confidence after that,” Kates said. “And honestly, we had it right where we wanted to, but we just made too many mistakes today.”

Foxcroft’s first possession of the second half netted just three yards and a three-and-out, but Marster’s punt was downed inside the 1-yard line. On the next play, the Greyhounds fumbled and the Ponies recovered, giving Foxcroft the ball on the doorstep of the goal line.

Crocker ran the next play in for a 1-yard touchdown run, extending the Foxcroft lead to 34-22 with just under a minute left in the third quarter.


“The reality is you can’t give good teams extra possessions, right? Especially on the 1-yard line,” Kates said. “If we would have been able to at least get better field position, move the ball a little bit, and then punt, who knows what the outcome would have been.”

Lisbon drove the ball into the red zone on its next drive, which spilled into the fourth quarter. But the Ponies came up with a fourth-down stop at their own 12-yard line.

Foxcroft made the most of shovel passes from Rayfield to Crocker, with one going for 59 yards on the ensuing drive, then another for 4 yards and a touchdown. Marster’s extra point rounded out the 41-22 score.

Lisbon’s last-ditch drive was four incomplete passes, giving the ball back to the Ponies, who used three Rayfield kneeldowns to close out the victory.

The Greyhounds out-gained the Ponies 299-297, with all of Lisbon’s yards coming on the ground. Levasseur and Carter each had 26 carries, with Levasseur running for 142 yards and Carter for 114.

Rayfield passed for 97 yards, completing 7 of 9 attempts, and ran for 34 yards on six carries before the final three kneeldowns that went for a combined minus-15 yards. Crocker ran nine times for 79 yards and turned his five catches into 82 yards.

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