Leavitt quarterback Noah Carpenter, left, slips away from tackles and heads up field for a touchdown during a September football game against Lawrence in Turner. Carpenter, a junior, also helped the Hornets go undefeated and claim the Class C state championship this fall. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

Expectations were sky-high for Noah Carpenter as he made the jump from splitting time at quarterback as a sophomore to Leavitt’s primary signal-caller as a junior.

Leavitt’s Noah Carpenter celebrates after crossing the goal line for a score during the Class C state championship football game against Medomak Valley on Nov. 19 at Cameron Stadium in Bangor. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

No on expected more from Carpenter than himself, but Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway wasn’t far behind.

Yet Hathaway, who noted that the program has had a “pretty good run on guys who have a great skill set at QB,” said Carpenter exceeded those high expectations.

“We expected him to be the best QB in the league, especially after the summer he had in 7-v-7 and at Maine Elite (Passing) Camp, but in my opinion, all around, he was one of the best football players in Maine,” Hathaway said.

Carpenter did it all for the Hornets, who flexed their muscles all season on their way to a perfect record and a Class C state championship. The do-it-all dual-threat quarterback (and defensive back and punter and kicker) has earned something else to add to his resume: Sun Journal All-Region Football Player of the Year.

“I definitely put a lot of expectations on myself, and I have been told that I am my hardest critic,” Carpenter said. “I spent a lot of time preparing myself for this season, and I expected myself to perform at a high level.”


For the season, Carpenter passed for 2,006 yards and 27 touchdowns with a 66.1% completion percentage, and ran 1,174 yards and another 22 TDs. He also ran or passed for a combined 17 two-point conversions and made 10 of 13 PATs.

“Preparation was key to my success, and that included my coaches giving me things to improve on, film review and trying to push not only myself but pushing my teammates to work harder in practice,” Carpenter said.

Hathaway said Carpenter’s work ethic was infectious, as well as consistent. Carpenter said he tried to stay consistent every week, “and not try to do more than what I was given.”

Every opponent the Hornets faced knew how dangerous Carpenter was, but he still found a way to score multiple touchdowns in every game this season — either with his arm or his legs, and often both.

“There really isn’t a game in which he didn’t show up in all phases of the game, and in the biggest games he played his best football,” Hathaway said. “That kind of poise, intensity and execution week to week is rare and it’s because of his consistent work habits. Despite his talents and all the accolades, he remained humble every week and committed to doing his job and being really good at it.”

Carpenter also starred at safety for Leavitt, amassing 77 tackles with two interceptions, one forced fumble and two fumble recoveries.


“Defensively, between the (21-20 win over Cape Elizabeth) and (34-14 win over Class B Lawrence), he was in on 30 tackles. No way we slow down Parker Higgins (of Lawrence) or Nick Laughlin (of Cape Elizabeth) and those offenses without that kind of performance,” Hathaway said. “He plays safety like a linebacker, but can cover a lot of ground in the pass game, too, and is always around the turnovers. The way he runs the alley reminds me of (former Lawrence star and University of Maine player) Spencer Carey. He is physical and finishes plays. His performance in the regional final game versus Cape on defense was nearly as good as his offense.”

Carpenter noted that Leavitt changed up its defensive formation to counter Cape Elizabeth’s offense in the regional final. That move helped the Hornets hold the Capers scoreless and Laughlin — the Class C South Player of the Year — to only 39 yards rushing and one catch for 16 yards in a 43-0 Leavitt win.

Leavitt’s Noah Carpenter fires a pass against Medomak Valley during the Class C state championship football game Saturday at Cameron Stadium in Bangor. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal

“Not many people get the opportunity to experience what the feel of the locker room was at halftime (leading 28-0), as we knew that Cape was a good team and that our job was not finished, but as the time ticked off the clock, I knew that we were one step closer but our jobs were not done,” Carpenter said.

That win avenged Leavitt’s loss to the Capers in last year’s regional final, which Carpenter said fueled the 2022 Hornets’ mindset of “taking it one game at a time,” but they still had one more game left in their season — the Class C state championship game.

While the Hornets were business-like in preparing to rematch Cape Elizabeth, there was a bit of a different feel going into the state final against Medomak Valley.

“(Assistant coach Dave) Bochtler said to all of us before we loaded the bus for the state game to take everything in, including the people around you, the views, the feelings, as you never know if you will have the same opportunity again,” Carpenter said. “Everyone went into the game having a smile on their face, embracing the moment and knowing that if we played Leavitt football, we would end up on top.”

The junior then went out and capped off his season with two rushing touchdowns and two passing touchdowns in the Hornets’ 46-6 victory.

“The impact he had on the scoreboard and on the field was pretty impressive,” Hathaway said.

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