WALES — Gabe Robinson’s addition to the Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale/Kents Hill football team paid off big-time in the Ramblers’ biggest game of the season.

Robinson kicked a 30-yard field goal as time expired to give third-seeded Winthrop a 17-14 victory over second-seeded Oak Hill in a Class D South semifinal at Stacen Doucette Memorial Field on Saturday.

The Ramblers (7-3) scored the final 11 points to rally from a 14-6 deficit in the final 2:07 of the game.


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They advance to the regional final where they will face top-seeded Wells (6-3).

Kents Hill was added to the Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale co-op this season, and Robinson is one of three Kents Hill athletes on the roster. He began attending Kents Hill this school year, transferring from Worcester Academy in Massachusetts.

He initially played soccer, the sport he grew up playing, this fall. Ramblers coach Dave St. Hilaire said Robinson switched to football in September when learned that football was available for Kents Hill students.


“He was a bystander when we played Oak Hill the first time,” St. Hilaire said, referring to Winthrop’s 20-12 loss on Sept. 23. “Because he had just joined us two days before.”

Robinson was making field goals from 45 yards away before the game, but he had missed a field goal earlier in the second half.

He got another chance in an even bigger moment with the game on the line.


Most of the second half was played on the Oak Hill side of the field, including all but the first play of the fourth quarter. The Ramblers, who had been trailing 14-6 since the second quarter, finally used that field position to their advantage when they turned an 11-play, 47-yard drive into the game-tying score.

Their drive reached the Oak Hill 4-yard line before a penalty moved them back to the 9. On fourth-and-goal, Braden Branagan rolled left and under pressure threw a 9-yard touchdown pass to Ben Porter, who made a diving catch in the end zone.


“Surreal feeling. Surreal,” Porter said. “I was confident I’d catch it. It was a catchable ball — got to catch it.”

Cody Cobb ran in the two-point conversion, tying the game at 14-14 with 2:07 to play.

Winthrop got the ball back when Oak Hill quarterback Kai Taylor pitched to Kaiden Delano, whose pass was picked off by Brody Adams and returned to the Raiders’ 33 with 1:13 remaining in the game.

Winthrop drove to the 13-yard line and the let the clock tick down to less than three seconds remaining before calling a timeout and sending Robinson in to kick.

“Honestly, I was just trying to keep myself level. Just tell myself, you know, it’s a short kick,” Robinson said. “And I just did my thing. I’ve done it before in practice, over and over, so just go out there and execute.”

Oak Hill coach Chad Stowell had seen Robinson kick, so he knew the junior had the leg strength and accuracy to make the kick. St. Hilaire said the snap was the key.


“All we needed was the snap and to put it down, and it was going to be good,” St. Hilaire said. “We knew that. I mean, he was right down the middle. And he’s money. We practice it quite a bit, so it’s an automatic for us.”

The snap was good, and Robinson’s kick went through the uprights — near the middle and with plenty of distance.

“It felt perfect,” Robinson said. “I looked up and it was right down the middle. And that’s the happiest I’ve ever felt playing football.”

Porter was confident in Robinson, but said that he couldn’t watch.

“Dude. That was insane,” Porter said. “My eyes were closed down on the sideline. I was down on one knee.

“I mean, I was confident he’d make it, he was drilling 40s pregame, and he sunk it right down the middle. That’s my kicker.”


Porter later added, in reference to Robinson: “Favorite person all-time, to be honest with you.”


Oak Hill (5-4) led 14-6 at halftime due to a pair of long touchdown passes by freshman quarterback Taylor.

First, he completed a short pass to Isaac Graham, who ran the rest of the distance for a 52-yard touchdown reception on the second play of the second quarter.

On the third play of the Raiders’ next drive, Taylor threw to Delano near the sideline. Delano broke one tackle at the 30 and sprinted to the end zone for an 80-yard touchdown play.

“We’ve got some really explosive kids on the outside, and Kai, who’s only a freshman quarterback, he’s got a really talented arm. We give him chances, he can make some plays,” Stowell said.


In between the Raiders’ two scores, Winthrop put together a 10-play, 66-yard scoring drive. Running plays by Carter Rivers and Cobb moved the ball to the Oak Hill 3, setting up Branagan’s 3-yard TD run.

Rivers finished with 109 yards rushing on 25 carries, while Cobb gained 70 yards on 15 carries. Branagan completed 3 of 12 passes for 39 yards.

Taylor was 6 of 10 for 188 yards and the two touchdowns. Eli Desmond caught three of those passes for 30 yards. Adam Hinkley had 46 yards on 11 carries, leading an Oak Hill rushing attack that was bottled up by Winthrop most of the game.

The loss ends the Raiders’ five-game winning streak, while the Ramblers have now won six straight contests, dating back to their 20-12 loss to Oak Hill.

“Just didn’t get it done. Kudos to Winthrop,” Stowell said. “They were tough in the second half and made some great plays, and that kick buried that field goal, and they get the chance at Wells that we were hoping for.”

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