Leavitt’s undefeated season began with a win over Fryeburg Academy in Turner. To keep that perfect record intact, as well as their championship hopes, the Hornets will need a repeat result Saturday night.

Ever since that 45-8 Leavitt win on Sept. 1, the two teams have been on a collision course to the Class C South championship game.

The second-seeded Raiders won their final seven regular season games, and after a first-round bye they beat No. 3 Cheverus 34-15 in the regional semifinals.

Top-seeded Leavitt also hasn’t lost, surviving a gauntlet that included wins over Class A opponents Oxford Hills (21-14), Lewiston (51-13) and Thornton Academy (35-21) and Class B North finalist Lawrence (62-32). The Hornets’ closest Class C game was a 34-14 win over Cheverus to end the regular season.

In fact, Leavitt hasn’t lost since the 2021 Class C South regional final, winning last year’s Class C state championship to cap off an undefeated season.

Longtime Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway said every year is different, but the core values of the program don’t change.


“It’s more about having a standard of how we operate and embracing those values,” Hathaway said. “Our guys have been pretty good there since Day 1, but I think the Oxford Hills win gave us a lot of confidence in that process and the awareness to respect what it takes to experience that kind of success.”

Hathaway pointed out that the first-year starters, as well as the JV and “look” team, have improved their skill set and knowledge since Week 1.

He said Fryeburg also is a different team from the one the Hornets faced to open the season.

“Fryeburg is a talented team and extremely well-coached,” Hathaway said. “(Head coach David) Turner, (assistant coach David) Jones and his staff do a great job over there developing their team over the course of the year.”

Senior Cohen Carter runs the Fryeburg offense from the quarterback position, with Logan Walton and Freddie Francis among his receiving targets. Gunnar Saunders is the top runner for the Raiders.

“They have a nice group of playmakers and a QB who can get them the ball,” Hathaway said. “Walton is a top-notch receiver, Saunders can do a little bit of everything and their other receivers have good speed. The line and tight ends have blocked well, too. Well-rounded team.”


On defense, Hathaway said the Raiders have size up front and playmakers on the back end.

“They run to the ball hard and don’t make a lot of mistakes,” he added.

To keep being successful, the Leavitt offense will need to have a good balance of run and pass and to spread the ball around, according to Hathaway. Against Cape Elizabeth in the regional semifinals, running back Will Keach earned as much of the spotlight as quarterback Noah Carpenter, and Keegan Reny, Mason Henderson and Aiden Turcotte all had touchdown catches, while Maddox Demers and Henderson added touchdown runs.

“O-line play, ball security and minimizing penalties are always key in a playoff game,” Hathaway said.

The Hornets have been in big games before, either during last year’s playoff run or this season’s matchups with Class A and B powers. Repeating the process will be the key to another win over Fryeburg and a return trip to the state championship.

“Our guys know what kind of preparation it takes to put yourself in a position to win a game like this,” Hathaway said. “We have to follow through on that this week and then execute the plan and play well on Saturday.”

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