WELLS — There were some bumps along the way. There were even some questions about their ability to run the ball. But the Wells High Warriors are headed to the Class D state championship game and they did it Wells’ way, by pounding the rock.

Behind 167 rushing yards and three scores from Dominic Buxton and another 121 yards from fullback Eli Potter, the Warriors won Friday’s Class D South championship with a convincing 35-6 win against Winthrop/Monmouth-Hall-Dale.

“(Winthrop) told us that we couldn’t run the ball,” Buxton said. “They kept telling us all week that we’re going to stop the run so we had to prove them wrong.”

Wells, which returned to Class D this year after three seasons in Class C, finished with 390 rushing yards . Wells overwhelmed Class D in 2017 and 2018, going 24-0 in two championship seasons, before sliding back to Class C where they had won the 2016 title.

“Our whole thing this week was we were going to run the ball this week,” said Wells Coach Tim Roche. “I thought our kids played great.”

The Warriors (7-3) did suffer three losses this season but they were all against Class C teams. In Class D they have once again proven to be formidable. Wells is 6-0 against Class D opponents, outscoring them 222-25.


Wells moves on to next Saturday’s Class D state championship at Lewiston High at 2:30 p.m. The North region final between John Bapst (7-2) and two-time defending state champion Foxcroft Academy (9-0) is scheduled for Saturday morning.

Wells beat Foxcroft in back-to-back championship games in 2017 (48-0) and 2018 (55-20).

“I’ll go up tomorrow and watch them and I’ll get a scouting report on them,” Roche said. “These kids have met a challenge, every time I’ve challenged them, so let’s try to see if we can meet another great challenge. I mean, jeez, we’re going to a state game. What a nice night for Warrior football here.”

Winthrop, which lost to Wells 41-0 in the regular season, finishes 7-4.

The Ramblers were able to move the ball at times, especially up the middle with power runs by junior backs Cody Cobb (25 carries, 77 yards) and Carter Rivers (13 carries, 34 yards) behind a big and physical front line. On the first possession of the game, Winthrop marched from its own 16 to the Wells 35 before punting.

“We moved the ball a lot better than the last time we played Wells but we just couldn’t finish it,” said Winthrop Coach Dave St. Hilaire. “We played them a lot better this time than the last time but they were the better team tonight. They were blowing us up with their buck sweep. We did all right I thought with their belly but they just ripped us with their run.”


While Winthrop gained yardage in small increments of four to six yards, Wells proceeded to rip off big gainers and moved 98 yards on eight plays. Buxton, Potter and Connor Whitten each had runs of 20 or more yards before Buxton took it in from the 5 for the game’s opening score.

After a Whitten interception, Buxton scored on the next play, running 26 yards around the left end for a 14-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.

Wells added two more scores in the second quarter – a 25-yard burst by sophomore Dominic Carbonneau and then a 56-yard pass from Brooks Fox to Whitten – for a 28-0 lead at half.

Buxton went 69 yards for his third touchdown on the first play from scrimmage of the second half. Cal Moody tacked on his fifth extra-point to move the game to running time.

Winthrop scored in the fourth quarter on a 4-yard run by Cobb to finish off a 66-yard drive that included two completions for first downs by Braden Branagan.

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