LEWISTON — Leavitt capped off one of Maine’s greatest high school football seasons in recent memory with a 71-12 victory over Oceanside on Saturday for the Class C state championship at Lewiston High School’s Don Roux Field.

The victory gave the Hornets (11-0) their second straight undefeated season. This season, Leavitt had three wins over Class A playoff teams (state champ Thornton, North region runner-up Oxford Hills and Lewiston) and one against Class B state finalist Lawrence, which lost to Kennebunk 40-20 on Saturday.

“We have been so focused on what we are doing, it’s really hard to think about it,” Leavitt coach Mike Hathaway said of the team’s season. “When we got up today, you just felt like, if we get this one today, it’s one of the best ever. People can argue about it, but this team has done things no other team has done. I couldn’t be more proud of them.”

The state championship is Leavitt’s eighth, and the fifth under Hathaway.

Leavitt senior quarterback Noah Carpenter had seven completions, including three touchdowns, for 137 yards and ran for a touchdown while racking up 52 yards on the ground. Will Keach had a 32-yard receiving TD and a pair of rushing touchdowns.

“Like I have always said, I have the three best players in Maine: That’s Noah Carpenter, Jace Negley and Will Keach,” Hathaway said. “Those guys have been phenomenal all year, with all the big plays in big games. It was no different today.”


Eight Leavitt players scored a touchdown, including Negley, a lineman.

“It feels nice everyone could get a touch on the ball, including a couple of linemen,” Carpenter said. “It’s well-deserved that everyone got a chance to touch the ball. Without anyone on this team, we wouldn’t be where we are right now.”

Leavitt started off by pushing the Mariners’ first three offensive plays back a combined 4 yards, then Negley deflected Oceanside’s first punt of the season up into the air, and Maddox Demers scooped up the ball and returned it 6 yards for a score for a 6-0 lead with 9:55 remaining in the first quarter.

“You don’t practice that, really, you just got to react to it,” Demers said. “Jace created a great push-and-pull, and I was there to jump on the ball. All of it goes to Jace — it’s the reason why it happened.”

After another three-and-out by the Mariners (10-1), the Hornets started their first drive at the Oceanside 37-yard line following a short second punt by the Mariners. A couple of short gains and a facemask penalty brought the ball to Oceanside’s 12, then Keach took a sweep 12 yards for a touchdown. The two-point conversion gave Leavitt a 14-0 lead with 7:54 remaining.

“I regret every second of it,” Oceanside coach Sam Weiss said. “When I kicked the second one, I was disgusted. We should have went for it. That was kind of the plan from Day 1; in the state game, you are playing an offense that’s going to score whether you kick deep or not. … A kid like Noah Carpenter and an offense like Leavitt, they are going to drive the field whether they are on the 1, or the opposite 1.”


Oceanside’s offense had a four-and-out — unsuccessfully going for it on fourth down — and two false starts backed up Leavitt to Oceanside’s 32. On a fourth-and-18, Carpenter found Keach on a slant in the middle of the field for a 32-yard touchdown pass late in the first quarter. The two-point conversion stretched the lead to 22-0.

Practice made perfect on that play this week.

“We ran that route all week in practice,” Keach said. “It was muscle memory.”

The Mariners’ final drive of the first quarter saw quarterback Cohen Galley run for 19 yards and complete a 16-yard pass to Zeb Foster to finally pick up some first downs.

Weiss held out hope the Mariners could make a comeback like a game last season against Hermon.

“Last year, we started a game down 24-0; it was my second game coaching them,” Weiss said. “You could see they just don’t give up, and they had a lot of fight in them. We did lose (that game) 38-36, but we did have a chance in the fourth. Really, until I saw we gave up, I thought we’d be OK. Somewhere around the second quarter, it was pretty much run the clock.”


The Mariners lost their starting center in the first quarter and had to shift other linemen around to positions they weren’t used to playing.

The Hornets’ offense seemingly had no problems. Carpenter had a 34-yard touchdown run and then threw a 44-yard scoring strike to Aiden Turcotte, stretching the lead to 36-0 with 8:42 left in the second quarter.

Leavitt’s final possession of the second quarter began at the Mariners’ 35-yard line. Carpenter opened the drive with an 18-yard run, then completed passes to Turcotte and Keach to move the ball to the 5. Negley entered the game and took a direct snap and ran to the 1, then scored the first touchdown of his career on the next play. Carpenter kicked the extra point to extend the Hornets’ advantage to 43-0.

“If you can get a big guy in the end zone in the state game, you have to take that opportunity,” Hathaway said. “To get Jace there and Mason (Twitchell) on a two (point-conversion), that was a lot of fun.”

Keach scored a second time after he took the second-half kickoff from Leavitt’s 40-yard line down to Oceanside’s 2-yard line. He ran in on the next play and Carpenter kicked the extra point to make it 50-0.

Keegan Reny scored on the first play of the Hornets’ second drive in the third quarter by catching a 34-yard pass from Carpenter as the lead stretched to 57-0.


“Keegan Reny had a great year at tight end,” Hathaway said. “He’s not the prototype, but he was outstanding.”

Leavitt forced a fumble on the next Mariners possession that was recovered by Matthew Rementer. On the first play of the ensuing drive, Mason Henderson ran for 45 yards to put six more points on the board, and Twitchell ran in for the two-point conversion, and the Hornets’ lead was 65-0 with two minutes remaining in the third quarter.

After the Mainers picked up a first down on two Galley runs and a run by Aiden Sergent early in the fourth quarter, Robbie Blair scampered for 46 yards to get Oceanside on the board and cut the deficit to 65-6.

Brandon Bilodeau scored the final Leavitt touchdown with a 14-yard run with five minutes remaining.

Galley capped the scoring with a 66-yard run, just outrunning the Leavitt defenders, in the final two minutes of the game.

“Oceanside guys, we win basketball and we win a lot of football now,” Weiss said. “I tell my guys, ‘If it doesn’t end with a ring, then you know.'”

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