PORTLAND, Maine — The Class A clash between Lawrence of Fairfield and Thornton Academy of Saco will kick off the annual tripleheader of state high school football championship games to be played Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.
The Maine Principals’ Association announced Tuesday morning that the Lawrence-Thornton Academy game is scheduled for an 11:06 a.m. opening kickoff, starting a 10-hour football marathon of sorts that will cap off the 2012 season.
The Class A game will be followed at 2:36 p.m. by the Class C state final between Foxcroft Academy of Dover-Foxcroft and Winslow, with the Class B game between Mt. Blue of Farmington and Marshwood of South Berwick slated to start at 6:06 p.m.
Representatives from the MPA and each of the participating schools met at the stadium Tuesday morning to go over various logistics related to the contests and game site as well as to formalize the game times.
Geographic considerations generally are a primary factor in scheduling the games each year, with this year Foxcroft and Winslow having the most combined travel mileage of any of the championship matchups and thus receiving the afternoon time slot.
Lawrence, which lost the 2011 Class A state final to Cheverus of Portland, is the lone team among this year’s six state finalists that will be playing in a championship game for the second-straight year. Thornton last appeared in a state final in 1988, while the most recent appearances for the other entries are Marshwood in 1989, Mt. Blue in 2005, Winslow in 2006 and Foxcroft in 2009.
This will mark the 11th straight year all three state finals will be played at Fitzpatrick Stadium. The games were first moved to the artificial turf site in Portland after a snowstorm blanketed the state during the week leading up to the 2002 state finals and rendered the original sites for two of that year’s games, the Class B final at Cony High School in Augusta and the Class C contest at Winslow High School, both unplayable.
The 2002 Class A championship game had already been scheduled in Portland.
Hapworth shines in PPK competition
Winslow High School sophomore Dylan Hapworth had a big weekend on the football field.
On Saturday, the 15-year-old sophomore kicked a 26-yard field goal and two extra points and averaged 37 yards on six punts in helping the top-ranked Black Raiders secure their first regional title since 2006 with a 17-6 victory over Dirigo of Dixfield in the Western Maine Class C championship game at Gerry Poulin Memorial Field in Winslow.
The 5-foot-9-inch, 175-pound Hapworth, a running back and linebacker in his second year as a starter for for coach Mike Siviski’s club, also attempted a 40-yard field goal in the Dirigo game but missed.
A day later, Hapworth took his skills to Gillette Stadium in Foxborough, Mass., where he won the boys 14-15 age division of the NFL Punt, Pass and Kick’s New England Patriots team championship.
Hapworth was the only winner from Maine in the event, which matches the top-four boys and girls qualifiers from various local and sectional qualifying competitions throughout New England in five different age groups.
The New England Patriots team championship winners’ scores will be compared to the winners from the 32 other team championships to determine qualification for the PPK national competition.
In the meantime Hapworth, who has rushed for more than 800 yards for Winslow this season, will try to help the 10-1 Black Raiders win the Class C state championship Saturday when it faces 10-1 Foxcroft Academy at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.