PITTSFIELD, Maine — The Winslow High School football team hadn’t played a full game in more than a month before Friday night’s Class C North showdown with Maine Central Institute at Alumni Field.
Since a season-opening 18-6 loss at three-time defending state champion Wells on Sept. 6, the Black Raiders had won four straight games by a combined 262-27, with running time employed during the second half of each victory after coach Mike Siviski’s club had extended its lead beyond 35 points.
Yet lack of stamina was no issue for Winslow during its toughest test since Week 1, as the Black Raiders amassed 47 second-half points while scoring on all seven of its offensive possessions after intermission to surge to a 61-37 victory over the homecoming Huskies and take the Big 11 Conference lead with two games left in the regular season.
Winslow emerged from the nearly three-hour contest with a 5-1 record while MCI — which was tied with the Black Raiders in the Crabtree points entering the contest — dipped to 4-2 after back-to-back homefield losses to Winslow and Wells.
Another team in contention for a top-three finish in the division is 3-2 Hermon, which slipped ahead of MCI into second place in the Class C North standings entering its game Saturday at 2-3 Medomak Valley of Waldoboro.
Hermon then visits Winslow next Saturday before hosting MCI on Oct. 25 to close out the regular season, and those games should prove pivotal in determining the final C North standings.
Junior halfback Rob Clark paced Winslow’s 493-yard offense against MCI with 293 rushing yards and four touchdowns on 21 attempts, including scoring runs of 44 and 56 yards during the final 3 minutes, 12 seconds of the Black Raiders’ 27-point fourth quarter.
Senior quarterback Colby Pomeroy completed 10 of 17 passes for 156 yards and three touchdowns, with classmate Cody Ivey making four catches for 83 yards and two touchdowns and junior tight end Nathan Newgard adding two catches for 32 yards and a score.
Evan Bourget and Isaiah Goldsmith each added a rushing touchdown for Winslow, with Goldsmith’s 5-yard run just 76 seconds into the contest the only score as the Black Raiders held a 7-0 lead at the end of the first quarter.
This penalty-filled contest also featured six lead changes, the final one coming on a 23-yard touchdown pass from Pomeroy to Ivey that gave Winslow a 27-25 lead with 2:39 left in the third quarter.
A pass interception by Ivey quickly gave Winslow the ball back at the MCI 35, and two plays later Pomeroy found Newgard wide open over the middle with a 22-yard touchdown pass that extended the Black Raiders’ cushion tio 34-25 with still 47 seconds left in the period.
A long kickoff return by Jason Pyles helped MCI narrow its deficit to 34-31 as junior quarterback Ryan Friend passed 23 yards to Will Russell for a touchdown 51 seconds into the fourth quarter.
MCI’s bid for a two-point conversion failed, a problem the Huskies had all night as they managed just one extra point after their six touchdowns.
Clark then scored from 6 yards out and Bourget followed an interception by Pomeroy with a 1-yard touchdown run as Winslow scored twice within a 2:18 span to build its lead to 47-31 with 7:04 left.
Friend capped off a 68-yard drive with a 5-yard scoring run to rally MCI within 47-37 before Clark ripped off his two longest runs of the night on back-to-back possessions to put the game away,
MCI, which was without five running backs due to injury or academic issues, moved Bussell from the offensive line to fullback for the game and that tactic worked — particularly during the first half when he scored two of his three touchdowns and totaled 106 of his team-leading 167 rushing yards on 25 carries.
Friend passed for 210 yards with two touchdowns and two interceptions and rushed for 75 yards and a score on 14 carries. Russell made seven pass receptions for 130 yards and two touchdowns.