ROCKPORT — After being sidelined last fall due to the pandemic, the Camden Hills football team returned to action in explosive fashion, to the tune of a 52-6 home- and season-opening, eight-man high school victory over Orono on Saturday afternoon, Sept. 4 at sun-splashed Don Palmer Field.

The Windjammers dominated the Red Riots from the onset, as the hosts led 15-6 after the first quarter and scored 37 unanswered points, including 14 in the second, eight in the third and 15 in the fourth.

Camden Hills’ Owen Reynolds. Photo by Holly Vanorse Spicer

The hosts, part of the large school division for eight-man, got contributions from many of its 30 players, but none more than Hunter Norton, who had nine rushes for 112 yards and two catches for 69 yards. For good measure, he also had an interception he returned for a score and was responsible for 26 points. He also had an earlier score negated due to penalty.

Ryan Clifford added 97 yards passing, with two touchdowns, for the Windjammers. Dylan Lowe also had a 79-yard TD pass to Connor Beal for the hosts.

For Orono, Alex Maheu finished with 39 rushing and 38 receiving yards.

Camden Hills players. Photo by Holly Vanorse Spicer

Camden Hills finished with a whopping total yardage advantage of 404-142, along with 176-68 in yards passing and 228-74 in yards rushing.

Additionally, Camden Hills’ offense was keyed by Louis Mainella (3 carries for 35 yards, TD, catch for 15 yards), Clifford (4 carries for 26 yards, 2-point conversion) and Mason Chadwick (2 carries for 11 yards), Beal (catch for 79 yards, TD) and Hayden Davis (catch for 13). A handful of other Windjammers had carries.

Camden Hills’ Hunter Norton, front, proves a tough man to tackle. Photo by Holly Vanorse Spicer

Defensively, Louis Mainella (2 solo tackles, assisted tackle, interception), Joshua Harrington (2 solos, 2 tackles for loss), Chadwick (fumble recovery), Cameron Lawrence (2 solos), Norton (sol0, assist, interception, TD) and Mason Thomas (solo, assist, quarterback sack, tackle for loss) keyed the Windjammers.

Owen Reynolds added three extra-point kicks for the hosts, had two kickoffs for 97 yards and 24-yard interception return for a TD. Clifford punted twice for a 39-yard average.

In the first quarter, Norton had a 31-yard scoring run and caught a 48-yard scoring pass from Clifford to make it 15-0. Reynolds added an extra-point kick and Clifford ran for a two-point conversion to get the Windjammers off to a quick start.

Maheu added a five-yard scoring run for Orono to make it 15-6, but the rest of the game was all Windjammers.

Camden Hills’ Isaac Dutille, right, and Louis Mainella, left, combine for a tackle. Photo by Holly Vanorse Spicer

Louis Mainella had a nine-yard TD run and Norton 21-yard scoring pass from Clifford in the second quarter to make it 29-6, as Reynolds chipped in two more extra-point kicks.

In the third quarter, Norton added a 43-yard interception that he brought to the house, and he added the two-point scoring run. In the fourth, Reynolds had a 24-yard interception return for a score and Beal caught a 79-yard scoring pass.

During the preseason, the Windjammers also beat Dexter 34-12. That game was knotted 12-12 at halftime. Camden Hills’ offensive standouts were running Norton, Louis Mainella and Clifford. Defensively, Norton had a strip sack of the quarterback, while Harrington and Thomas made multiple tackles behind the line of scrimmage.