HERMON — The Medomak Valley football team trekked north and hoped to continue to climb the Class C North playoff ladder on Friday, Oct. 1 against the hosts, and did that, as the visitors spoiled the Hawks’ homecoming celebration with an 18-7 victory.

Medomak Valley led 6-0 after the first quarter and 12-7 both at halftime and after three quarters.

The two-headed running attack of Hayden Staples and Levi Ward again paced the Panther offense as Ward rushed for 132 yards on 23 carries and two touchdowns, while Staples added 110 yards on 20 carries with one score in the high school contest.

“The kids played hard and just [ground] out a win,” said Medomak Valley coach Ryan Snell. “Hermon’s a tough place to play. They had a great atmosphere for their homecoming. We just battled and Levi Ward went to another level in the fourth quarter on our last scoring drive and our drive to finish out the clock.”

The Panthers also held the Warriors to 105 yards of total offense.

Medomak Valley took an early 6-0 lead when Staples cashed in on a 10-yard touchdown rush and Ward added a second score from five yards in the second quarter as the visitors took a 12-0 advantage. However, Hermon got on the board before halftime when Johnny Kokoska threw a touchdown to Bud Coulter as the hosts clung to a 12-7 lead.

Ward helped the Panthers pull away in the fourth with a one-yard plunge.

The Panther defense was led by Isaac Bickford (5 solo tackles, 2 assists), Tucker Holgerson (3 solos, assist), Marshall Addy (3 solos, assist), Nolan Gahagan (3 solos, assist), Sam Moody (2 solos), Ethan Wood (2 solos), Blake Morrison (2 solos), Hayden Staples (2 solos, assist), Kayden Wright (2 solos, assist), Jethro Pease (solo), Levi Ward (solo, 2 assists), Garret Hutchins (solo, interception), Anthony Francis (solo, assist), Gabe Lash (solo), Jacob Craig (solo) and Porter Gahagan (assist).

In the Maine Principals’ Association Crabtree Point Standings for Class C North, Medomak Valley (3-2, 90.4347 points) is third, while Oceanside of Rockland (2-1, 96.6667 points) is first in the nine-team region.

MaineStay Media/VillageSoup sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com.