ROCKPORT — The atmosphere was electric, with hundreds of joyous fans in the bleachers and along the perimeter fence singing and chanting, visiting cheerleaders who brought consistent energy and the host band that played upbeat music, along with, of course, the inspiring presence of first responders and their vehicles.

It was high school homecoming football at its best and what an exciting show put on by Camden Hills and Morse of Bath under the night lights at Don Palmer Field.

The previous time the Windjammers and Shipbuilders played this fall, visiting Camden Hills pulled out a 60-42 as Hunter Norton led the way with 280 yards rushing, six touchdowns and 38 points.

Camden Hills’ Hunter Norton. Photo by Ken Waltz

Well, despite chants from the large Windjammer student section of “Hunter Norton!” on Friday night, the Shipbuilders “contained” Norton and the hosts to pull out a 44-30 victory in the thrilling, wide open eight-man football game.

Of course, contain is not a word used when one describes Norton or the Windjammers offense, but, in this game, the visitors did just enough to pull out the victory.

The Windjammers trailed 16-14 after one quarter, tied 22-22 at halftime and fell behind 38-30 at the end of the third stanza, before the Shipbuilders added a final touchdown in the fourth quarter to seal the road victory.

Camden Hills’ Hunter Norton. Photo by Ken Waltz

Camden Hills totaled 240 yards of offense on 45 plays, with 203 yards on the ground and 37 through the air, while Morse racked up 384 yards (291 rushing and 91 passing) on 62 plays.

Norton again accounted for the majority of the Windjammers’ offensive yardage — and 28 points — as the senior ran 21 times for 139 yards and hauled in two passes for 23 yards, and four scores and two two-point conversions. Ryan Clifford was 5-of-8 for 37 yards through the air, with one TD and one interception, while running nine times for another 13 yards, and rushed for a two-point conversion.

Camden Hills’ Enzo Russillo. Photo by Ken Waltz

Additionally, Louis Mainella ran four times for 51 yards and caught one pass for 11 yards, while Hayden Davis caught one pass for 11 yards for the hosts.

The Windjammers finished with 12 first downs, and were 2-of-7 (29 percent) on third down and 1-of-2 (50 percent) on fourth down.

Camden Hills’ Mason Chadwick, left, and James Johndro. Photo by Ken Waltz

Morse collected 21 first downs, and was 8-of-13 (62 percent) on third-down conversions and 2-of-3 (67 percent) on fourth down conversions.

Norton (9 solo tackles, 10 assisted tackles) led the Windjammer defense, while Louis Mainella (4 solos, 10 assists, fumble recovery), Josh Harrington (2 solos, 13 assists), James Johndro (2 solos, 2 assists, quarterback sack, tackle for loss), Vincent Mainella (4 solos, 4 assists), Owen Reynolds (3 solos, 2 assists), Mason Chadwick (2 solos, 4 assists), Enzo Russillo (solo, assist), Clifford (solo, assist), Connor Beal (solo, assist), Thomas Mitchell (assist), and Mason Thomas (assist) had strong showings.

Camden Hills’ Ryan Clifford, right, and Louis Mainella. Photo by Ken Waltz

Camden Hills forced one turnover, while Morse forced two. The Windjammers also had four penalties for 24 yards, while the visitors had three for 26 yards.

On special teams, Reynolds and Clifford handled the kickoff duties, while Clifford punted three times for 40 yards, with a long of 54 yards. Johndro, Louis Mainella and Thomas returned kickoffs, while Reynolds returned one punt.

“This was a classic homecoming game between two evenly-talented teams that exhibited true sportsmanship from start to finish,” said Windjammer coach Chris Christie. “It was incredible to see the support of this entire community. The athletes and coaches are so appreciative of the support.

“This game was bigger than football. It represented the hard work that these athletes and coaches have put in over the last two years. It brought a community together for one night and the senior athletes got the recognition that they so deserve … I am a lucky coach to share the field with these athletes and coaches.”

Morse scored the first touchdown, as the Shipbuilders connected for a 70-yard pass, and converted the two-point conversion. Camden Hills tied the score as Norton punched the ball across the goal line from one yard, and Clifford converted the two-point conversion as he found Norton through the air.

Morse struck again with a four-yard rushing touchdown and two-point conversion, while Norton broke free for a 59-yard rushing score, but the Windjammers failed for the two-point conversion.

The second quarter saw half as many touchdowns as the opening quarter, as Morse scored first, this time on a 19-yard run (two-point conversion failed), while Clifford found Norton through the air for a 26-yard score and Norton converted the two-point attempt to tie the game 22-22.

Camden Hills got its first lead of the night in the third stanza, as Norton scored his fourth touchdown on a nine-yard run, while Davis connected with Clifford through the air for two more points. Morse countered with a 17-yard run and two-point attempt to tie the score, before the Shipbuilders found the end zone again on a 21-yard rushing score and two-point conversion.

Morse added the final points of the night in the fourth quarter, as the visitors rushed for a 25-yard touchdown, but failed the two-point conversion.

In the Maine Principals’ Association Crabtree Points for North large school eight-man football, Camden Hills (3-2, 115.5556 points) is third and Waterville (4-1, 137.1429 points) first in the five-team region. Morse is 4-1 and second.