ROCKPORT — After it held a sizeable and seemingly comfortable lead, the No. 2 Camden Hills boys soccer team nearly let its season slip away during a Class A North semifinal playoff game with No. 3 Brewer on Friday afternoon, Oct. 29.

The Windjammers held a 5-1 advantage with roughly 20 minutes to play before the Witches pumped in three goals in a 10-minute span to strike within a score at Don Palmer Field.

Camden Hills’ Charlie Pons, right, and Brewer’s Benjamin Lord. Photo by Mark Haskell

However, the Windjammer defense dug down — and also got strong play in the net with their collective backs against the wall — as the hosts hung on for a 5-4 win.

With the victory, Camden Hills (12-3-1) advanced to the Class A North championship game, where it will face No. 5 Brunswick (12-3-1) on Wednesday, Nov. 3 at 6:30 p.m. at Messalonskee in Oakland.

The Windjammers defeated the Dragons 2-0 and 3-1 during the regular season.

Camden Hills’ Emmet Marshall, right, and Brewer’s Kyle Horr. Photo by Mark Haskell

The Dragons upset top-ranked and previously undefeated Lewiston 3-2 (14-1-1) in a semifinal playoff on Friday. Camden Hills had lost to Lewiston twice this fall.

Brewer, which beat Camden Hills 4-3 in a regular-season clash, finished 9-5-2. The Witches beat No. 6 Edward Little of Auburn 1-0 and Camden Hills bested No. 7 Mount Ararat 1-0 in the quarterfinals.

On Friday, Cam Brown netted two goals for Camden Hills, while Roan Aldridge-Peacock, Lucas Moody and Max Welt also scored goals and Charlie Pons, Quinn Riordan, Welt and Ben Schenk logged assists.

Camden Hills’ Zanni Sabattini. Photo by Mark Haskell

Joshua Schneider, Andrew Hodgkins, Brady Saunders and Cade McKenney scored for Brewer.

Camden Hills held a 22-7 edge in shots, while both sides attempted five corner kicks.

Henry Pharris and Eben Weislogel minded the net for the Windjammers, while Grady Vanidestine played in goal for the Witches.

Camden Hills’ Lucas Moody. Photo by Mark Haskell

Camden Hills, which fell behind 1-0 early, led 2-1 at halftime and, at one point, scored five straight goals — the last on a free kick by Welt that grazed the crossbar and angled down past the line with about 27 minutes to go in regulation.

Then the Witches got a goal from Hodgkins on a penalty kick, a goal from distance by Saunders and a hustle goal by McKenney to make the score 5-4 with about nine minutes to play.

At one point, McKenney, Pharris and Avery Hackett collided on McKenney’s goal and Pharris was knocked from the game with bruised ribs, which brought backup keeper Weislogel into the game.

Weislogel played well in Pharris’ stead before the starter returned with about five minutes to play to help the hosts hold off the Witches.

“What a game,” said Camden Hills coach Ryan Hurley. “We played so well in the first half and into the first 10 or 15 minutes of the second half before things turned against us. Brewer came at us hard and I was really proud of how we handled ourselves today. We scored some great goals and the boys put in an amazing effort. Our goal at the beginning of the year was to get to the Northern Maine final and we are there so we are really pleased. We are a relatively young and inexperienced squad and we are learning lessons all the time. Today we realized yet again you can’t take your foot off the gas in a playoff game no matter what the score is. This was an awesome way for our seniors to celebrate their last game on Don Palmer [Field] and our whole community couldn’t be more proud of these boys.”