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High school football

Surprise, surprise, Camden Hills gets unexpected game — then win

Windjammer Norton leads charge with 17 carries for 171 yards, three touchdowns
By Mark Haskell | Sep 09, 2019
Courtesy of: Sally Russillo Camden Hills coach Jeremy Marks, right, and players during warmups.

Old Town — Originally, the Camden Hills football team had a scheduled bye the first week of the high school season.

However, with Orono being forced to cancel its varsity football program only days prior, a ripple effect took place for several teams — including the Windjammers — who suddenly found themselves on the field a week earlier than anticipated with a road game on Friday night, Sept. 6 at Old Town.

The Coyotes pounced on the Windjammers early to the tune of a 14-0 first-quarter lead, but the visitors responded with 34 unanswered points and stormed past the hosts to collect a convincing 40-21 victory.

"Having had no preseason scrimmages, we knew the first quarter would be difficult," said Camden Hills coach Jeremy Marks. "However the boys found their rhythm and poise.”

Among those finding their poise was sophomore tailback Hunter Norton, who finished the 48-minute affair with 17 carries for 171 yards and three touchdowns for Camden Hills.

Norton cut the Windjammer deficit in half when he took a pitch from quarterback Ryan Clifford and scampered 26 yards for a touchdown, while Clifford connected with tight end Stuart McNaughton for a 21-yard touchdown strike to knot the game. That score was set up by an interception on the previous defensive series by cornerback Mason Chadwick.

"I think we just needed to have a sense of what playing together would look like,” said Marks. “This was our first opportunity to truly play as team against another opponent. We knew that we had guys that could play, we just needed to see it in motion.”

The Windjammers took the lead for good after an 82-yard touchdown jaunt from Norton, a 60-yard punt return for a touchdown by Benjamin Craft and a 49-yard strike from Clifford to Norton, which set up a one-yard touchdown plunge by Clifford to give Camden Hills a 34-14 lead.

The Windjammer defense also forced five turnovers — four interceptions and a fumble recovery — which assured several opportunities for the offense.

Landen Donato-Stearns had an interception and a fumble recovery, while Scott Jorgensen and Louis Mainella had an interception.

"The defense played well and I was pleased in general with how we played,” said Marks. “But we have a lot of work ahead of us and need to stay humble as this is just one of eight games to be played this year.”

Camden Hills quarterback Ryan Clifford, middle, among others. (Courtesy of: Sally Russillo)
Camden Hills' Brady Hedstrom, middle, among others. (Courtesy of: Sally Russillo)
Camden Hills head coach Jeremy Marks, facing, with his assistants. (Courtesy of: Sally Russillo)
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