High school football

Shipbuilders score in final seconds to cage Panthers in competitive battle

Morse surges ahead with six seconds left to nip Medomak Valley
By Staff | Sep 30, 2019

Bath — A week after Medomak Valley's homecoming night was spoiled by Winslow, the Panthers loaded up the bus and headed south to face Morse, and if the two Friday nights could have been switched, homecoming weekend would have been a spectacle.

Nonetheless, the high school football game between the Panthers and Shipbuilders was one to behold, but heartbreak reared its ugly head again, as Morse's touchdown with six seconds left gave the Panthers a long, solemn ride back to Waldoboro after a 29-26 defeat on Sept. 27.

Morse led 15-14 after the first quarter, 22-20 at halftime and the end of the third quarter.

With just over a minute remaining, Medomak Valley worked down the field and scored the go-ahead touchdown, and had to make a defensive stop to secure the victory.

Morse had other plans, though, as the hosts marched down the field and punched in the game-winning score for its first victory of the fall campaign.

Despite the loss, Medomak Valley's rushing attack gashed Morse, led by Drew Severson (27 carries for 194 yards, 4 touchdowns), while Levi Ward (8 carries for 42 yards), Josh MacDougall (8 carries for 19 yards), Zeke Hesseltine (3-of-6 passing for 64 yards), Colvin Standring (reception for 19 yards), Gabe Shellman (reception for 34 yards) and Lance Bennett (reception for 11 yards) helped the offense move down the field.

Defensively for the Panthers, Levi Ward (7 solo tackles, 3 assisted tackles) led the way, while Erik Benner (6 tackles, assist), MacDougall (5 tackles, 2 assists), Jakob Gess (5 tackles, assist, fumble recovery), Garrett French (4 tackles, assist), Hesseltine (3 tackles), Devin Secotte (3 tackles), Hayden Staples (tackle, 2 assists), Severson (tackle) and Jared Thompson (sack) had strong showings.

"It was a great football game," said Panther coach Ryan Snell. "It was an absolute battle. I was as proud as I've been of any group we've had [and] the effort was unbelievable.

"[The players] battled through injuries, [and] we really didn't know [about] multiple guys if they'd be able to go or not until Friday. They just gutted it out and gave everything they had. Morse just made one more play than we did."

Medomak Valley's next game is back on its home field against John Bapst of Bangor, and will be its first Medomak football alumni night, in honor of Brendan Lash.

"We're looking forward to having former players back to celebrate the building of the program," said Snell.

In the Maine Principals' Association Crab Tree Point Standings for Class C North, Medomak Valley (2-2, 106.2500 points) is fifth, while Maine Central Institute of Pittsfield (4-0, 150.0000 points) is first in the 11-team region. The top eight teams qualify for the playoffs.

Courier Publications' sports staff can be reached by email at sports@villagesoup.com or by phone at 594-4401.

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