2017-11-10 / Sports

Warriors looking to reach second straight title game

By ALEX SPONSELLER
Associate Sports Editor

The Wells football team cemented its place as one of the elite programs in Class C in the past decade, and won the title last year when it dominated Mount Desert Island 44-0 at Fitzpatrick Stadium in the state championship.

Due to class size, the Warriors made the switch to Class D in 2017. Wells has fought to a 10-0 record, locked up the top seed, and is preparing to square off against No. 2 Madison/Carrabec in the Class D South championship on Saturday.

Although some would say that dropping to Class D provided Wells with an easier route, the Warriors felt that this year’s schedule was just as tough, if not tougher than what they faced in Class C.

“We actually had a lot of people think we dropped down to Class D because it’s an easier schedule but that’s not the case,” said Wells running back Tyler Bridge. “We’ve played tougher teams than we did last year.”

One of those teams is Madison/Carrabec, who the Warriors topped 25-21 by erasing a fourth quarter deficit earlier in the year in a wild showdown.

“We are a good team, they’re a good team and a lot of wild games happen when two good teams match up. We’re expecting a tough game and it should be fun to watch,” said Wells quarterback Michael Wrigley. “We learned what to do and what not to do. Not making mistakes is big around here, everything has got to be perfect.”

Bridge is also looking forward to once again competing on the big stage.

“We’re confident but we know anything can happen. It’s fun playing in big games against good teams,” said Bridge.

Wells head coach Tim Roche is also expecting a battle, and hopes to see the Warriors piece together a solid 60-minute effort.

“They’re fast and we know that, their quarterback, their halfback, they have other kids that can play too. They’re a very good football team and they played us tough and we lucked out in the end. If we play the whole game like we (played) in the second half then it will be a game that we win,” said Roche.

Although the Bulldogs gave the Warriors everything they could handle in the first matchup, Roche expects his club to put it’s best foot forward, and to play with confidence as it enters it’s fourth straight regional title game.

“Some people say it comes down to schemes but I’m more about my kids. It’s about 16, 17-year-old kids coming out and playing a game and having fun doing it. We’ll see how they do, I expect them to come out with some confidence, we’ve had a lot of success the past few years so we’ll see,” said Roche.

Roche also wants to see his players prove that their success stems from hard work, rather than the class they play in.

“Yeah, we won a state championship last year, but we lost 19 kids. For a school with 420 kids to lose 19 kids on the football program ... these kids stepped up and worked hard,” said Roche. “I think it’s a credit to our kids that yea, we lost a lot of great kids but on the same token, we are going to work hard, be prepared and win as many games as we can. Here we are at 10-0, and that’s a credit to the kids that have worked hard to get there.”

— Associate Sports Editor Alex Sponseller can be reached at asponseller@journaltribune.com.

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