Orono, Maine- The Bye week didn’t seem to slow down the Orono Red Riots football team on Halloween night.
The #1 Orono Red Riots used a strong first half to defeat the #4 Houlton Shiretowners, 43-14, in the 8 man small school north region semifinal to advance to the regional final on Saturday.
The Shiretowners came into the matchup fresh after a home playoff victory over the #5 Dexter Tigers 26-22 on October 20th. The Red Riots received a first round bye after the #8 Valley Mustangs elected not to participate in the playoffs. The two teams played each other on the opening night of the season, where it was Orono coming away with a 57-6 victory over Houlton.
Orono did not take long to score first as quarterback Jack Brewer made a 15 yard TD pass to Sal Wise to make it 7-0. Later on in the quarter, Ben Francis pushed the Red Riot lead with an 8 yard touchdown. Orono led 14-0 after the first quarter.
In the second quarter, Orono’s Will Francis caught fire. Francis would go on to score two 55 yard touchdowns, and a 51 yard touchdown in the quarter alone. The Red Riots would sit comfortably at halftime with a 37-0 lead.
In the third, Houlton would put up their first points of the game, thanks to a 25 yard run by quarterback Isaiah Ervin. The Shiretowners would complete the two point conversion off a catch by Kohl Skehan. Before the end of the quarter, Orono’s Pierce Walston would score a 35 yard touchdown to make it 43-8.
To end the game in the final quarter, Isaiah Ervin scored his second touchdown as the game ended 43-14.
Orono will advance to the regional final as they will host the #3 Stearns Minutemen. Stearns took down #2 Bucksport in a 46-14 victory on the road.
For Houlton, they finish their season at 5-4. Houlton loses seven seniors, but will return many players next season.