DECEMBER 24 — It was unforgettable for Noah Carpenter to see the Leavitt Area High School football coach look proud as he held up the gold ball and the joy of the team’s fans.
“You can raise that gold ball. I’ve never felt anything like it before,” Carpenter said.
But when Leavitt’s junior quarterback/strong safety/punter/kicker do-it-yourself performer was asked about the most memorable moment of the Hornets’ 11-0 season, it was the 46-6 Class C State Championship Game. It wasn’t a victory. Medmac Valley, or rather his 43-0 smackdown in the regional finals of 2021 champion Cape Elizabeth.
It was a time when there were no fans or spectators. With the playoff opener in bye week, he’s the only player and coach working to prepare for Cheverus.
“It was the best practice I ever attended,” Carpenter said. “It was kind of a special feeling. Everything was flowing and the connection and cohesion we had with our team was incredible.”
Twelve minutes into the playoff opener, Leavitt led 36-0. Carpenter threw 4 of his 6 touchdown passes and scored on a 64-yard run.
It was the start of a three-game dominant playoff for Carpenter and Leavitt. A stout 6-foot, 185-pound junior, he threw for nine touchdowns and scored six runs, including scoring 64-, 49-, 23-, and 60-yard skippers.
That ended a season in which Carpenter rushed for 1,174 yards and 22 touchdowns on 108 carries (10.9 yards per carry). He completed his 119 of his 190 passes for 2,006 yards and his 27 touchdowns. He scored his 13 points he converted 10 of his kicks after afters and 17 he scored 2 points on conversions he scored a run or pass in conversions, both in traditional and rugby style formats. Punts on both (on the fake he picks up three first downs) and on defense he made 77 tackles.
“He can do anything. He could start almost anywhere on the field,” Levitt manager Mike Hathaway said. “He’s going to be a good offensive lineman. He’s a football player who really impacts the game in so many ways.”
Carpenter’s performance and leadership qualities earned him the Varsity Main Football Player of the Year. It wasn’t an easy decision. Oxford Hills senior quarterback Eli Soren also had a great season pitching, running and kicking while leading the undefeated Vikings to the Class A title. Cape Elizabeth senior receiver/running back Nick his Laughlin also drew attention.
The 16-year-old Carpenter, who lives on the Green, had shown during his sophomore season that he had the physical prowess to take over as the Hornets’ quarterback. He split the role with Senior Hunter Hayes in his 2021.
Hathaway said his only concern going into the season is whether Carpenter can handle the leadership demands of his position on the senior heavy team.
“He was great at that,” said Hathaway. We tend to go in the same direction.”
Carpenter and the Hornets also stepped up in class and showed they could still get the job done. Carpenter rushed for three touchdowns. Portland go on to win the Class B South title.
“He, along with (Oxford Hills receiver Teigan) Peletier, was the best player we’ve seen this year,” former Portland coach Jason McLeod said.
The following week, Leavitt beat Class A Lewiston 53-21. Carpenter said he ran for 3 and passed for 2. The Hornets also beat Lawrence in Class B, where he went 34-20, with Carpenter running on his two touchdowns and three throws.
Hathaway said one of Carpenter’s best traits is that he can play faster “with the ball in his arms than on a 40-yard dash.” According to Hathaway, it’s partially due to his preparation.
“This year he got every rep as a first-team quarterback and how connected he was to the game plan and what the other teams were doing . His expectations were at a very high level,” Hathaway said. said.
Carpenter is a talented baseball player and an excellent student.
“Whether it’s baseball or football, I’m still nervous. But I definitely want to do college sports,” Carpenter said.