He flexed the fingers on his left hand, as if doing so would make the cast that covered the hand and forearm crack and fall off. The hand under the cast felt a little itchy, Beau Grenier said.

“Sometimes, it gets bad. It itches right here,” Grenier said, tapping the cast where it covered the middle of his hand.

The football season started with an injury for Grenier, a senior running back/defensive end. After recovering from injuries sustained in a motor vehicle accident before the start of the preseason, Grenier is dealing with the hand, broken early in the fourth quarter at Cony on Sept. 27.

“I thought I’d jammed my hand. I just continued playing with it. Then it got to the point where I couldn’t,” Grenier said.

X-rays revealed a broken metacarpal bone of the middle finger. Not what a senior trying to help lead a young team wanted to hear.

“I think he’s handled it really well,” Lawrence coach John Hersom said. “It’s an emotional blow for him. He was really starting to get going there as a runner.”

Grenier has 429 yards and seven touchdowns on 40 carries. Against Cony, the 5-foot-10, 210-pound Grenier ran for 176 yards and two touchdowns on 18 carries. The week before that, he gained 198 yards and five touchdowns on just nine carries.

Defensively, Grenier has been a spark on a unit that’s shown steady improvement.

“We have a young team. When I got this injury, the first thing that was on my mind was, I have to get back out there,” Grenier said. “I got lucky with it. I didn’t need surgery.”

As a member of a deep backfield last season, Grenier gained 196 yards on 27 carries, with one touchdown. In the offseason, Hersom and his coaching staff expected Grenier to be an important player on both sides of the ball.

“It’s a tough loss for us. We’re short on returning players and experience at the skill positions,” Hersom said.

With the cast, Grenier cannot carry the ball. He’s still playing defensive end. Hersom thinks with more practice time, Grenier will become adjust to playing without use of his left hand.

“It’s hard to lug that cast around. It’s tough to really coordinate everything that he needs to do as a defensive end. I think with more time, with more reps this week, will serve him better,” Hersom said. “Maybe he can be a lead blocker for us on some formations.”

The broken hand came just as Grenier was shaking off the rust from this summer’s accident. He missed all of double sessions week, and didn’t play in either Lawrence’s scrimmage against Lewiston or the exhibition game at Bangor.

“I ended up bashing up my knees pretty bad,” Grenier said.

Hersom described Grenier as a player who will do whatever is asked of him, and said even with his injuries, Grenier remains one of the emotional leaders of the Bulldogs.

“That’s one huge asset, just his presence being on the field,” Hersom said. “He is somewhat of a natural leader that way. He just plays the game hard and with some emotion. I hope our guys still feed off that. A lot of times, he’ll just start making plays, and the kids will get behind that.”

Added Grenier: “I try to make it so everyone’s pumped up out there, get them going. When everyone gets down, that’s when you start making mistakes. I always get pretty crazy out there.”

Grenier raised his left arm, and the fingers sticking out of the cast flexed again.

“It’s definitely something I have to work through. I mean, they pad me up and stuff,” Grenier said. “It’s hard to carry the ball. I’m just going to keep doing my best to get reps.”

The itch was still there.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

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