FAIRFIELD — The Brunswick High School football team had something most opponents never have at Lawrence’s Keyes Field: a winning streak.

The Dragons beat the Bulldogs in the playoffs in each of the past two years at Keyes, but on Friday night, Lawrence snapped that losing streak with its best defensive effort of the season.

Lawrence forced a Brunswick fumble on the first play of the game and didn’t allow a drive of more than six plays until the fourth quarter. That was enough to give the Bulldogs a 10-7 Pine Tree Conference Class A win.

“We knew their fullback would run the ball a lot. Our linebackers stepped up, and our D-line had a hell of a game,” said Lawrence defensive end Jake Doolan, who was in on two sacks.

Lawrence (8-0) clinched home field throughout the PTC playoffs. Brunswick is 6-2 and is in a three-way tie for second place with Messalonskee and Bangor.

“Definitely, they had that edge tonight,” Lawrence coach John Hersom said of his team. “The other thing we kind of wanted to hold on to was our home turf. We thought that would be very important, to hold on to that advantage and go into the playoffs with that home turf.”

Lawrence’s Robbie Liberty recovered a Keith Kitchens fumble on the first play of the game at the Dragons’ 25. The Bulldogs moved the ball to the 5-yard line, and freshman Chad Martin coolly booted a 22-yard field goal for a 3-0 lead with 8:27 left in the first quarter.

“That (fumble recovery) set the tone. We knew we would go out there and kick some (butt),” Doolan said.

After forcing a Brunswick three-and-out, Lawrence’s Aaron LaFrance returned the punt 55 yards to the Brunswick 5. Two plays later, Shaun Carroll scored on a 1-yard run, and Lawrence had a 10-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

Throughout the first half, the Lawrence defense was dominant. Brunswick gained just one first down in the half and went into the locker room with six yards of offense. Dragon quarterback Jason Carter dropped back to pass four times in the first half, and three times he was sacked.

 “They brought a lot of pressure in the first half, and we haven’t faced pressure like that all season long. We were shell-shocked. It took us a half to collect ourselves,”Brunswick coach Dan Cooper said. “We couldn’t block them. They were moving around a lot and making things very difficult for us.”

Added Hersom: “Coach (Josh) Blaisdell had some great stunts coming from our secondary that really gave us that attack, getting into the backfield when they wanted to throw. I think our linebackers must have played super and the guys up front must have played super, because we didn’t really give up many yards inside running, and that’s a strength of their offense.”

Brunswick’s one sustained drive began with 11:41 left in the game. Starting at their own 8, the Dragons went 92 yards in 19 plays. The drive was kept alive when the Bulldogs muffed a punt at the Brunswick 36. Carter scored on a 1-yard keeper with 2:07 left to cut Lawrence’s lead to 10-7, but the Dragons used 9:34 and all of their timeouts.

Spencer Carey recovered the ensuing onside kick, and the Bulldogs ran out the final 2:07.

Carey and Alex Leathers split the quarterbacking duties in the first half for Lawrence. Carey was playing with a bruised right shoulder and had trouble throwing the ball.

“We had to disguise it in the first quarter. I think (Brunswick) picked up on it, and we went with Al the entire second half, and Spencer played solid defense,” Hersom said.

Anthony Sementelli led Lawrence with 82 yards on 15 carries, while Carroll added 65 yards on 13 carries. Dylan Walton had 38 yards to lead the Dragons’ ground game.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242
[email protected]

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.