Shaun Carroll is healthy, or at least healthier, and it couldn’t come at a better time for the Lawrence football team.

The Lawrence senior running back rushed for a game-high 192 yards and a touchdown in a Pine Tree Conference Class A semifinal victory over Messalonskee last Friday.

Next up for Carroll — who’s been slowed by a groin injury — and the top-seeded Bulldogs (10-0) is a showdown with No. 2 Bangor (8-2) in the conference championship game at 7 p.m. Friday at Keyes Field.

There’s a good chance Carroll will see time at cornerback for the first time in about a month.

“He seems a lot better,” said Lawrence coach John Hersom. “He’s looking stronger each day. He continues to do his treatment, but he is showing that he is getting a lot stronger. We’re hoping he doesn’t tweak the injury this week. He hasn’t had any reoccurrence of the injury in two weeks now. He seems to be over the hump.”

And that could mean more plays for one of the team’s top playmakers.

“We could possibly keep him in longer, maybe even keep him in defense,” Hersom said. “He hasn’t played defense for quite some time. We’re working him in to have a bit more depth at that spot. He’s a senior leader and we want to give him opportunities to make plays.”

Carroll would help an ailing secondary if he is able to play defense. Safety Rob Liberty suffered a shoulder injury against Messalonskee and won’t play against Bangor, Hersom said.

“He was also our second tight end,” Hersom said. “So we are working those things out now. We don’t have as much depth as we’ve had in the past, but we have kids who can step in.”

Bryant Wade, a senior tight end/defensive end, could be in the mix as well. Wade, who’s been recovering from an ankle injury, may be available to play Friday.

“It looks like he’ll be able to overcome that ankle injury,” Hersom said. “We’re hoping with another day of rest he can be back to full strength.”

* * *

Mt. Blue and Leavitt can run and throw the football. Both teams also spread an array of weapons across the field, making them tough to prepare for and even tougher to defend.

The teams also share something else as they head into the PTC B championship game: Both rarely were tested this fall.

No. 1 Leavitt (10-0) host No. 2 Mt. Blue (9-1) at 7 p.m. Friday in Turner.

“They’ve had one close game,” Mt. Blue coach Gary Parlin said.

And it was Parlin’s team that gave the Hornets a close game. On Oct. 7 in Farmington, Leavitt beat Mt. Blue 22-17. It was the only game either team played this season that was decided by fewer than 17 points.

“We both have good depth and we know what the other will do,” Parlin said. “Neither team is going to change a lot. It’s going to come down to execution. The first time we played them we had three turnovers. If we do that again we’ll have some problems.”

Mt. Blue is a bit banged up. The Cougars will be without starting tackle Dustin Zamboni, a first-team all-conference selection, who injured his knee against Gardiner in the PTC B semifinals.

“In my opinion he’s the best lineman in the league,” Parlin said. “We’ll miss his leadership.”

Junior Eli Luker will replace Zamboni.

 

* * *

Bangor coach Mark Hackett expects a “magical atmosphere” Friday night at Keyes Field.

“It’s going to be crazy, that we know,” he said. “I think Lawrence is the best team. They’ve withstood the test from everyone.”

Lawrence edged Bangor 32-25 at Cameron Stadium on Sept. 2.

Hackett said he expects another close game.

“I think it will be a heck of a game,” he said. “We’re definitely the underdogs, and we’re not used to being the underdogs. I think it puts a lot of pressure on them. The best team will win. If they beat us, we’ll be happy to root for them in the state game, and I’m sure if we are fortunate enough to win, they will do the same.”

* * *

Fans wishing to purchase advance tickets to the PTC A title game can stop by the Lawrence High School main office between 8 a.m. and 5:30 p.m. today through Thursday. Tickets will also be available for purchase at the school’s athletic office on Friday from 8 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Tickets are $5 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens.

The gates at Keyes Field will open at 5:30 p.m. Friday.

Tickets for the PTC B championship game between Leavitt and Mt. Blue are also $5 for adults and $3 for students and senior citizens.

* * *

Honor roll: Mt. Blue quarterback Jordan Whitney threw for two touchdowns and rushed for two more in a 35-14 win over Gardiner. Chad Luker rushed for 80 yards and a touchdown for Mt. Blue as well. Gardiner running back Alonzo Connor rushed for 127 yards and a touchdown. … Lawrence running back Shaun Carroll rushed for 192 yards and a touchdown in a 28-13 win over Messalonskee. … Messalonskee senior Sam Dexter caught a 51-yard touchdown and returned a kickoff 79 yards for a score against Lawrence. Lawrence running back Spencer Carey scored two touchdowns against Messalonskee.

Bill Stewart — 621-5640

[email protected]


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