PORTLAND — Even if it played a perfect game, the Lawrence High School football team would have needed some help against the juggernaut from Cheverus.

“We knew they’d be pretty powerful up front. We knew it was going to be difficult for us, and it did work out that way,” Lawrence head coach John Hersom said.

Hersom’s Bulldogs turned the ball over five times, twice in the first quarter and three more times in the third, and those giveaways just made a very good Cheverus team better. The Stags scored off of four Lawrence turnovers, taking a 49-7 win in the Class A state championship game at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

It was the second consecutive state title for Cheverus (12-0), which has a 24-game win streak. This game was the most lopsided Class A championship game since 1985, when Cheverus defeated Lewiston, 65-13. Lawrence ends the season at 11-1.

The Stags picked up big games from running backs Brent Green (20 carries for 179 yards) and Don Goodrich (17 carries for 143). Goodrich added a 92-yard kickoff return for a touchdown in the second quarter, giving the junior 235 all-purpose yards.

“Brent and me, we have a nice dynamic, and Coach (John) Wolfgram really knows how to work it in there,” said Goodrich, who had touchdown runs of 10, 1,1, and 52 yards. “Pound it up the middle a couple times, go outside, keep them honest.”

The Stags gained 509 yards of offense while holding the Bulldogs to 167. Along with the pair of 100-yard runners, wideout Louie DiStasio had four catches for 130 yards.

“I thought we had really nice balance. We had balance in terms of throwing the ball early. We threw the ball when we wanted to. We were able to mix it up between Donald and Brent carrying the ball,” Wolfgram said.

After Cam Olson recovered a fumble at midfield on Lawrence’s fourth play of the game, the Stags went 49 yards in seven plays, taking a 7-0 lead when Green scored on a 1-yard run and DiStasio added the extra point.

On the next Lawrence possession, Liam Fitzpatrick intercepted an Alex Leathers pass at the Stags 35 and had a touchdown return called back for a block in the back penalty. All that did was slow the Cheverus scoring drive a little. Olson hit DiStasio for a 46-yard pass, and Goodrich capped the three-play drive with a 10-yard touchdown run.

Goodrich added a 1-yard touchdown run with 9:20 left in the second quarter for a 21-0 lead. The ability of Goodrich and Green to run hard more than made up for the loss of leading rusher Spencer Cooke, who suffered an injury late in the regular season and missed all of the Western A playoffs. Cooke did have nine carries for 18 yards in the state championship, all in the second half.

“With Spencer gone, we were kind of running back by committee. The committee was an outstanding committee,” Wolfgram said. “The head of that committee was Donald.”

Lawrence finally got on the board when Anthony Sementelli scored on a 52-yard run midway through the second quarter, but the Bulldogs’ momentum was short-lived. Goodrich returned the ensuing kickoff 92 yards for the touchdown that effectively cemented the Cheverus win.

“Our wedge did a great job. They made some key blocks, and I was able to find a nice seam. It was great blocking all around,” Goodrich said.

Added Hersom: “It felt like we were going to try and get a little momentum. That kind of took it away from us.”

Goodrich capped the opening drive of the second half with a 1-yard touchdown run, and after another Lawrence turnover, Green scored on a 1-yard run. Lawrence’s next drive ended when Olson intercepted a pass in the end zone, and Goodrich broke off a 52-yard touchdown run to cap the scoring with 1:14 left in the third quarter.

“We watched a lot of film on Lawrence. They looked like a very good team out there. And they played real well today,” Goodrich said. “They fought hard all day, and they were definitely a hit-you-hard team. They were sticking me all over the place. But I love a little contact.”

The Stags controlled the ball throughout the game, running 60 plays to just 33 for Lawrence.

“We kind of found some things we planned to do didn’t work out,” Hersom said. “We wanted to mix in run and pass, just so we could help our run game. We knew they’d be pretty strong against the run up front, so we wanted to work in pass. … It just didn’t work out for us today.”

Sementelli had 56 yards rushing to lead Lawrence, while 1,000-yard runner Shaun Carroll, Jr. was held to 41 yards on 13 carries.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]


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