The last thing Lawrence High School football coach John Hersom wanted to see come to Keyes Field tonight is an 0-1 Bangor team. Not only did the Rams lose their opener to Brunswick, 36-28, they surrendered 428 yards rushing and five touchdowns to Brunswick’s Jared Jensen.

“We’re good, and we never touched him,” Bangor head coach Mark Hackett said. “It was brutal. We watched film for two hours. I think (Jensen) probably helped us. Now our kids listen. He made us look bad, and if we don’t tighten it up, Lawrence will do the same thing.”

The Rams and Bulldogs will kick off at 7 tonight. In other important games this weekend, Messalonskee (1-0) travels to Lewiston (1-0) in PTC A play. In the PTC B division, Waterville (1-0) hosts Oceanside (1-0) on Saturday afternoon. Also on Saturday, Dirigo (1-0) travels to Winslow (1-0) for a big Campbell Conference Class C game.

Either Lawrence or Bangor has represented the Pine Tree Conference in the Class A state championship game in five of the last six years. If the proposal to expand high school football to four classes passes in the spring, Lawrence would have to petition the Maine Principals’ Association to play in Class A. That means, barring another meeting in the postseason, this could be the last game between these rivals for a while.

“We try not to think too far in advance,” Hersom said in regards to this being the final game against Bangor. “It might be true, but for right now, we’re just focusing on having our guys ready to play against another great team. We hope our preparation is going to go a long way to bringing us success.”

The Rams face another strong running team in Lawrence. In last week’s 39-16 win at Edward Little, the Bulldogs gained 303 yards on the ground, and scored four rushing touchdowns. Anthony Sementelli led the way with 99 yards on 12 carries.

Hackett said the Rams focused much of their practice time on defense this week.

“We hope we figure it out, we just hope it’s not 30 points later,” Hackett said.

Added Hersom: “Our execution was good. We’ve got to find some more time for our offense to be more efficient throwing the ball. That’s something we feel we need to do. We’re going to continue to work hard to achieve that… We’re certainly not expecting we’ll beat them by trickery. We’re really going to have to earn everything we’re able to get.”

Bangor’s offense is led by quarterback Carl Farnham, and backs Cody Chapman and Zeb Tuell. Chapman ran for 241 yards and a pair of touchdowns against Brunswick.

“Certainly, it starts with (Farnham). Their offensive line is big and physical. Their quarterback is a playmaker. They certainly have a loaded backfield, with Chapman and Tuell. They’ve got some weapons,” Hersom said.

Defensive leaders for Lawrence include linebackers Luke Lawrence and Josh Doolan, defensive linemen Spencer Sweat, Eriq Stewart and Jake Doolan, and defensive backs Spencer Carery, Xaver Lewis and Sementelli. Against Lawrence’s strong run defense (the Bulldogs held the Red Eddies to 45 yards rushing and 2.6 yards per carry), the Rams have to be diverse.

“You need to get a lot of guys involved,” Hackett said. “You’d better be unpredictable.”

With only four teams making the PTC A playoffs, it’s not too early to consider this a must-win game, Hackett said.

“They’re all must wins, since only four teams make the playoffs. Just like Brunswick was a must win, and we didn’t get it done,” Hackett said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

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