BRUNSWICK — Lucas McCue, a senior running back at Brunswick, envisioned a sequence of events, culminating in McCue and his teammates wearing down Skowhegan in Friday night’s Eastern B football semifinal.

The teams had met in the regular season, and Brunswick pulled away in the second half for a 21-point victory. On Friday, McCue ran for 237 yards on 22 carries, and Brunswick gained 520 yards from scrimmage overall in a 42-28 victory.

“We’re pretty good at keeping it together,” McCue said. “That’s what happened when we played them last time, too: They were with us until the second half. We just keep our poise. We keep plugging away.”

Brunswick will now host Cony, a 41-15 winner over Messalonskee, in next week’s Eastern B final.

The Indians were forced to pass most of the game, and Adam Clukey finished with 26 completions in 37 attempts for 354 yards and four touchdowns. Kaleb Brown provided the running attack for Skowhegan, with 90 yards on 12 carries.

“I’d say hats off to Brunswick,” Skowhegan coach Matt Friedman said. “Both sides of the line, they kind of dominated. We thought we could come in here and run the ball a little bit more — as we have been doing — but other than a few breakaways by Kaleb, they pretty much shut us down, and made us one-dimensional.”

Brunswick’s control of the line showed on the first play from scrimmage, as Ryan Maciejewski (116 yards on nine carries) raced 64 yards for a score and a 6-0 lead. That score may have come too easy for the Dragons, as Skowhegan came back with a 70-yard touchdown pass from Clukey to DJ Allen (with Brown clearing out the last defender) and an 11-yard touchdown strike from Clukey to Owen Mercier for a 14-6 lead late in the second quarter.

“We were pretty confident coming into it,” McCue said. “I think the initial touchdown, right off the bat, kind of got into our heads. The scoreboard showed that when we were down 14-6.”

That eight-point deficit lasted only 20 seconds, as McCue went 75 yards for a score and Brady Larson hit Alex Bandouveres for the tying two-point conversion. Then, with Skowhegan at the Brunswick 30, the Dragons recovered a fumble, and Larson scored from 2 yards out with 23 seconds to go for a 22-14 Brunswick lead at the half.

“If we put a score on there, instead of letting them score, it’s a different ballgame, at least longer into the game,” Friedman said. “But that’s the way it goes, especially when you get deep into the playoffs.”

Clukey drove Skowhegan downfield to start the second half, and hit Allen (seven catches, 140 yards) for 18 yards and a score to get the Indians within 22-20. But that was the last time the Indians were on even terms and not playing catch-up. Nathan Morris dragged down McCue after a 44-yard run, but McCue went in from 7 yards out three plays later. Early in the fourth quarter, McCue went in from the 15, and Brunswick led 35-20.

Skowhegan had two turnovers in the fourth quarter — a fumble recovered by Nick Dodson at the Skowhegan 32 that led to Brunswick’s final touchdown, and an interception by Larson at the Brunswick 5 after a 51-yard kickoff return by Skowhegan’s Brett Gilbert. When the Indians scored on Clukey’s pass to Ben Salley with 2:24 left and failed on the onside kick, they were finally out of time.

Still, the Indians made that clock last longer than many people thought they would back in August. Entering a balanced league, Skowhegan pulled off a road playoff win before losing Friday.

“I think it was a very successful season for us,” Friedman said. “I think we exceeded expectations. Our coaching staff felt that we had a good team, but we had a lot going against us, as far as numbers and size, and just trying to get that confidence back in our players. We finally did that by the end of the season. It was nice to see the kids grow, and believe in themselves.”

Matt DiFilippo — 861-9243[email protected]Twitter: @Matt_DiFilippo

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