AUGUSTA — One way or another, a good team deserving of a win was going to see its season come to an end Saturday at Alumni Field.

Ultimately that proved to be Cony as Lawrence’s touchdown and 2-point conversion with a little over one minute remaining was just enough to give the Bulldogs a 28-27 victory in the Pine Tree Conference B semifinals.

It was a cruel lesson for the Rams that even though they likely played well enough to win the game it was not enough to secure the victory.

Nothing the Bulldogs did offensively came as much of a surprise to Cony coach Robby Vachon, and more often than not his players were in position to defend Lawrence. It was simply that while the Rams played well, the Bulldogs were just slightly better at key moments in the game.

“They didn’t do anything differently than what we anticipated,” Vachon said. “We thought they were going to come out and try to run the football. Of course, when they need a big play they look for (Seth Powers), we knew that too. The kids did their best.

“We put our best kids on (Powers) and I think we did a nice job for the most part of the game. They made some big plays. …Hats off to Lawrence, they played a great football game as well.”

Listed at 6-foot-3, Powers was a major weapon for the Bulldogs Saturday lining up at wide receiver and tight end. He only had seven catches for 62 yards and for the most part the Rams held him in check, yet when plays broke down the sophomore came through in key instances.

Lawrence’s first scoring drive midway through the first quarter looked as if it was about to be a fruitless one with the Bulldogs facing 4th-and-9 at the Cony 12-yard line when Cody Martin threw one up to Powers. The reception gave the Bulldogs a 6-0 lead, but it would not be the last time Powers bailed Lawrence out.

Trailing 13-6 with less than 10 seconds remaining in the first half, Cony had Powers well defended in the end zone with three Rams around him. It didn’t stop the sophomore from grabbing his second touchdown catch of the game, however, as Martin threw a jump ball from 14 yards out and Powers rose up and grabbed it.

The final two catches of the game for Powers would more or less seal the Rams’ fate.

Faced with a 3rd-and-10 at the Cony 29-yard line Martin threw one up to Powers down the left sideline with a pair of Rams in the area. Neither could make a play on the ball though, and Powers’ reeled in the reception for a 27-yard gain.

One play later Cole Robinson plowed into the end zone from two yards away, and then proceeded to find Powers open in the left side of the end zone for the go-ahead 2-point conversion catch.

Each time the Rams had pretty good coverage on the play, but — as emblematic of the contest itself — the Bulldog was just a shade better.

•••

Lawrence was just one of five teams to get some payback statewide in this past weekend’s playoff action.

The Bulldogs, Windham, Brunswick, Wells and Oak Hill each lost earlier this season to their semifinal opponents only to get them back when it mattered most.

In the case of the Raiders, you have to go back to Sept. 13 — just the second week of the season — to find the last time they lost, a 13-6 decision at home against Dirigo.

Friday night Oak Hill returned the favor with a 25-6 win in Dixfield in a game in which it controlled on both sides of the ball.

“The ball went our way,” Oak Hill coach Stacen Doucette said. “That’s a very good Dirigo team — well-coached.”

The win was particularly sweet for senior Kyle Flaherty. The tail back/linebacker went out with a hamstring injury in the first quarter of the loss to Dirigo and subsequently missed the next two weeks.

Friday night he was a driving force behind the Raiders’ victory, rushing for 140 yards and three touchdowns on 32 carries.

•••

While championship hopes are still alive for some schools, at Kents Hill thoughts of playoffs have been dashed for some time now.

It was a tough season for the Huskies, who went winless following their 56-27 loss to rival Hebron Academy Saturday night.

“The rest of the league has gotten better and we have to get better too,” Kents Hill coach Steve Shukie said. “We need to improve out defense and find out what our defense is.”

There is still reason for optimism at Kents Hill though.

Losing seniors Raph Major-Dagenais, Han Zhang and post-graduates Adam Gigliotti, Walter Washington and Sebastian Falk-Stigsby will sting, but the majority of the Huskies’ roster will return next season and a strong crop of post-grads can make all the difference.

“We’ll try to do the same thing as last year,” Shukie said. “(Recruit) linemen and a running back.”

•••

Here are some interesting stats from the Messalonskee-Brunswick PTC B semifinal game, won by Brunswick, 27-20.

• Messalonskee gained 434 yards of offense. Brunswick gained 407, with 305 of those coming on Will Bessey’s four touchdown runs of 92, 78, 44 and 91 yards. That means 75 percent of Brunswick’s offensive output came on those four scoring plays.

• Messalonskee’s offense ran 76 plays. Brunswick ran just 37.

• Messalonskee had five plays go for 20 yards or more, none of them were scoring plays. Brunswick had four plays of more than 20 yards, the four Bessey touchdown runs.

• Messalonskee dominated the time of possession, holding the ball for 33 minutes, 56 seconds, compare to Brunswick’s 15:04. Brunswick’s longest scoring drive was 1:45.

Staff writer Travis Lazarczyk contributed to this report.

Evan Crawley—621-5640

[email protected]

Twitter: @Evan_Crawley


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