SKOWHEGAN — After a scoreless first half, somebody needed to provide a spark. As it turned out, that somebody was Skowhegan Area High School senior Kam Doucette. In a game with few big plays, Doucette was in the middle of two of them.

Midway through the third quarter, Doucette snapped up David Washburn’s blocked punt and ran 15 yards for a touchdown. A few minutes later, Doucette turned a broken play into an early nominee for the play of the year, running 50 yards for a 21-yard touchdown.

Those were the only scores in the game, lifting Skowhegan to a 12-0 win over rival Lawrence in the Pine Tree Conference Class B season opener.

“I looked up and the ball was in the air, so I just snagged it,” Doucette said of his blocked punt return. The play started when Washburn broke free up the middle to rush Lawrence punter Seth Powers. Coming off the edge, Doucette ran unchallenged for the score, and a 6-0 Indians lead with 7:13 left in the third quarter.

“Our punt return, we were struggling a little bit anyway, so we said to heck with it. We’re going to go for the block,” Skowhegan coach Matt Friedman said. “The next two punts, we got a piece of, one for the touchdown and one gives us the short field. It was a great turnaround.”

On the ensuing drive after Doucette’s touchdown, Lawrence had another punt tipped, giving the Indians the ball at the Bulldogs’ 36. Four plays later, with Skowhegan facing 3rd-and-seven from the 21, Doucette turned disaster into a touchdown.

A low snapped skipped through the legs of quarterback Garrett McSweeney, and Doucette chased it down near midfield. Rather than fall on the ball and punt, Doucette picked it up and ran, first towards the left sideline, before cutting back to the middle of the field. When he got back to the line of scrimmage, Doucette had nothing between himself and the endzone, and Skowhegan had a 12-0 lead.

“I was debating whether to just jump on it or pick it up and run. I picked it up and saw people flowing one way, so I had to make a cut and go the other way. I just had gut instinct and went for it,” Doucette said.

Added Friedman: “The first thing is, you just hope he gets possession. Then he starts running around. Personally, I’m saying ‘Go down.’ I don’t want to see the ball pop out, I don’t want to see a block in the back or something like that. He’s a player, and he made something happen out of it.”

Throughout the game, Skowhegan’s defense kept Lawrence run game in check. Mitchell Cushing led the Bulldogs with 39 yards on 21 carries.

“Obviously, we know we have a lot of work to do with our guys, but we’re proud of them,” Lawrence coach John Hersom said. “I think it was a pretty good battle. They score on a blocked punt and a broken play. We’ll have to live with it. Hopefully, we get ourselves turned around.”

Powers had five catches for 87 yards for Lawrence, which had just one drive inside the Skowhegan 25.

“It was just great team defense, right there. That’s what we’ve been preaching all year. Everybody does their job, fly to the football, and good things happen. Plays will be made,” Friedman said.

Spencer Saley had five catches for 45 yards, and ran for 29 yards for Skowhegan. Luke Bolster ran for 61 yards for the Indians.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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