FAIRFIELD — Lawrence High School’s Keyes Field has a well-earned reputation as a brutal place for opposing teams to come play. Over the last decade, the Bulldogs have been one of the top teams in the state, and they’ve been close to unbeatable on their home field.

For Mt. Blue players, that made what they did at Keyes Field on Friday night a little sweeter.

The Cougars turned three first half Lawrence turnovers into touchdowns to run away with a 40-12 Pine Tree Conference Class B football victory.

“It’s a lot of momentum. This is always a tough place to play. It’s nice to get a win like this here,” said Mt. Blue senior Nate Pratt-Holt, who scored three touchdowns, including a 61-yard fumble return for a score in the final seconds of the first half.

Mt. Blue improved to 2-1, while Lawrence dropped to 0-3.

Mt. Blue set the tone on its first offensive play, when Alex Gilbert ran up the middle for 59 yards. Two plays later, Pratt-Holt caught a 16-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Pratt.

A Lawrence fumble on its next possession gave the Cougars the ball at the Bulldogs 16. A four-play drive was capped by Zach Meader’s 4-yard touchdown run, and Mt. Blue had a 13-0 lead.

“I think we’re all kind of in a state of shock here, the way things unfolded tonight. We certainly didn’t anticipate any of the miscues, and just the lack of performance on defense, being able to tackle,” Lawrence head coach John Hersom said. “We thought last week, even though Brunswick capitalized on big plays, at least we were able to hold our own defensively.”

Following another Lawrence fumble, Gilbert scored on a 4-yard run midway through the second quarter to push Mt. Blue’s lead to 19-0.

“We kind of think we’re a pretty good team. We’re getting better every week. From Day 1, August 17, until now, we just keep getting better and better, especially on the defensive side of the ball,” Mt. Blue head coach Jim Aylward said. “If we keep playing as hard as we do, we’re going to be a factor at the end of this, and that’s all we can ask for.”

Lawrence didn’t get a first down until its seventh possession, and that drive ended with the Bulldogs finding the end zone. Seth Powers (seven catches for 112 yards) caught a 27-yard touchdown pass on fourth down and 3, cutting Mt. Blue’s lead to 19-6. Mt. Blue answered when Christian Whitney scored on a 1-yard run with 29.7 seconds left in the first half, and when Pratt-Holt recovered a Powers’ fumble for a score a few plays later, the Cougars had a 33-6 halftime lead.

“I was just chasing Powers across the middle. I’m not sure who it was; I think it might’ve been (Alex) Gilbert (who) came in and forced the fumble. I just picked it up and ran to the end zone,” Pratt-Holt said.

Pratt-Holt’s third touchdown came early in the third quarter, on a perfectly-run reverse. Taking a handoff from Whitney, Pratt-Holt found running room down the left sideline and went 54 yards for the score. It was a play the Cougars had recently re-installed into the offense after finding success with it last season.

“We had it last year. We scored with it against Hampden,” Pratt-Holt said.

Gilbert led a balanced Mt. Blue offense with 83 yards rushing.

Lawrence scored on the final play of the game, when Spencer Trask caught a 23-yard touchdown pass from Ryan Pellerin.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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