FAIRFIELD — Friday night at Keyes Field, the Lawrence High School football team looked like a team peaking at just the right time. Messalonskee, meanwhile, looked like it’s ready to push the reset button.

Lawrence jumped on the Eagles early, opening a 17-point first quarter lead on the way to a 44-13 win. It was the sixth straight victory for the Bulldogs, who close the regular season at 6-2 and will host a Pine Tree Conference Class B quarterfinal game at Keyes next week. It was the third consecutive loss for Messalonskee, which ends the season 4-4. If Skowhegan beats Mt. Blue Saturday night, Lawrence will host Messalonskee in a rematch next week.

“Every day we say, take nothing for granted. Play every rep like it’s your last. I think that’s a really good tone,” Lawrence senior captain Jake Lennon said.

The Bulldogs scored on their first drive. Gunner McAllister’s 29-yard punt return set Lawrence up at the Messalonskee 32. Three plays later, Tyler Larouche went up the middle 18 yards for a touchdown and 7-0 lead just over three minutes into the game.

After Alex Higgins recovered a Messalonskee fumble at the Lawrence 46, the Bulldogs made it 10-0 on a 33-yard field goal by Zoli Nagy. Lawrence made it 17-0 with 44 seconds left in the first quarter, when Logan Fortin blocked a punt and returned it 18 yards for a touchdown.

Although Messalonskee cut into the deficit with a 9-yard Austin Pelletier touchdown run to make it 17-6, Lawrence closed the first half with two scores in the final 3:45. First, Riley Parlin caught a 24-yard touchdown pass from Braden Ballard. Then, with 55.7 seconds left in the half, Parlin scored on a 5-yard run for a 30-6 lead.

“Right now offensively, we’re executing where we have pretty good balance. If we can sustain that in our offense and continue to play hard and get the work done with our defense, I think we’ll be pretty happy with taking the field regardless of who we’re facing,” Lawrence coach John Hersom said.

Connor Trask’s interception of Colby Dexter’s halfback pass on the final play of the first half was Messalonskee’s third turnover of the half.

“We didn’t match any intensity to start the game. Blocking and tackling wasn’t there,” Messalonskee coach Brad Bishop said. “We’ve got to redeem ourselves in this week of practice and regroup. Everybody’s 0-0 right now.”

Fortin’s 30-yard touchdown catch from Ballard and Larouche’s 2-yard run pushed Lawrence’s lead to 44-6 early in the fourth quarter. Pelletier (134 yards) added a 40-yard touchdown run for the Eagles with 5:55 to play. Freshman quarterback Deklan Thurston got the start in place of injured Cam Goff for Messalonskee. Thurston ran for 18 yards and threw for 57.

“I thought the young quarterback did a nice job for us,” Bishop said.

McAllister led a balanced Bulldogs offense with 71 yards rushing and 57 receiving. McAllister also had an interception for Lawrence, his ninth of the season.

“Our kids over the last month, have bought into what it takes to beat good football teams. We hope it continues,” Hersom said.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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