SKOWHEGAN — Defense? What defense?

Years ago, the Lawrence-Skowhegan rivalry was played a few yards at a time. Friday night at Clark Field, the teams ignored that tired tradition, and put Skowhegan’s old scoreboard to the test.

Skowhegan receiver Jon Bell caught five touchdown passes, helping the Indians earn a 58-56 Pine Tree Conference B win over the Bulldogs.

“When I’ve got a quarterback like (Marcus Christopher), it’s just amazing,” Bell said. “Our line did great tonight, and we didn’t have any worries about that. Overall, we just played as a team and got the ‘W.'”

Down 58-41 early in the fourth quarter, Lawrence quarterback Braden Ballard scored on a pair of keepers to tighten the game. Ballard’s 3-yard touchdown run with 2:22 left cut the Skowhegan lead to two points, but Skowhegan’s Ryan Savage recovered the onside kick, and the Indians ran out the clock.

Skowhegan’s Christopher threw for 215 of his 333 yards in the first half while throwing four of his six touchdown passes. The last two came in the final 5:05 of the second quarter, a 10-yard pass to Colby Miller to give the Indians a 30-28 lead, and an 18-yard pass to Bell with 31 seconds left in the half to push Skowhegan’s lead to 38-28 at the break.

While Skowhegan dominated through the air, Lawrence pounded away on the ground. Backs Isaiah Schooler (207 yards) and Tyler Larouche (152 yards) each went over 100 yards in the first half, and each had a 60-yard touchdown run. Schooler’s gave the Bulldogs a 14-6 lead, and Larouche’s cut Lawrence’s deficit to 22-21 late in the first quarter.

The teams started the scoring early, trading three touchdowns in a 42 second flurry in the first quarter. Ballard’s1-yard touchdown in a QB keeper gave the Bulldogs a 7-0 lead. Twenty-five seconds later, Bell caught a quick pass from Christopher and went 53 yards for a score, cutting the Bulldog lead to 7-6.

Seventeen seconds after that, Schooler broke his long touchdown run.

“Beating our rival is always great, and to have the game mean so much standing-wise, that’s going to help us,” Skowhegan coach Ryan Libby said. “It is always more satisfying to win. It’s so disheartening to give up 50 points week-in and week-out, but our offense is clicking and the guys are fighting.”

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