FAIRFIELD — It seemed all the Lawrence football team needed was a spark. Late in the third quarter, Isaiah Schooler lit the match.

With the Bulldogs trailing Messalonskee by 14 points, Schooler returned a kickoff 91 yards for a touchdown. That play set up a 28-point run for Lawrence, culminating in a 41-27 win over the Eagles.

Both teams now await playoff seedling. Lawrence enters the postseason at 5-3, while Messalonskee is 4-4.

Each team lost a key player and leader to injury. Messalonskee captain Austin Pelletier suffered a right knee injury with 4:49 to play in the second quarter while playing safety. The leading rusher in the Pine Tree Conference Class B, Pelletier watched the game on crutches in the second half.

For Lawrence, it was captain Tyler Larouche lost to injury. The fullback/defensive end also was on crutches in the second half.

Schooler’s kick return score cut Lawrence’s deficit to 27-20. After recovering a Messalonskee fumble on the Eagles 36, the Bulldogs tied the game on the third play of the fourth quarter, when Logan Fortin caught an 8-yard touchdown pass from Braden Ballard.

Lawrence took the lead for good with 3:55 to play, when Ballard scored on a QB sneak. The 34-27 cushion was Lawrence’s first lead of the night.

After a Messalonskee punt, the Bulldogs gave themselves some breathing room when Schooler scored on a 7-yard run. The drive went 61 yards in three plays. All Schooler runs.

A junior, Schooler accounted for 364 all purpose yards. Schooler ran for 192 yards on 25 carries, and had three catches for 81 yards.

Messalonskee took a 7-0 lead late in the first quarter when Pelletier scored on a 6-yard run. On the first play of the second quarter, Ballard connected with Jared Dodge on a 35-yard touchdown pass to cut the Eagles lead to 7-6.

A pair of Tyler Lewis (20 carries for 189 yards) touchdown runs, 44 and 40 yards, pushed Messalonskee’s lead to 21-6. Ballard scored on a 2-yard run with 3:24 left in the first half to cut Lawrence’s deficit to 21-13 at the break.

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