By TRAVIS LAZARCZYK

Staff Writer

FARMINGTON — Mt. Blue senior fullback Randy Barker was in tears as he spoke after his team’s season-opening 34-13 win over Lawrence.

“I don’t know what it means to the team, but it means the world to me,” Barker said. “All the weights, all the time, everything we put into this, it’s worth it.”

The win was a statement for the Cougars, who won just one game last season. Mt. Blue dominated early, capitalizing on three Lawrence turnovers to take a 28-0 lead into the half.

“Obviously, we’ve been in a rebuilding pattern and having success early in the season is important,” Mt. Blue coach Nate Quirion said. “We’re very demanding of these kids, and they do everything we ask.”

Barker scored four touchdowns and ran for a game-high 146 yards on 24 carries. Barker’s 2-yard touchdown run capped the Cougars first drive, a 75-yard march in nine plays.

A Caleb Haines interception set up Mt. Blue’s second touchdown, a 4-yard Barker run. After Lawrence fumbled the ensuing kickoff, Barker scored on the first play of the second quarter, a 2-yard run, and the Cougars had a 21-0 lead.

“The line’s been working so hard,” Barker said.

Lawrence fumbled away the ball on the first play of its next possession.

“It’s easy to say we were not ready to play,” Lawrence coach John Hersom said. “Maybe that was some of the cause of those turnovers. We still have a lot to work on.”

Mt. Blue made it 28-0 with 3:29 left in the second, when Noah Bell took a pitch from quarterback Hunter Meeks and fired an 18-yard touchdown pass to Kyle Fox.

The Bulldogs played without senior tight end/linebacker Logan Fortin, who has a shoulder injury. Lawrence lost senior running back/corner back Isaiah Schooler in the first quarter, when he was ejected for contact with a Mt. Blue player’s head.

“The official felt like our player put his hand up in the face mask and turned it,” Hersom said.

Lawrence rallied with a pair of touchdowns in the third quarter, on a 49-yard run by Paul Moreau and a 19-yard Kyle Carpenter run.

The Cougars iced the game when Barker scored his fourth touchdown, an 8-yard run, with 8:52 left in the game.

Haines added 75 yards on 11 carries for Mt. Blue.

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