SKOWHEGAN — Down a touchdown barely a minute and a half into the game to Brunswick, the Skowhegan football team didn’t panic. Fifteen seconds later, down two scores, the Indians still stayed cool. Down 20 points though, late in the first quarter, surely Skowhegan started to sweat then, right?

“On the sidelines we were trying to stay poised, because we knew we could score some points,” Skowhegan senior quarterback Marcus Christopher said. “Once we got rolling there was no looking back.”

By the end of the first half, Skowhegan had taken the lead. But it took a scramble and a big play in the fourth, a defensive stand, and a long drive to clinch the 29-26 win for the Indians.

Brunswick’s Donald Bromiley (36) is tackled by Skowhegan’s Kyle Kollar and Zach Burwood on Friday in Skowhegan. Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

Skowhegan led 21-20 at the half, and had a couple chances to extend the lead in the third quarter but had a pair of drives stall inside the Brunswick 10. The second time the Dragons capitalized. Donald Bromley capped a seven-play, 97-yard drive with a 6-yard touchdown run to give the Dragons a 26-21 lead with 52 seconds left in the third.

Facing third down and 14 from their own 40 yard line as the fourth quarter began, Christopher scrambled under pressure, but time enough for Aidan Louder to get open down the left sideline. The touchdown play went for 60 yards, and after Louder (four catches for 127 yards) caught a tipped pass on the 2-point conversion, Skowhegan’s lead was 29-26.

“I only saw (Louder) for a split second. I had to get it out because I was getting crushed,” Christopher, who threw for 308 yards and four touchdowns, said.

“He was poised under pressure,” Brunswick coach Dan Cooper said of Christopher. “We couldn’t tackle him. A couple times we had him and he escaped.”

Brunswick marched to the Skowhegan 11 before the drive stalled with eight minutes left. From there, Skowhegan was able to run out the clock, reaching the Brunswick 1 before taking a knee to end the game.

“We rep it, we practice it, and that’s the hope,” Skowhegan coach Ryan Libby said of running out the clock.

Early, it looked as if Skowhegan would see running time, not a game-winning drive. Brunswick scored on its sixth play of the game when Treyvon McKenzie went 10 yards for a touchdown. On the first play of the ensuing Skowhegan drive, Mitch Lienert intercepted a tipped pass and went 30 yards for a score and a 14-0 lead.

When Bromley scored on a 4-yard run with 4:13 left in the first, the Dragons led 20-0.

“Definitely not how you’d like to start a football game. Give up a tipped pass pick six, there’s not too much you can do about that but try to come back the next play,” Libby said.

Skowhegan got on the board when Christopher connected with Cutter Warger for a 54-yard touchdown pass. With 7:28 left in the first, Hunter Washburn caught a 6-yard touchdown pass from Christopher, cutting Brunswick’s lead to 20-14. The drive was extended when the Dragons muffed a punt and Skowhegan recovered on the Brunswick 10.

“We made some critical mistakes on special teams,” Cooper said. “We gave them life and they took advantage of it. We gave them hope when we could have finished them off.”

Skowhegan took the lead, 21-20 with 5:28 left in the second, on a 5-yard pass from Christopher to Zeb Tibbetts. Brunswick’s ensuing drive ended at the Skowhegan 7 as the half expired.

A change from a 50 front to a 4-4 was a key to Skowhegan doing a better job containing Brunswick’s run game after the first quarter.

“We read the outside guys and widened out, and squeezed when we needed to,” Washburn said. Offensively, Washburn gained 180 yards — 110 rushing and 70 receiving.

Bromley ran for 120 yards for Brunswick, while Cam Hathaway led the Dragons with 120.

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