SKOWHEGAN — With its coach unable to be on the sidelines, the Lawrence High School football team made sure to honor him the best way possible.

With a dominating effort on both sides of the ball.

Lawrence coach John Hersom mossed Friday’s Pine Tree Conference Class B semifinal at Skowhegan as he recovers from surgery earlier this week. His Bulldogs controlled the game from start to finish, cruising to a 41-8 win over the defending league champs.

Lawrence’s Logan Fortin (44) hauls in a pass for a first down as Skowhegan defender Aidan Louder goes for the tackle during a Pine Tree Conference Class B semifinal game Friday night in Skowhegan. Staff photo by Michael G. Seamans

No. 4 Lawrence, now 6-4, will face either Cony or Brunswick in the regional final next week. Skowhegan ends the season at 5-4.

“During the game we’re all about the game.” Lawrence co-captain Alex Higgins said. “But this game was dedicated to (Hersom). We had to dig down and dig deep to get this one for him.”

Hersom will have a full recovery, offensive coordinator Ken Lindlof said. Lindlof and assistant coach Pete Curtis shared coaching duties during the game.

“Coach was in our thoughts at all times and we wanted to do this for our leader who couldn’t be here tonight,” Lindlof said.

The Bulldogs showcased a punishing running attack right from their first play, a 53-yard run by Kyle Carpenter. Two plays later, Higgins scored on a 7-yard run for a 7-0 lead.

Isaiah Schooler’s 5-yard touchdown run late in the second quarter have the Bulldogs a 14-0 lead. While Skowhegan ended the first half with a goal line stand, Lawrence scored three touchdowns in the third quarter to pull away. The Bulldogs ran for 368 yards, with Carpenter (181 yards), Schooler (94 yards) and Higgins (84 yards) leading the way. Carpenter scored three touchdowns, with Schooler adding a pair.

“It’s just smashmouth football. Lawrence used to always be smashmouth football and we’re trying to bring that back,” Higgins said.

“They were able to out-man us at the point of attack and push us down the field,” Skowhegan coach Ryan Libby added.

Skowhegan’s first three possessions of the game reached Lawrence territory, but the Indians stalled each time.

“Starting slow tends to be kind of typical for us,” Libby said. “That ended up being our back breaker. We just couldn’t keep up.”

Skowhegan finally got on the board 10 seconds into the fourth quarter, when Ryan Savage caught an 11-yard touchdown pass from Marcus Christopher.

Christopher was under pressure throughout the game, getting sacked twice.

“We wanted to get pressure on him. That was our motto all week.” Curtis said.

Christopher completed 22 of 31 passes for 139 yards and the touchdown.

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