Over the last few years of crossover games, the Lawrence High School football team never faced either Falmouth or Greely. Now that Greely’s program has joined Falmouth and the new team shifted from South to North with reclassification, Lawrence and Falmouth/Greely are conference rivals. That puts a little extra oomph in Friday’s first meeting, which features a pair of teams with aspirations of deep playoff runs.

“We’re getting familiar with their athletes. It’s going to be new for us, but it’s going to be new for them as well,” Lawrence coach John Hersom said.

Both teams cruised to victory in week one. Lawrence took a 55-7 win at Hampden, while Falmouth/Greely won 52-6 over Messalonskee.

Here’s a look at the Lawrence-Falmouth/Greely matchup:

When: 6:30 p.m. Friday

Where: Falmouth High School


Three keys for Lawrence:

  • Another fast start

Last week, the Bulldogs scored on their first play from scrimmage at Hampden. To Hersom, the play was proof the team listened when coaches stressed playing with energy all week in practice leading up to the game.

“We felt right then our kids were ready to play and got the message all week,” Hersom said.

This week’s opponent will be tougher, but the point remains the same. The Bulldogs can’t afford an ounce of lethargy.

  • Shake it off

Led by quarterback Nick Mancini and running back Naveen Caron, the Yachtsmen have big play capability. It’s not if Falmouth/Greely gets big play yardage, but how Lawrence responds when it happens.

“They’re pretty explosive on offense. They’ve got some weapons that cover the field,” Hersom said. “We’re going to really have to limit big plays. If you give up big plays, you’re going to have to respond well to them.”


  • Control the tempo

Lawrence’s offense is heavily dependent on the run. That’s not to say the Bulldogs do not throw, but when things are going well, Lawrence is grinding out long drives. The Yachtmen are an aggressive defensive team, and Lawrence needs to use that to its advantage.

“Defensively, they’re more attacking, they stunt linebackers. We need to be ready for that type of countering with our offense to slow that down. Be ready to protect the football and grind things out like we do,” Hersom said.

Three keys for Falmouth/Greely:

  • Let experience pay off

The Yachtsmen return eight starters on offense, and advanced to at least the regional semifinals each of the last two seasons. Greely players on the team played in the South semis last season as well. They’re used to playing in big games. An early season contest against a good opponent is nothing new.

  • Keep ’em guessing

Falmouth/Greely has a lot of weapons at its offensive disposal. Along with returning Falmouth players like Mancini and Shane Allen. Now, Greely’s Caron joins the fray. Combine that backfield with a deep group of receivers, and Falmouth/Greely gives defenses a lot to consider. The more players the Yachtsmen can involve in the offense the better, to not allow the Bulldogs to key on any player or tendency.

  • Point of attack

A veteran defensive line and linebacking corps has to do a good job keeping Lawrence in second and third and long situations. As stated earlier, the Bulldogs prefer to grind out drives. The Yachtsmen can force Lawrence out of its comfort zone with strong play up front.

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