While Lawrence’s 43-14 win at Falmouth/Greely Friday may have raised a few eyebrows around the state, Bulldogs coach John Hersom knew his team was ready to take on a tough opponent like the Yachtsmen.

“We were seeing things quite a bit in practice this week,” Hersom said. “There was an urgency in practice to get work done… Carrying it over to the game is a nice thing to see.”

Lawrence looked strong in all three phases of the game — offense, defense, and special teams — in wins over Hampden and Falmouth/Greely. A win Friday over Skowhegan gives Lawrence its first 3-0 start since the 2014 season.

Nate Regalado’s 89-yard kickoff return for a touchdown to open the game set the tone for Lawrence, which never trailed. Special teams shined throughout the game for Lawrence. Mike Roy blocked a Falmouth/Greely punt attempt, and a long kick return by Andrew Trombley set up a Bulldogs touchdown just before the half and a 21-7 lead.

“Special teams really excelled most the night. We had one bad field goal attempt, but other than that it was good,” Hersom said. “That enabled us to get good field position and scoring chances.”

It’s just two games, and Hersom pointed out there’s plenty to improve as the season continues. One of those things is tackling, and Hersom shouldered the responsibility for what he felt were breakdowns in making stops.

“Maybe we didn’t emphasize it enough in practice or get enough reps. It not all on the kids’ shoulders,” Hersom said.

 

• • •

 

Madison has an unexpected bye week this week. The Bulldogs were supposed to hold their home opener at Rudman Field Friday against Dirigo, but last week, Dirigo announced it would be unable to complete its varsity season due to a low number of varsity-ready players.

“We’re pretty disappointed, but it gives us two weeks to prepare for Spruce Mountain,” first-year Madison head coach Paul Withee said.

Not only does Dirigo’s shuttering its varsity season take a way a game from Madison this week, it means the Bulldogs will not have a home game until October 4, when they host Oak Hill. Withee was head football coach at Foxcroft Academy for 19 seasons. This is the first time he’s had one of his team’s games cancelled due to an opponent’s inability to field a team, he said.

The game will go down as a forfeit win for Madison, which opened the season with losses at Dexter and Lisbon.

“I didn’t want our first win of the season to come from a forfeit,” Withee said. “We’re just trying to get better each week.”

On Sunday night, Withee said there have been discussions about playing a junior varsity game against Dirigo Friday in place of the cancelled varsity contest. Withee said the practice time can only help his young team that boasts a lot of new faces, as well as a new coaching staff.

“We can focus on things we need to do to get better,” Withee said.

 

• • •

 

Mt. Blue earned its first win under new head coach Scott Franzose with Friday’s 43-16 victory at Messalonskee. Franzose said he saw improvement and more energy from his team this week than he did in week one’s home loss to Cony. The team is starting find comfort in their new spread offense and was ready to play, he said.

“Draw up the schemes and all that stuff, no matter what we do, whether it’s offense, defense, a lot of it just comes down to energy. And I felt like last week, maybe we were flat at times. Whether that was the jitters, you know, we were opening up on Caldwell, new systems, new everything, new relationships. (Friday) felt a little more like we got in a groove early, we were relaxed and they make it look easy,” Franzose said. “They make my job easy when it’s clicking like that. Six plays, whether it’s Kevon Johnson or Caleb Haines or Hunter (Meeks), offensive line up front working well, everything seemed to click. I’m very pleased. I think that was the biggest thing, a lot more energy tonight. Guys just flying around, having fun playing football.”

The quarterback Meeks ran for 114 yards, all in the first half, as the Cougars scored touchdowns on each of their first five drives. In Mt. Blue’s version of the spread, the quarterback plays as a third running back, and Meeks has picked up the system well, Franzose said.

“We always talk about two backs, we have our quarterback runs with Hunter, we actually call it three-back. But we’ve gone to more inside zone, with a lot of read. Expanding off that, we run a lot of inverted veer with front-side read. Hunter showed tonight – you take inverted veer, for example. We just installed it this week – he was on tonight. He’s one of those kids where he wants to learn, wants to do well, holds himself to that standard, and he’s doing a remarkable job with it. That’s kind of that extra element that’s helping make our offense click right now,” Franzose said.

Mt. Blue (1-1) hosts Brewer (1-1) Friday at Caldwell Field.

 

• • •

 

Around the state: Two teams snapped long winless streaks in week two. Gray-New Gloucester’s 50-44 win at Ellsworth snapped a 29-game losing streak. Telstar beat Sacopee Valley, 36-0, for the team’s first non-forfeit win since 2013… Houlton is a dark horse contender in the Little Ten Conference. The Shiretowners are 2-0 and outscored opponents Mount View and Old Town 82-6. The two wins matches Houlton’s total victories for last season… Of the four 11-man classes, only Class D South is down to one undefeated team just two weeks into the season. Spruce Mountain is 2-0, although one win was a forfeit awarded when Dirigo cancelled the remainder of its season.

Staff Writer Drew Bonifant contributed to this report.

Travis Lazarczyk — 861-9242

[email protected]

Twitter: @TLazarczykMTM

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