LISBON — When Lisbon and Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale hook up for a high school football game, it’s usually a back-and-forth grind until the end.

When the Class D South teams squared off on Thompson Field on Saturday afternoon, the game started that way before the Ramblers pulled away for a 49-14 victory.

Each team scored on its opening possession, but by halftime Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale had built a 29-7 lead.

“Winthrop is a good team, they didn’t surprise us with anything,” Lisbon coach Chris Kates said. “We have stuff to work on up front, and we’ll get better next week and try it again.”

It doesn’t get any easier as Lisbon (2-2) travels to 4-0 Spruce Mountain on Friday (7 p.m.) for another tough D South game. Winthrop won its third game in a row after a season-opening loss to Maine Central Institute and will host Mountain Valley (1-3) at 7 p.m. on Friday.

Winthrop opened the game with a 13-play, 84-yard drive highlighted by a key third-down pass from quarterback Keegan Choate to Beau Schmelzer for 38 yards. Two plays later, Ian Steele scampered to the outside and into the end zone for a 4-yard touchdown. Steele then caught the 2-point conversion to make it 8-0.

Lisbon immediately answered when quarterback Seth Leeman performed some third-down magic of his own by connecting with Riley Quatrano for a 60-yard pass play to the Winthrop 4-yard line.

“He’s a playmaker, as he’s very quick,” Leeman said of his wideout. “I dropped back and I saw him and threw it. I saw him catch it and he was gone. It was a big play that set us up.”

“When I saw (the defender) playing me head up, I knew I had it,” Quatrano said. “On that specific play I’m supposed to run a seam, but I saw him playing me on the inside a little bit so I gave one step outside and cut in and Seth threw me a perfect ball. We’ve been playing together for four years, so we’re expecting big things together.”

Daytona McIver took home the score two-plays later with a 1-yard plunge. Levi Levesque’s kick was good and the Greyhounds trailed 8-7 with four minutes left in the first quarter.

The Ramblers scored on its next two drives and again on the last drive of the half behind the passing of Choate to build a 29-7 lead at the break.

Choate finished the half 9-for-16 with 132 yards and a pair of touchdowns. The Ramblers amassed 78 yards on the ground, while holding the Greyhounds to zero rushing yards, that included a key sack by Winthrop’s Cody Perkins for a big loss late in the half.

“They’re a team that will mix and spread with their power game. We weren’t surprised with their throws. I think most of those we had a guy there, but the balls were placed perfectly,” Kates said of the Ramblers’ passing game. “We need to get better at playing the man, not the football.”

Winthrop coach Dave St. Hilaire likes to distribute the offense around, and Saturday was no exception. Once he saw what the Greyhounds’ defense was giving the Ramblers, it was a simple choice for their plan of attack.

“It was going to be whatever we saw. We knew we had some advantages in the pass game, but we also know we can run some power football,” St. Hilaire said. “So when they came up and started putting nine guys in the box, we had single coverage outside.”

Lisbon showed some grit in its opening drive in the second half. Leeman connected with Quartano (three catches, 103 yards) for a pair of passes and Nick Blair ran in the score as the Greyhounds cut the score to 29-14.

It wasn’t enough, though, as Winthrop scored on its next three drives and continued to stop the Lisbon run game and sealed the win.

Ryan Baird caught another Choate touchdown (49 yards), while Steele and Sousa each ran for scores. Schmelzer stopped a Lisbon drive late in the third quarter with an interception.

Leeman was 4-for-7 for 118 yards in the game, but the Lisbon ground game only had 13 rushing yards. Kates said it’s still a work in progress.

“We’ve got some first-year starters out there with a couple of young kids up there. Like I mentioned, we’ll get back at it and continue to work,” Cates said.

Winthrop used eight different ball carriers throughout the contest, rushing for 204 yards, led by Smith’s 77, followed by Sousa (44), Logan Baird (29), and Choate (22).

Choate finished 10-for17 with 181 yards in the air while connecting for three touchdowns. Baird was on the other end for 110 of those yards, grabbing a pair of scores.

“The line gives me time to throw every time, and I know I can throw it up there, even if it’s a bad ball, Ryan is there to haul in the catch,” the senior quarterback said. “All of our receivers are consistent with that and that makes my job easier.”

“I know making good cuts helps me get open,” Baird said. “They have fast guys, but they were playing up on me so I can usually get around them. I know (Choate) is going to give me the ball where it’s supposed to be 100 percent.”

St. Hilaire was pleased with the Ramblers’ defensive performance. He also expects to see the Greyhounds improve as the year progresses.

“They hit us with two big plays, but we’re pleased with our defense,” St. Hilaire said. “(Lisbon) is a very good team. They pass and they’re physical. They’re going to get better as the season gets going. They have guys that are going to get better with the more reps they get.”

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