FAIRFIELD — When the Lawrence High School football team watches film, the offensive linemen know when to tell their teammates to pay close attention. They know when the big blocks are coming, the kind of blocks that leave a defender sprawled on the turf and give running backs highlight reel breakaway sprints.

“We show each other highlights. We’ll say ‘Oh watch this one. Watch this.’ We egg each other on a little bit. We push each other,” junior Mason Lunt, Lawrence’s left guard, said.

Lawrence defender Mike Roy, left, pressures Mt. Blue quarterback Hunter Meeks during a Pine Tree Conference Class B semifinal game last Friday in Fairfield. Morning Sentinel photo by Rich Abrahamson

It took a few games of tinkering to get the offensive line just right, but what was a question mark early in the season has become a point of strength for Lawrence. Among Pine Tree Conference Class B schools, the Bulldogs finished second to Brunswick in yards per game in the regular season, averaging approximately 375. In last week’s 43-22 win over Mt. Blue in the conference semifinals, Lawrence put up 464 yards of offense, 438 on the ground.

“I think it’s cool. It’s hard, smash mouth football up front. The running backs give us a lot of credit for it, which is nice. It’s fun to do our job because we get in the huddle and they’re like,  ‘Good job blocking, guys.’ I think that’s pretty cool,” senior center Mike Roy said.

The Bulldogs (9-1) will take on top-ranked and undefeated Brunswick (10-0) Friday night for the PTC B title and a spot in the Class B state championship game.

“We had quite a few kids moving in different places. They’re a hard-working group. A really intelligent group. That’s one thing that’s made the transition much easier,” Lawrence coach John Hersom said. “They understand what we try to do with our linemen.”

Roy was the only returning starter from 2018. The team’s center last season, Roy moved to guard to start the season, with Lunt playing center. As Lunt, a 6-foot-1, 225 junior gained experience and confidence, Lawrence coaches moved Roy back to center and Lunt to left guard.

“We didn’t really want to move Mike, but we did early in the season because we felt we wanted two athletic guards. As Mason came along, Mike was able to move back to center,” Hersom said. “(Lunt’s) been coming along pretty steadily throughout the season. He’s a pretty athletic, big kid.”

Roy said he feels like he does a better job leading the entire line while playing center. For his part, Lunt quickly adapted and learned to love playing guard.

“I think I like guard better. Pulling and trapping, at center you don’t do that much. It’s more drive blocking,” Lunt said.

A starter on the defensive line as a junior last season, senior Isaac Plourde was penciled in at left tackle early. Plourde joined Roy as first-team all-conference selections on the offensive line.

“We knew he was ready to step in at tackle,” Hersom said of the 6-1, 250-pound Plourde.

Added Plourde: “We had gone over it all year. Last year I’d been playing sub all the time… I love pancaking people. Making good blocks and getting our backs to the end zone.”

Roy called Plourde and Lunt, his teammates on the left side of the line, the group’s best blockers.

“They fly around and they’re pretty strong. That combination, I wouldn’t want to be hit with that,” Roy said.

To find a right guard, Hersom and his assistant coaches used a tactic that worked well last season, converting a fullback to the line. In 2018, that was Matt White. This season, it was senior Paul Southwick. Lawrence had depth at fullback, with junior Kristian Larouche and Jon Roy. Hersom said when they brought up the position change to Southwick, they cited White’s experience last season.

“Paul being a senior, we really felt like we wanted to get a lot out of Paul, and he was very deserving to be on the field. We felt this might be a nice fit for him,” Hersom said. “I think he was pretty gung-ho right from the start.”

Joey Morse and Christian Hanscom, both juniors, have rotated in at right tackle, while newcomer Nic Blaisdell, a transfer from Waterville’s Temple Academy, slid in at tight end.

“We were very fortunate to pick up Nic as a tight end, and his play has really picked up throughout the season,” Hersom said.

In Lawrence’s wing-T offense, linemen don’t have to be huge, which is good, because Roy (5-8, 165), Southwick (5-8, 165) and Hanscom (6-0, 175) are among the Bulldog linemen asked to block bigger defensive players on a consistent basis. Speed and technique are as important as sheer strength.

“A lot of pulling, a lot of down blocking, trapping. They have to be pretty good on their feet, all of them,” Hersom said. “It’s been a real pleasant feeling that we’ve had for several weeks now, that they’ve come together.”

Added Roy: “It’s just our heart. We’re not the biggest. I think we have the most heart in the whole state.”

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