Cony receiver Ashton Dennett hangs onto the ball as Skowhegan defensive back Adam Savage tries to knock it loose during a football game Saturday in Oakland. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

The touchdown that ended up winning the game for the Cony football team Saturday looked at first like it was going to be the play that lost it.

On 4th-and-1 from the Skowhegan 8-yard line, Rams running back Aidan Coulombe took the carry and started left, only to be met by a River Hawks defense that had sniffed out the play. In a heartbeat, Coulombe redirected right, found space, and slipped into the end zone for a touchdown that, following a risky 2-point conversion, put the Rams ahead to stay in what became a 36-35 victory.

Coulombe carried the ball only four times for 27 yards, but he got the yards he needed to — even when it looked right from the handoff that they weren’t going to be there.

“I saw No. 7 coming up the field, I cut it back and I got it,” Coulombe said.

No. 7 was Skowhegan cornerback Marcus Hampton, who came on a blitz, which Cony coach B.L. Lippert conceded was a great call.

“They made a great defensive call, they actually outschemed us there,” Lippert said. “They played man-to-man and brought the extra corner, so they had four guys over our three receivers. I thought ‘OK, we could stretch this out,’ and then Hampton blitzed off the corner and really had him dead to rights.”

That meant it was up to Coulombe to improvise.

“As I’m running I see him coming up field, and it’s like ‘Oh, shoot!’ My eyes get big,” he said. “I can either try getting around him, not going to work, so I had one other option, which was to cut it back. That’s instinctively what I did.”

Lippert called his senior back’s vision on the play “unbelievable.”

“He made a great cut,” Lippert said. “Sometimes it comes down to players, not plays, and 25 is a pretty good one.”

 

• • •

 

Gardiner’s Colton Dube (22) breaks a tackle from Old Town’s Jordan Craft (20) for the touchdown run during a game Saturday night in Oakland. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

For Gardiner coach Pat Munzing, win No. 1 was going to be special regardless.

The opponent, however, added a little more to the accomplishment.

Munzing recorded his first victory as the Tigers’ head coach, leading Gardiner to a 35-6 victory over Old Town, where he coached as an assistant while still in college at the University of Maine. Munzing graduated in 2003.

“When I started my high school career, it was with Old Town,” said Munzing, who started coaching the freshman team there in 2002. “It kind of came all the way around.”

The Tigers helped their coach get that victory with strong two-way play. The defense recorded four turnovers — Hunter Burgess and Zach Kristan had interceptions, while Burgess and Ashton Sawyer recovered fumbles — and the running game saw quarterback Wyatt Chadwick and halfback Colton Dube both reach 100 yards.

Munzing said a tough preseason loss to Cony the week before gave an accurate picture of where the team needed to improve.

“The benefit of having a rival (game) is that emotions ran high and we were able to kind of really see some things that we really needed to get better at,” he said. “It wasn’t an issue of lack of effort or emotion, any of those other things you can’t bring up, because playing Cony-Gardiner, that counts.”

 

• • •

 

Lawrence quarterback Andrew Trombley (4) gets off a pass as he’s hit by Mt. Blue defender Tyler Blauvelt during a Pine Tree Conference Class B game Friday night at Keyes Field in Fairfield. Michael G. Seamans/Morning Sentinel

If it wasn’t one Trombley for Lawrence hurting Mt. Blue on Friday night, it was another.

Quarterback Andrew Trombley ran only three times, but gained 82 yards with a 42-yard touchdown run and also threw a 19-yard touchdown pass to Parker Higgins. Fullback Matt Trombley carried six times for 88 yards, including scoring runs of 62 and 4 yards.

The two are not only brothers, but twins, and Andrew Trombley said it’s been fun having the sibling connection behind center.

“Having him on the field, running with me, that’s probably one of the best feelings I’ve had in my entire life,” he said. “Having my own brother out there, wrecking everything like he does, having him blocking for me in front of me on those run plays, it’s incredible to know that he’s right there with me.”

He added that the two can motivate each other to produce on the field.

“We definitely have some competition in there,” he said. “But we’re proud of each other no matter what we do. I don’t think there’s like an ‘I need to beat you’ (dynamic), but there is a competition there. We like to top each other.”

Coach John Hersom knows the feeling better than most. He’s a twin himself — his brother Jim coached at Dirigo, Edward Little, Livermore Falls, Gray-New Gloucester and Mt. Ararat — and he said the bond between such siblings is unique.

“I know how they feel about each other,” he said. “They really are passionate about football, they’re passionate with all their athletics, and they really care for each other. … I’ve seen them where one of them is not playing, and the other is really playing especially hard for him. I think that that is just the nature of twins.”

 

• • •

 

Waterville’s debut in eight-man football couldn’t have gone much better.

The Purple Panthers were all over Dexter on Saturday, winning 60-24 on the strength of a relentless ground game. Waterville ran for 527 yards and six touchdowns on 42 carries.

“We repped a lot of stuff, I felt like our guys and our coaching staff, we had a good gameplan and our players just executed,” Waterville coach Isaac LeBlanc said. “We were just, overall, really disciplined in a lot of ways, especially offensively. We had good success with our run game. We threw the ball a little bit too, but it was nice to have our core plays be successful in the run game.”

Quarterback Liam VonOesen led the way with 258 yards on 18 carries and three touchdowns, while Dawson Harrison ran for 151 yards and a pair of scores. Even with the practice and preseason prep leading up to the game, LeBlanc said the eight-man environment was still a learning experience.

“There are still surprises, definitely,” he said. “It’s easier to move the ball in eight-man for everybody, and I think the biggest challenge is finding out how to limit offenses with your defensive play. We did a good job of that on Saturday, but there’s room for improvement for sure.”

It was also the first win as the Panthers’ coach for LeBlanc, who was hired in June of 2020.

“I’d be lying if I said I didn’t want to win Week 1, start 1-0 and get that little monkey off your back,” he said. “It was nice to get that out of the way.”

Related Headlines

Comments are not available on this story.