FAIRFIELD — Early on in a big-time crossover battle, the Lawrence football team was able to move the ball on Leavitt in a way few teams have been able to do in recent memory.

What the Bulldogs couldn’t accomplish — what few teams anywhere in the state have been able to over the past two years — was stop a fast, physical and refined offensive attack that’s nothing less than beauty in motion when it’s firing on all cylinders like this.

Leavitt rolled its way to a 62-32 victory over Lawrence on Friday in a matchup of the reigning Class C state champ and a possible contender in Class B. The Hornets’ varsity unit scored touchdowns on all nine offensive possessions in a statement win over a central Maine stalwart.

“We totally didn’t expect that that would be the outcome,” said Lawrence head coach John Hersom. “We prepared for pretty much everything they threw at us tonight, and that preparation was pretty good, I thought, but it was something that we just couldn’t handle well enough.”

Lawrence’s Colton Carter gains yardage with the ball against the Leavitt defense during a football game Friday in Fairfield. David Leaming photo

Noah Carpenter completed 8 of 13 passes for 210 yards and two touchdowns for Leavitt while running it eight times for 186 yards and three scores. Will Keach (four catches, 106 yards, touchdown) and Colten Taylor (three carries, 105 yards, touchdown) also had strong games for Leavitt, which racked up 644 total yards.

Leavitt (5-0) forced a Lawrence three-and-out on the opening possession and went up 7-0 with 8:44 left in the first quarter on a 21-yard Carpenter touchdown run. With 3:19 remaining in the opening quarter, the Hornets made it 14-0 as Carpenter found Keach for a 44-yard score.


Lawrence, though, bookended a 60-yard touchdown run by Carpenter with a 23-yard pass from Michael Hamlin to Lucas Proctor and a 4-yard Colton Carter touchdown run. Leavitt answered with an 18-yard run by Maddox Demers, but the Bulldogs (3-2) fired back again as Carter’s second score made it 28-18 with 4:44 left in the half.

“I thought (Lawrence) blocked well, and I thought (Carter) ran really hard for them,” said Leavitt head coach Mike Hathaway. “With him running behind that line, they were able to get some yards on us. That line they have, it isn’t the biggest line ever, but they come off the ball, and that let them move it a little bit.”

Lawrence couldn’t stop the Hornets, who closed out the half with touchdown runs by Carpenter (57 yards) and Demers (5 yards) to go up 40-18 late in the first half. A touchdown pass from Carpenter to Landon Daigle and 5-yard run by Taylor then made it 56-18 late in the third quarter as the game went to running time.

Poor tackling cost the Bulldogs as Leavitt routinely turned what should have been short gains into big ones by shoving away Lawrence defenders. The Hornets’ speed at receiver saw them gain plenty of separation in the secondary, and Carpenter, the reigning Gatorade Player of the Year, took advantage.

“Working in practice, we thought we could definitely throw the ball on them, and then you’ve got to be able to run it, too, to keep them honest,” Carpenter said. “We were trusting in our line to give us time in the pocket, and that really developed downfield and allowed us to hit those big plays.”

Hamlin found some success in the pass game for Lawrence completing 8 of 14 for 90 yards, the touchdown to Proctor and an interception. The Bulldogs found most of their success, though, in the run game with Carter rushing 26 times for 145 yards and three touchdowns and Jayden Burnham reeling off a 75-yard score.


For Carter, it was the second straight impressive showing on the ground after rushing for 163 yards and three touchdowns on 18 carries last week against Cony. The Lawrence offensive line, as Hathaway noted, was equally impressive, though the Bulldogs did lose Cam Dostie and Zeb Hannah to injuries.

“Even with some of our key guys going down with those injuries, we were able to run the ball effectively for a while,” Hersom said. “Colton has been doing really well at that running back spot, and we’ll try and get our line hopefully healthy and back together so he can continue to have that success.”

For Leavitt, the win was the 16th in a row dating back to the start of last season. It was also the second straight against a team from a higher class for the Hornets, who took down reigning Class A champ Oxford Hills last week before putting a new region of the state on notice with this win over a Pine Tree Conference contender.

“I told our guys before we left today that there were a lot of people calling this a trap game or this and that, but over the years, we’ve had a lot of those ‘trap games’ along the way,” Hathaway said. “Our kids practice the right way and prepare the right way, and they know how the handle that.”

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