FAIRFIELD — If you’re looking for flashy stats or OMG moments, feel free to look elsewhere. But if you’re looking for flawless, fundamental football, then Lawrence High might be the place for you.

Six different players found the end zone and the defense picked off four passes as top-seeded Lawrence rolled past No. 4 Gardiner 42-7 in a Class B North semifinal Saturday at Keyes Field at Pete Cooper Stadium.

Lawrence (7-2) will face the winner of Monday’s Messalonskee-Cony semifinal for the regional title next weekend at a date and time to be determined. The Bulldogs defeated both teams during the regular season by a combined score of 81-13.

Lawrence’s stats won’t blow you away. Gaige Martin led all runners with 64 yards on six carries. Lucas Proctor led all receivers with three catches for 54 yards. Quarterback Michael Hamlin threw for 74 yards and two touchdowns on 5 for 7 passing. But add up each individual effort run by run, block by block, and you get a total team effort that overwhelmed Gardiner.

“Our coaches did a great job getting us ready, our line came out and blocked and we were able to set the tone,” said Hamlin, his spotless uniform evidence of the protection the line afforded him all afternoon.

Martin, Colton Carter (10 carries, 43 yards) and Gavin Wilson (four carries, 13 yards) each ran for a touchdown, while Proctor and Brandon Wilson had TD receptions. Colby Nadeau had an interception return for a touchdown in the first quarter, and Proctor, Cole Quirion and Gavin Lunt also intercepted Gardiner quarterback Asher Nagy (172 yards and a touchdown on 15 for 25 passing). Kicker Aaron Craig was 7 for 7 on extra points.


Lawrence’s Michael Hamlin (7) runs the ball against Gardiner during a Class B North football semifinal game Saturday in Fairfield. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

After Nagy threw for 253 yards and a touchdown in Monday’s 41-8 quarterfinal win over Skowhegan, Lawrence coach John Hersom made sure his defense was prepared for whatever Nagy might bring.

“We put in a lot of work during the week to get ready for that,” Hersom said. “They (Gardiner) had a good Monday night game where they threw the ball well, so we really wanted to take that away.”

Lawrence’s defense also held top receiver Zach Kristan, who had 10 catches for 142 yards and a TD last Monday, to just three receptions for 74 yards Saturday.

Lawrence made its presence felt early and often. On the game’s third play from scrimmage, Martin found a big hole to his left and scampered 45 yards down the left sideline for a quick 7-0 lead barely a minute into the game.

“Gaige Martin, he’s been great for us all year. He just runs the ball hard and he makes everything work,” Hamlin said.

Gardiner’s first drive ended almost as quickly as it began; on the Tigers’ fourth play from scrimmage, Nagy’s first pass was intercepted by Nadeau, who leaped into the path of the ball and ran 34 yards into the end zone for the pick-six.


“We knew they were going to come at us, and come at us early, and we really needed to overcome that first surge,” Gardiner coach Pat Munzing said. “They’ve really done a great job of coming after teams early. They’re so good at what they do, and they just stick with their plan. It’s a grind.”

Lawrence’s Colton Carter is tackled by Gardiner’s Evan Michaud, top, Cody Dingwell (21) and Eben Whalen (18) during a Class B North football semifinal game Saturday in Fairfield. Anna Chadwick/Morning Sentinel

Lawrence made it 21-0 in the second quarter when Carter dragged a couple of Gardiner defenders with him into the end zone for a 3-yard TD run. Hamlin then found Proctor all alone in the end zone for a 9-yard TD pass and a 28-0 lead.

Gardiner inched back into the game on Nagy’s 52-yard TD pass to Cody Dingwell, who leaped to beat a Lawrence defender to the ball, found only daylight between himself and the end zone and scored unchallenged. But in the third quarter, Wilson’s 3-yard TD run and Hamlin’s 10-yard TD strike to Watson sent the game into running time.

While Lawrence awaits its next foe, Gardiner (5-4) can look back on a season that exceeded expectations. The Tigers started 4-1, lost their last three regular season games, but turned around to eliminate Skowhegan on Monday. While Lawrence enjoyed a bye last weekend, Gardiner had just four days to prepare for the Bulldogs.

“I’m proud of these kids and the way that they played,” Munzing said. “No one expected us to be playing in this game, and that’s what we told them coming in. We were picked toward the bottom, and we knew that.

“But for them to be able to overcome all the challenges throughout the season and coming in with a new quarterback, and having to switch halfway through to another, and just being able to build and play a lot of young guys … I’m proud of the way they played.”

Gardiner’s Dingwell caught three passes for 81 yards.

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