WINTHROP — His Lawrence football team victorious in its biggest game of the season to date, Cam Dostie was in awe of the way the Northern Maine championship plaque felt in his hands.

“Look, Coach,” the senior lineman said to Lawrence assistant coach Jason Pellerin following the Bulldogs’ 27-7 win over Cony in Saturday’s Class B North title game at Winthrop’s Charlie’s Field. “It fits perfectly.”

What also fits perfectly is that this Lawrence team, the one that’s owned the Pine Tree Conference all season, is the one to emerge as league champion. The Bulldogs did it in vintage fashion, running for 480 yards.

Lawrence (8-2) will play Kennebunk (9-1) in the Class B championship game Nov. 18 at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.

Colton Carter ran for 221 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries to lead Lawrence’s unstoppable ground attack. The Bulldogs also got 170 yards on 14 carries from Gaige Martin and 86 yards and a touchdown on 13 carries from Gavin Wilson. Lawrence’s defense also intercepted Cony’s Parker Morin four times.

“We wanted to come out here and take it from them, and that’s what we did today,” Carter said. “We just do hard work down in the valley week after week, and it pays off. It feels amazing; I’m flabbergasted over here.”


Carter scored from 7 yards out with 7:44 to go in the opening quarter to make it 7-0 before plunging in from 3 yards out with 5:15 left to put the Bulldogs up 14-0.

Third-seeded Cony (7-4) had two promising drives in the second quarter, but neither would yield points. First, Gavin Lunt intercepted Morin with the Rams at the Lawrence 15 midway through the period. Then, a Morin keeper on fourth-and-one that appeared to be a first down was instead ruled short, ending another Cony drive.

Lawrence took advantage of the missed call. Led by a 38-yard run by Carter, the Bulldogs drove the ball all the way to the red zone, where Wilson scored on an 16-yard run with just nine seconds left in the half to put Lawrence up 21-0 and giving the PTC’s top team added momentum entering the break.

“We thought we had the first down, thinking it’s going to be 14-0 at worst — ideally 14-7 — but they break a big run and then go and score,” said Cony head coach B.L. Lippert. “That was a big call, and it definitely changed the momentum, but at the end of the day, we didn’t play well enough to win.”

Cony’s Ethan Demmons, (25) left, hurdles Lawrence linebacker Preston Roy during the Class B North football championship Saturday at Charlie’s Field at The Maxwell Athletic Complex in Winthrop. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Cony still pulled within 14 midway through the period as Morin scored on a quarterback keeper after throwing a big pass to Parker Sergent (10 receptions, 97 yards) to the Lawrence 2. The Rams would get good field position later in the quarter after recovering a fumble, but another interception stalled that drive.

It would prove to be the back-breaker for the Rams. In the blink of an eye, solid runs by Martin and Carter took Lawrence all the way to the Cony 34-yard line. Then, Carter barreled through the Cony defense and into the end zone to make it a 20-point game with 8:48 to play for the final points of the afternoon.


Lunt, Cole Quirion, Preston Roy and Dane Zawistowski had an interception each for Lawrence. The interceptions by Lunt and Roy, both linebackers, were products of a defensive scheme that saw that linebacking corps drop back into coverage frequently to slow down Cony’s vaunted passing game.

“Fortunately, we can keep our linebackers in coverage because we have a pretty strong front against the run,” said Lawrence head coach John Hersom. “It’s a big help when we get our linebackers out in pass coverage, and today those linebackers stepped in front of a few passes and made plays.”

It’s the first regional championship in 11 years for Lawrence, which had lost their past five Eastern and Northern Maine title games since beating Cony for the 2012 title. Since then, the Bulldogs had lost to Brunswick in the 2014, 2018 and 2019 regional finals, Skowhegan in the 2017 Northern Maine final and Windham in the 2021 game.

They did it by capping a dominant season in PTC play. Saturday’s win was the eighth in as many league games for Lawrence, which outscored those eight opponents 307-49 on the season. Only one victory, the Bulldogs’ 27-8 decision over Falmouth in Week 2, was closer than this one.

“We have a team of kids that have great heart, and they care for each other, they care for their program, and they love to represent Lawrence High School,” Hersom said. “They’re a confident group, and they’ve given it everything they had all year long, and I’m happy that they get to keep practicing one more week.”

The loss snapped a six-game winning streak for Cony, which hadn’t lost since a 40-7 defeat to this same Lawrence team in Week 4. It was an impressive run for the Rams, who relied heavily on underclassmen, something Lawrence players told Lippert’s team in the postgame handshake line.


“Three or four of the Lawrence kids that came through told us, ‘Hey, you guys will probably win it next year,’” Lippert said. “We have six sophomores that start on offense and three or four on defense. We really challenged those kids earlier in the year to step up, and they did that. I’m really proud of them.”

One of those sophomores, Morin, finished the season with 2,557 passing yards and 24 touchdowns despite the four interceptions. The Rams, though, will certainly miss Sergent, who finished his senior season with 76 catches for an impressive 1,159 yards and 14 touchdowns.

For Lawrence, a fifth Gold Ball is now just 48 minutes away. The Bulldogs’ last state title came in 2006, the year many of their current seniors were born — and knowing they’re a game away from immortality at a school rich in football tradition is a feeling that could only be topped by another win a week from now.

“All these boys grew up together, and we have a special bond that I don’t think any other team has,” Martin said. “It’s just a dream that I’ve had since I was younger, and it’s immaculate to have it happen. I can’t wait.”

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