Referee Jeff Mertzel talks to Cony, left, and Lawrence captains before tossing the coin at the Class B North football championship Saturday at Charlie’s Field at the Maxwell Athletic Complex in Winthrop. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

The Lawrence football team opened its season with a tough loss to Bangor, its longtime rival of yesteryear. The Bulldogs’ season will end Saturday in the Class B final against Kennebunk. The Bulldogs and Rams will kick off at 2:30 p.m. at Fitzpatrick Stadium.

From then to now, it’s been a strong season for Lawrence, which is in a state game for the first time since 2012.

Like most teams this fall, the season had some ups, downs and then more ups.

Here’s a look back at the Lawrence season and its road to the final …

Week 1: Bangor 21, Lawrence 6

It was a tough start right out of the gate for the Bulldogs. The Lawrence defense struggled this night, especially on a Bangor 98-yard scoring drive. However, the Bulldogs did have some positives, as Colton Carter ran for 55 yards on four carries and scored a touchdown late.

Week 2: Lawrence 27, Falmouth 8

The Lawrence defense showed up at the home opener in a dominant win over Class B North foe Falmouth. The Bulldogs forced four turnovers, including two interceptions and two fumbles.


“We had a pretty great effort (against Falmouth) on defense,” Lawrence coach John Hersom said after the game. “We turned (Falmouth) away a few times, we’re very proud of the kids doing that. We’ve been working hard on defense to try to get it right.”

Lawrence celebrates after beating Cony in the Class B North football championship Saturday at Charlie’s Field at The Maxwell Athletic Complex in Winthrop. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

Carter led the way on the ground for the Bulldogs, gaining 69 yards on seven carries.

Week 3: Lawrence 34, Mt. Blue 0

The Lawrence defense continued its strong play in Farmington, earning its first shutout of the season. Lawrence only got its ground game going, as Carter rushed for three touchdowns. Maddox Santone also rushed for a touchdown for the Bulldogs.

Week 4: Lawrence 40, Cony 7

The Lawrence rushing attack would go on to have a breakout game the following week at Cony, in what turned out to be a midseason preview of the B North final. The Bulldogs exploded for 483 rushing yards, 163 of which came from Carter (on 18 carries), who also rushed for three touchdowns.

“That’s who we are; we run the ball,” Carter said after the game. “We wanted to pound the ball right at them and make their defense tired, and we did a pretty good job of that.”

“I think the Cony game down in Augusta was a big moment for us,” Hersom added after practice Tuesday afternoon. “I think we needed to go on the road and prove to ourselves that we could beat a good, quality team, and we did. We ran the ball really well that night.”


Gavin Wilson added 98 yards on 11 carries and a touchdown for Lawrence.

Week 5: Leavitt 62, Lawrence 32

In one of the more anticipated games at Keyes Field, high-powered Leavitt come to town and stormed to an impressive victory. Leavitt, which is in the Class C title game, racked up video game statistics, gaining 644 total yards. Quarterback Noah Carpenter completed 8 of 13 passes for 210 yards, while rushing for 186 yards on eight carries. He scored five touchdowns, two in the air and three on the ground. Winning against higher-class teams became a theme for the Hornets, who would go on to beat Class A stalwarts Oxford Hills and Thornton Academy.

Lawrence’s Lucas Proctor, left, pressures the Leavitt offense during a Sept. 29 football game in Fairfield. David Leaming photo

Leavitt is playing against Oceanside for the Class C title on Saturday.

“We totally didn’t expect that that would be the outcome,” Hersom said after the game. “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.”

Week 6: Lawrence 47, Skowhegan 14

Lawrence had a true get-right game in Week 6 against the River Hawks, the defending Class B champ. Lawrence rushed for 367 yards and rolled to a 33-2 lead at halftime.

Week 7: Lawrence 41, Messalonskee 6

Messalonskee entered the Week 7 matchup as the hottest team in Class B North, with a 6-0 mark. The Eagles had scored at least 34 points in all their games. However, that all stopped against the Bulldogs.


Lawrence celebrates after beating Cony 27-7 in the Class B North football championship Saturday at Charlie’s Field at the Maxwell Athletic Complex in Winthrop. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal

The Lawrence defense held Messalonskee’s high-octane offense to just six points. The Bulldogs also forced four turnovers. The Bulldogs also rushed for 344 yards, with Carter (140 yards on 21 carries), scoring three touchdowns.

Week 8: Lawrence 49, Brewer 0

The Bulldogs left nothing to chance in the regular season finale, recording its second shutout of the season, this time against former B North foe Brewer. Carter, Wilson and Gaige Martin each found the end zone for Lawrence.

B North semifinal: Lawrence 42, Gardiner 7

The Bulldogs’ victory over the Tigers in the B North semifinal may not have been the flashiest, but it may have been one of their most efficient ones of the season. Martin led all Lawrence rushers with 64 yards on six carries, while quarterback Michael Hamlin completed 5 of 7 passes for 74 yards and two touchdowns.

B North final: Lawrence 27, Cony 7

The score may have been closer in the rematch between the rivals, but Lawrence was in command in the B North final, rushing for 480 yards. Carter had a monster game, rushing for 221 yards and three touchdowns on 23 carries.

“We wanted to come out here and take it from them, and that’s what we did (Saturday),” 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.”

Martin provided a strong combo on the ground with Carter, rushing for 170 yards on 14 carries.


Morning Sentinel sports writer Mike Mandell contributed to this story.