H.S. football: Cramps, Bucksport can't stop Francis and Lisbon (WITH PHOTO GALLERY)

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After a pass was deflected, Lisbon’s Ben Blake, left, made sure Bucksport’s Logan Stanley didn’t come up with the catch during the first half of Saturday afternoon’s game in Lisbon. For more photos from the game, visit sunjournal.com
After a pass was deflected, Lisbon’s Ben Blake, left, made sure Bucksport’s Logan Stanley didn’t come up with the catch during the first half of Saturday afternoon’s game in Lisbon. For more photos from the game, visit sunjournal.com

LISBON — Lucas Francis’ temperamental legs cramped up late in the first and second half of Saturday’s Class D clash against Buckfield on a cloudless, 80-degree day at Thompson Field.

Bucksport wished the bruising Lisbon junior quarterback’s legs gave out much more frequently than that.

Francis rushed for 110 yards and four touchdowns and threw for another score while the Greyhounds’ defense made Bucksport QB Chase Carmichael use his legs more than he would have liked en route to a 36-13 win.

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The Golden Bucks hardly caught a break when Francis (20 carries) wasn’t running the ball. Junior tailback Isaiah Thompson also finished with 110 yards on 17 carries.

“We weren’t too sure (about the running game) during the week. We were a little iffy in practice,” Francis said. “We ran probably a thousand plays in practice this week, so just a lot of repetition.”

“(Francis) is tough. He made us look bad in tackling, but a lot of it his him,” said Bucksport coach Joel Sankey, whose team was playing without top lineman David Gross (knee injury). “He’s big. He’s powerful. We didn’t have an answer for him.”

The Bucks had trouble finding answers for Lisbon’s swarming defense, too. Led by tackles Tony Whittemore (fumble recovery) and Hunter Job (sack) and linebacker Cole Bolduc (sack, fumble recovery, forced fumble), the Greyhounds consistently got a push up the middle and forced Carmichael to throw on the run.

The Greyhounds’ defense produced four fumbles, recovering three, and had an interception.

“It was just opening up well,” said Francis, a linebacker. “We do a lot of defensive practice and a lot of of work in practice. We do a pretty good job of scouting and know everything they’re running, so we know our responsibilities.”

“Coming into this game, that was obviously an area we thought was a strength for us  — (on offense) our front five and on defense our front four,” said Greyhounds coach Chris Kates, who picked up a victory in his first game since replacing Lisbon coaching legend Dick Mynahan. “I thought they were flying off the ball, on both sides of the football, and the linebackers were cleaning up what they didn’t get. I thought we played very well on both sides of the ball.”

Lisbon had Bucksport on its heels from the start. The Greyhounds forced a punt on the game’s opening series and were able to start their first possession at Bucksport’s 39. Eight plays later (six runs by Francis, two by Thompson), Francis scored from the 1 and added the two-point conversion for an 8-0 lead.

Lisbon enjoyed excellent field position for its next scoring drive: the Golden Bucks’ 32. After converting a third-and-7 with a 19-yard run, Francis faked a handoff to Thompson then ran it in from the 6 for a touchdown. Thompson added the two-point run for a 16-0 lead midway through the first quarter.

Bolduc pounced on a bobbled handoff in the Bucksport backfield to set the Greyhounds up again in enemy territory, this time at the 30.

A 16-yard run by Thompson set up Francis’ touchdown pass to Henry Doyle on a seam route from 14 yards. Francis’ two-point conversion made it a 24-0 lead with 5:46 left in the half.

“I can’t say enough about what Isaiah was able to do today,” Kates said. “I’ve been after him a little bit in the preseason, but he played his best game as a high school player. He finally realized how big and fast he is and was able to stay within the offense.”

Lisbon allowed just one first down the first five times Bucksport had the ball. The Golden Bucks finally started moving the chains again on their last two possessions of the half, the second ending with a 20-yard touchdown pass from Carmichael to Logan Stanley as the clock expired to make it 24-7 at halftime.

Francis, who went down with a cramp on Lisbon’s last offensive series of the first half, returned for the start of the second half and led the Greyhounds down the field once again. A fine kickoff return by sophomore Robbie Dick, a new addition to Lisbon this year by way of St. Dom’s, allowed them to start the drive at Bucksport’s 43. Five plays later, Francis virtually walked in from the 1 for a 30-7 lead.

On Bucksport’s ensuing series, a Bolduc hit on a pass reception popped the ball into the air and into the waiting arms of Whittemore

“I dropped back and pursued the ball and he fumbled it and I just snatched it out of the air,” Whittemore said. “We were just sticking with it today.”

Lisbon took over at its own 47. After a 31-yard run by Thompson, Francis connected again with Doyle on a 22-yard pass to the Bucksport 6. Francis took it from there for his fourth rushing touchdown and a 36-7 lead with 8:21 to go in the third.

Carmichael added a 37-yard TD pass to Carter Tolmasoff to cap the scoring. Carmichael finished 19-for-39 for 205 yards, two touchdowns and an interception.

Cam Bourget had the interception for Lisbon.

Lisbon’s Hunter Job gets a finger on a pass from Bucksport’s Chase Carmicheal during the first half of Saturday’s football game in Lisbon that the Greyhounds won 36-13.
Lisbon’s Hunter Job gets a finger on a pass from Bucksport’s Chase Carmicheal during the first half of Saturday’s football game in Lisbon that the Greyhounds won 36-13.
Lisbon’s Hunter Job blasts through the Bucksport line and sacks quarterback Chase Carmicheal
Lisbon’s Hunter Job blasts through the Bucksport line and sacks quarterback Chase Carmicheal
Lisbon’s Lucas Francis turns the corner for a big gain up the side as Bucksport’s Keigan Riccard makes a last ditch dive to try to stop the Greyhound who slipped past and was off to the races.
Lisbon’s Lucas Francis turns the corner for a big gain up the side as Bucksport’s Keigan Riccard makes a last ditch dive to try to stop the Greyhound who slipped past and was off to the races.

After a pass was deflected, Lisbon’s Ben Blake, left, made sure Bucksport’s Logan Stanley didn’t come up with the catch during the first half of Saturday afternoon’s game in Lisbon. For more photos from the game, visit sunjournal.com
After a pass was deflected, Lisbon’s Ben Blake, left, made sure Bucksport’s Logan Stanley didn’t come up with the catch during the first half of Saturday afternoon’s game in Lisbon. For more photos from the game, visit sunjournal.com

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