High school football: Lisbon Greyhounds fight off Dirigo Cougars in battle of unbeatens

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DIXFIELD — Unbeaten Dirigo and Lisbon didn’t disappoint as they slugged it for four grueling quarters in a Campbell Conference football game at Harlow Park on Friday night.

Quarterback Kyle Bourget threw a 34-yard touchdown pass to Tyler Halls with 1:11 left on the clock as Lisbon rallied back in a wild second half for a 25-20 win over Dirigo.

Dirigo had taken the  lead on a halfback option pass from Kaine Hutchins to Gavin Arsenault that covered 67 yards with two minutes left to play. The Cougars overcame a holding penalty and led 20-19.

Lisbon and Dirigo each entered the contest 5-0. The teams have the two stingiest defenses in Class D West.

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“We had a fade left play called,” said Bourget, referring to the 60-yard fade catch by Halls. ‘”It was a good throw and a great catch that all worked. I had to credit my offensive line because they did a great job of blocking all game and gave me pleaty of time.”

Lisbon (6-0) took a 9-6 lead after scoring twice in the third quarter. Joe Philbrick ran in off tackle for a 2-yard TD and Bourget hooked up with Halls for a 19-yard TD. Sean Grover kicked the extra point. The Greyhounds utilized a bunch of running backs Noah Franci (86 yards, 25 carries), Grover (49 yards, 11 carries), Henry Adams and fullback Philbrick.

“I’m not taking anything away from Lisbon because they are a well-coached team. But we gave them a short field,” Dirigo coach Jim Hersom said, regarding the Cougars had a punt blocked and fumble on the first two possessions of the third quarter. “That changed the momentum.”

Lisbon took over in Cougar territory and ran behind Darren Ward, Robert Wood, Adam Desjardins and Sean Hall. The Greyhounds doubled the time of possession, including a 16-play drive that ate up 8:99, in fourth quarter.

“(Yes) those turnovers really provided us with momentum,” said Lisbon coach Dick Mynahan, alluding to the defense that limited Dirigo to 14 plays in the entire second half. ”In a game like this, turnovers are so important and that was the (case).'”

Dirigo (5-1) had relied on bruising fullback Tyler Frost (100 yards, 16 carries) who scored on a four-yard TD. Frost had set-u the Cougars with a 20-yard run. Quarterback Riley Robinson found Frost in the back of the end zone for the two-point conversion.

“I’m proud of my kids,” Hersom said. “They showed a lot of resiliency by coming back from two scores down. We refocused and gave it a good effort. Now, we’ll go back and get ready for the playoffs.”

The teams had battled throughout the first half. Lisbon was successful on its first fake punt. But Dirigo’s Clay Sweat and Barry Campbell snuffed out the later fake punt.

Dirigo took over in Lisbon territory, and Robinson rolled right and passed to Mike Case for 24-yard catch and run TD.

Lisbon tied the score, with a Bourget pass to Halls, with 1:24 left in the first half.

“Dirigo is a well-drilled team,” Mynahan said. “‘We just came out hitting hard and wanted to win. We didn’t change any thing from what we’ve been doing. This was just a total team effort.”

Philbrick intercepted Robinson in the final minute to seal the deal. Cougar center Dalton Berry was inured on the final play of the first half and guard Bryce Whittemore slid over for the second half.

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