LISBON FALLS — In a five-minute span of the fourth quarter, Lisbon running back/safety Quincy Thompson experienced the trials and the rewards of high school football.
With his team protecting a 31-22 lead in the fourth quarter, Thompson returned a kick 55 yards, and while fighting for extra yards, lost the ball, with Freeport’s Ryan Camp recovering.
On the ensuing Falcons drive, Thompson put an end to Freeport’s comeback bid, intercepting a James Purdy pass in the end zone to preserve Lisbon’s nine-point victory.
“I was mad at myself for fumbling the ball, but I was able to get the pick, and hopefully that made up for it,” said Thompson.
Thompson’s touchdown run, a 21-yard sweep down the left sideline, followed by his 2-point conversion scamper, staked Lisbon to a 31-16 lead with 3:27 remaining in the third quarter.
It was nearly 14 minutes before the Greyhound offense possessed the ball again, with the Falcons running off 32 consecutive plays, including an 11-yard TD run by Freeport senior standout Dan Burke with 7:17 remaining in the fourth quarter.
After Thompson’s fumble, the Falcons drove from its own 25-yard line to the Lisbon 11 before the interception.
“Quincy had a great game today, and every time he gets the ball he is thinking touchdown, and sometimes when you are trying for those extra yards, a second effort, you lose the ball, and I can’t fault him for that,” said Lisbon coach Dick Mynahan, who will stand across the field next Saturday against former Greyhounds offensive coordinate Stacen Doucette and his 3-1 Oak Hill Raiders.
“I thought we played a little bit above where I thought we would, and it’s all heart and intensity,” said Freeport coach Rob Grover, whose squad fell to 2-2 and hosts Old Orchard Beach on Saturday. “We wanted to keep the ball, and play balanced, and for the most part we did that today. These kids left it all out on the field.”
Burke was one of the Falcons who left everything he had on the Thompson Field turf. He carried the ball 25 times for 143 punishing yards and a two touchdowns, and ended the day with his white shirt covered in dirt and his arm bandaged up, showing the scars of battle, which included 12 solo tackles from his middle linebacker position.
“He has been doing this since he was a freshman and is the heart and soul of this team,” Grover said of Burke.
“We just wanted to run hard, play hard,” said Burke. “It was the best effort that I have seen in these four years. Everyone played hard. Every single one of us gave it our all.”
And, for Lisbon ... “They are tough kids, but nice kids too. Just good football players at Lisbon,” added Burke.
Quick first quarter
Lisbon held on downs to open the game and quickly put together a scoring drive, ending with a Kyle Sheehan 6-yard TD run for a 7-0 ’Hounds lead.
Freeport came right back, putting together a 14-play, 69-yard, six-minute drive, capped off by an 11-yard run to paydirt by Burke on the final play of the opening frame. Burke ran in the 2-point conversion to give the Falcons an 8-7 lead.
It was Lisbon’s turn on offense, and the Greyhounds didn’t take long, thanks to a 48-yard kickoff return by Thompson and a 15-yard personal foul penalty on Freeport added on. Starting at the F-17, Jordan Torres ran for 12 yards and Sheehan scored on a 5-yard burst. Torres ran in the conversion for a 15-7 Lisbon advantage.
For the second time, the Greyhounds held on downs.
Thompson broke off runs of 11, 19, nine and 15 to help move Lisbon to the Falcons 1-yard line. Sheehan’s third TD run and Thompson’s conversion made for a 23-8 Lisbon lead.
Freeport answered, with Ben MacMillian capping a 66-yard march to draw the Falcons to 23-16 at the half.
“I think we played a good team, and for a while neither team could stop the other one’s offense,” said Mynahan of the first half, which saw Freeport with a 196-157 yardage advantage.
Both teams punted for the only time on their first opportunities of the second half. Lisbon’s three-minute drive ended with Thompson’s TD run for a 31-16 lead.
“We just stuck together today,” said Thompson, who paced the Greyhound offense with 103 rushing yards on 13 carries.
Freeport possessed the ball for 31 minutes compared to 17 for Lisbon, but Mynahan was pleased with the way his team defended in the final 24 minutes.
“Defensively I thought we played much better in the second half. We made Freeport work, and sometimes we scored a little bit too fast,” said Mynahan.
Freeport held a slight 253-227 edge in rushing yards. Purdy completed six of 11 passes for 67 yards and the Falcons picked up 18 first downs on the afternoon. MacMillian added 73 yards rushing on 13 carries, while receiver Cameron Buthlay caught three passes for 41 yards. Purdy and Buthlay had six tackles each.
For Lisbon, Sheehan led the defense with a 11 tackles, followed by Brandon Hovey’s eight and seven each from Joe Philbrick and Mason Haley.
On offense, Torres chipped in 59 yards rushing, while Sheehan added 41.