Skowhegan’s Cameron Barnes (83) evades a tackle by a Lawrence defender during the Class B North championship in Skowhegan on Friday. (Michael G. Seamans/Kennebec Journal)
Lawrence High School quarterback Braden Ballatd (19) drops back to hand the ball off against Skowhegan during the Class B North championship in Skowhegan on Friday. (Michael G. Seamans/Kennebec Journal)
Skowhegan’s Jon Bell (7) breaks a tackle running against Lawrence during the Class B North championship in Skowhegan on Friday. (Michael G. Seamans/Kennebec Journal)
SKOWHEGAN — Throughout the regular season, the Skowhegan Area High School football team won games via the shootout. The Indians scored a lot, but they gave up a lot of points, too.
In the playoffs, though, Skowhegan has been a defensive juggernaut. After holding Brewer to 13 points in a Pine Tree Conference semifinal game last week, Skowhegan saved its best defensive effort of the season for Friday’s final, bearing Lawrence 23-0 on a cold night at Clark Field. Wind chill at kickoff was 7 degrees.
This is Skowhegan’s first conference title since winning the PTC A in 2008. Skowhegan will play the winner of the Class B South final between Falmouth and Marshwood in the Class B state game next Saturday at Fitzpatrick Stadium in Portland.
Ahead 7-0 at the half, Skowhegan scored nine points in the third quarter to put the game out of reach. With 7:34 left in the quarter, Jon Bell caught a quick pass from Marcus Christopher and went 70 yards for a score, staking the Indians to a 14-0 lead. A few minutes later, a Skowhegan safety made it 16-0.
Skowhegan scored again with 9:44 to play, when Hunter Washburn caught a Christopher pass out of the backfield and went 17 yards for a 23-0 lead.
Skowhegan scored the only touchdown of the first half with 4:31 left in the first quarter. Washburn ran 15 yards, breaking a tackle to find the end zone. Jon Bell’s kick made it 7-0.
The Indians had a chance to increase their lead in the second quarter, driving to the Lawrence 1, but a fumble ended the drive.
After stopping Lawrence’s last drive at their own 20, Skowhegan ran out the final 8:05 of the game. Washburn finished with 81 yards on 24 carries, while Sean Savage added 58 yards rushing.
Christopher threw for 302 yards. Bell had six catches for 143 yards.
After running for 200 yards in the first game against Skowhegan, a 58-56 Indiana win, Lawrence’s Isaiah Schooler was held to six yards on 11 carries.