LIVERMORE FALLS – Lisbon and Livermore Falls both sported brand new uniforms for Friday night’s season opener. Naturally, Lisbon’s road whites looked a little dirtier at the end of the night, but the Greyhounds still walked away from Griffin Field looking just a bit sharper.

Lisbon QB Mike Unterkoefler converted two key fourth downs to keep two first-half scoring drives alive as the Greyhounds held on for a 12-7 win in a classic Campbell Conference slobber-knocker.

The much bigger Andies outgained the defending Class C champions, 197-155, and dominated the second half. But the Greyhounds forced two fumbles in the first half, converting the second into what proved to be the deciding touchdown.

“We’re a smaller team, but we’re fast,” Unterkoefler said. “We’re all in shape. We hit hard, just as hard as we did last year. We might have lost some key players, but we’re a team.”

“The defense really stuck it out in this game,” he added. “Offensively, we were looking a little sloppy, but the scoreboard still says 12-7.”

Making his first varsity start, Unterkoefler completed four of his 10 pass attempts for 62 yards, but his two longest completions came when Lisbon needed them most.

The first happened after a delay of game penalty pushed Lisbon back to a 4th-and-8 at the Andies’ 28. Unterkoefler threw a jump ball over the middle which was tipped by two Livermore defenders before his intended receiver, Mike Bolduc, came down with it at the 3. Unterkoefler scored from there on a QB keeper on the first play of the second quarter to make it 6-0.

The Andies responded with their best drive of the first half, but Joe Stevens recovered a Livermore fumble at the 23. Livermore Falls coughed it up again on its next possession to set up the Greyhounds’ final score.

“We told our kids whoever wins turnover battles usually wins games when two teams are closely matched, and that’s what happened,” Livermore Falls coach Brad Bishop said. “The turnovers hurt, and we’ll just come back to work hard on Monday.”

Ben Bourgoin’s fumble recovery at the LF-32 gave the Greyhounds prime field position, but they faced a 4th-and-13 at the 35 when Unterkoefler found Stevens down the right sideline for a 31-yard completion to keep the drive alive. Three plays later, Jesse Moan pounded it in from the 2 to make it 12-0.

“We worked on that all week. It was a good play,” Unterkoefler said. “The corner bumped out, and I saw (Stevens) wide open.”

“I thought Mike for his first game showed a lot of composure out there tonight,” Lisbon coach Dick Mynahan said. “This is a young team playing-wise, and as they played and they got those first downs, they started to develop a little confidence in themselves.”

Lisbon’s lone turnover, an interception by Mike Nichols at the Greyhounds’ 38, set up the Andies’ only score. Senior halfback Mark O’Shea (25 carries, 117 yards) pounded the ball behind his big offensive line (average weight – 222 lbs.), carrying the ball on six straight plays capped by a 4-yard TD jaunt with 11:09 left.

The Andies outgained the Greyhounds, 119-32 in the second half. Lisbon won the field position battle down the stretch, however, and never allowed Livermore past its own 24-yard line.

“When big guys lean on you, it’s hard,” Mynahan said. “I’m going to credit my kids for being in pretty good shape because Livermore had a great second half, but my kids didn’t slow down a bit, and I thought at the end we were coming on strong again.”

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