FAIRFIELD – Two words – “Jared” and “Turcotte” – were not to be spoken by the Lawrence Bulldogs this week. But one look at Lewiston’s star tailback on the sideline at halftime getting his midsection taped was worth a thousand words.

Lawrence left Lewiston battered and beaten after an impressive 30-6 win Friday night at Keyes Field. The Bulldogs dominated the line of scrimmage and held Turcotte to a career-low 46 yards on 15 carries.

“We didn’t even say his name all week, really. We reminded the kids that we weren’t going to talk like that,” Lawrence coach John Hersom said. “We weren’t just going to have our focus on one kid because we feel as coaches that we don’t let one player beat us.”

“We really tried not to pay too much attention against one player. We wanted to stop Lewiston altogether,” said Lawrence defensive end Bryan Slaney. “We know (Turcotte) is a great running back. He’s a great athlete, but we wanted to come out and play Lewiston, not just one man.”

One man made a huge difference for Lawrence (4-0) – Devon Costigan – who returned one punt 65 yards for the game’s first touchdown, then returned another 53 yards in the second half to set up a TD that gave the Bulldogs a commanding lead.

“I think both punt returns hurt us a lot,” Lewiston coach Bill County said. “Sixteen points on those two plays…they were big. We kind of thought we had a clip on the first one and didn’t get the call, but the second one was just a great play and a great run.”

Aaron Champagne rushed for 108 yards and a touchdown on 18 carries to lead a Lawrence rushing attack that outgained Lewiston’s runners 233-142. Wesley Myers led the Blue Devils with 80 yards on 14 carries, including a 31-yard touchdown run in the third quarter that represented the first points scored on the Bulldogs’ defense this year.

“They’re an excellent team, defensively,” County said. “They have excellent team speed. Coach Hersom had a great scheme going against us. Every time we thought we’d find an opening, he’d close it up.”

Turcotte found no running lanes in the early going, as Lawrence’s front line of Slaney, Isaiah Underwood and Nick Lee led a swarming defense that held him to just three yards on seven first-half carries.

“We’ve got a strong group up front,” Hersom said. “We mixed a couple of defenses. Those kids up front are really doing a huge part for our defense.”

The physical Bulldogs punished Turcotte and every other Blue Devil any time they touched the ball. But the most damaging hit may have come when Turcotte intercepted a pass on Lawrence’s opening drive.

“Jared took a hit in the back. The kid really folded him. It was a heck of a hit,” County said. “He kept trying to come back from it. He’d come on the sideline and try and stretch and (ice) it, but as you could see, he definitely wasn’t the same player the rest of the game.”

Lawrence turned the ball over deep in Lewiston territory on its first two possessions. Costigan ended the frustration early in the second quarter when he fielded a Turcotte punt at his own 35, turned upfield along the right sideline and somehow managed to stay in bounds all the way to the end zone.

Lewiston (2-2) went three-and-out on three of its first four possessions, while Lawrence ground out a five-minute drive ending in David Wallace’s 1-yard TD run to take a 14-0 lead into halftime.

Costigan’s second long return set up a 2-yard TD run by Champagne. Myers’ TD run along the left sideline pulled the Blue Devils within two scores, but Corey Church scored from 4 yards with 3:18 left to put the game away.

“I think that’s the best team we’ve faced,” said County, whose team beat Mt. Blue and lost to Bangor this season. “Defensively, I haven’t seen a team play that well in a long time.”


Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or to participate in the conversation. Here’s why.

Use the form below to reset your password. When you've submitted your account email, we will send an email with a reset code.