FARMINGTON – Mt. Blue High School took its medicine Friday night. Lawrence is the rest of the Pine Tree Conference’s headache, now.

Lawrence scored a touchdown on six of its first seven possessions at Caldwell Field, opening the defense of its Class A championship with a 42-7 clobbering of the Cougars.

“They’re still the favorites. If there’s three better teams than them out there,” said Mt. Blue coach Gary Parlin, letting the statement finish itself.

For every graduated senior whose fingerprints still smudge the Gold Ball in Lawrence’s trophy case, there was at least one understudy ready to replace him.

Isaiah Underwood and Shawn Champagne each scored two touchdowns out of the Bulldogs’ full-house backfield, with Devon Costigan and quarterback Jack Hersom both scampering for one apiece.

Champagne chalked up 125 yards, Hersom churned out 85 and Costigan squirmed free for 67. Hersom was also a tidy 6-for-7 through the air for Lawrence, which rolled up 468 yards of total offense.

“Last year was a great season, but this year we’ve got a ton of skill guys,” said Champagne. “Our line’s incredible, but our skill guys, we’ve got depth. Receivers, running backs, quarterbacks, it doesn’t matter who.”

Mt. Blue’s night peaked on its second play from scrimmage, when Joe Gilbert found D.J. Wilbur on a quick slant for a 70-yard TD and a 7-0 lead with only 56 seconds gone.

Lawrence answered with a nine-play drive and Underwood’s first TD, a 2-yard plunge. After a three-and-out on the Cougars’ next possession, Hersom hooked up with Nic Lee in the left flat for 26 yards.

Four plays later, Champagne beat the Mt. Blue secondary to the corner and lunged to the left pylon for a 17-yard TD.

“We hear a lot about it, but we don’t like to think about it,” Hersom said of being the defending champs. “We start fresh this year.”

Hersom’s strikes of 16 yards to Nick Nelson and 12 to Costigan set up Underwood ‘s second plunge to paydirt with 2:54 remaining in the half.

Alex Tompkins recovered a muff on the ensuing kickoff, and another Hersom-to-Nelson aerial set the table for Costigan’s 2-yard dive off right tackle and a 28-7 halftime lead.

“The kids are pretty smart. They realize that even though we have a lot of boys coming back, this is a different season,” said Lawrence coach John Hersom, an Auburn native and the quarterback’s father. “They know last season doesn’t amount to a hill of beans.”

Jack Hersom’s 69-yard scoring jaunt with an option keeper and another 17-yard TD rush for Champagne afforded Lawrence a full fourth quarter of garbage time.

Much the same opportunity this year’s starters had on the championship team, in other words.

Wilbur was also Mt. Blue’s leading ground gainer with 42 yards, all coming on a single carry in the third quarter.

“Physically they’re just so much better than us,” Parlin said.

“They had an athlete at every position, and right now we’re trying to plug some gaps. I believe these seniors will bounce back.”



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