LISBON FALLS — When the games start to mean more in October and November, a football team such as Lisbon needs all hands on deck.

Between them, Luke Caron and Tobey Harrington only had three good arms and three good legs when the 2009 stretch drive arrived. Not only did it mean the Greyhounds were without a pair of two-way players on a roster that annually hovers a little over two dozen, it meant virtually their entire offense was watching from the sidelines late in the season.

Caron, a quarterback/linebacker, dislocated his collar bone in Week 5 against Yarmouth. Harrington, a running back/safety, suffered a hip fracture in Week 7 against Traip. Caron was among the Campbell Conference’s top passers and Harrington among its top rushers when they went down. Both were also among the Greyhounds’ best defensive players.

Lisbon finished 6-3, losing to Winthrop in the quarterfinals by a point. Caron and Harrington felt helpless as the Greyhounds’ season finished, they felt, prematurely.

“All you could do was sit there and cheer them on, but you wanted to be out there,” Caron said.

“You just wanted to be on the field, every second, every play,” Harrington said. “All the good plays you wish you were out there. All of the bad plays you wish you were out there. It didn’t matter what happened, if we won or lost, you just wanted to be out there.”


Healing was a slow process for both. Harrington worked to get back for the middle of basketball season, while Caron, who didn’t have another sport to play, waited until almost the end of the year to test his shoulder.

“I didn’t even think about throwing or lifting until the middle of December, beginning of January,” Caron said.

“It took about a month before I could start walking normal, without pain,” Harrington said. “I had this sharp pain in my leg. It was very irritating.”

The pain is gone and Caron and Harrington are back to irritating opposing defenses. Harrington has scored four touchdowns already and proven to be a”total offensive football player,” according to coach Dick Mynahan.

“His running skills last year were probably as good as anybody in the league,” Mynahan said. “He’s 10-12 pounds heavier this year and he’s finishing off just about every runs he makes.”

With the extra weight, Harrington has altered his running style a bit this year.


 “Last year, he was really pretty fast and outran a lot of people. With the extra 12 pounds, he’s lost a step or two, but I think right now he’s running hard to the point of contact and he’s just finishing his runs by lowering his shoulder,” Mynahan said. “There’s nothing wrong with that as far as I’m concerned.”

“I love watching Tobey run the ball,” Caron said. “He surprises me every week with how hard he runs the ball. I can always have confidence in him to make a play.”

Harrington is also one of the Greyhounds’ best blockers. To make the most of his versatility, the Greyhounds have lined him up at a number of different spots, including quarterback in a form of the “wildcat” formation.

“I like it. I get extra blockers and I can just run to the opening,” Harrington said. “I don’t need to worry about juking anyone out. I can just go to the outside.”

Caron has thrown three touchdown passes this year, but since Lisbon has blown out Oak Hill and Old Orchard Beach in its first two games, he hasn’t had many chances to throw the ball yet.

Mynahan expects Caron will be able to air it out when needed. In the meantime, having his leadership and steady hand on the field is a big plus.


“He’s thrown the ball really well in practice,” Mynahan said. “He’s making some real good decisions with the ball. When we go option, if there’s an opening for him, he doesn’t hesitate, whereas last year he might have hesitated a second.”

“He’s a team leader,” Harrington said of Caron. “He throws the ball well. When we need first downs, we look to him, especially on long plays.”

Defensively, Harrington has resumed his hard-hitting ways at safety. Mynahan said he’s holding off putting Caron back at outside linebacker until he’s needed, in order to protect his shoulder.

So far, the defense is holding up fine without him. Lisbon has shut out its first two opponents.

“We don’t want a touchdown scored on us this year. That’s our main goal, a shutout every week,” Harrington said.

Even if someone does put a crooked number on the scoreboard, the Greyhounds have the weapons to put up a few crooked numbers of their own. Josh Pomerleau and Mike McNamara give Harrington and Caron plenty of help in the backfield, and the offensive line is jelling with an experienced interior.’

The Greyhounds expect to be going a lot deeper in the playoffs this year than the quarterfinals , but there is the usual caveat.

“We saw the 2005 and 2006 teams hold up the Gold Ball and we’ve got to get to that point, Harrington said. “We know if we stick together, we’ve got a chance.”

“It’s the same way with us every year, and for a lot of Class C schools. We have to stay healthy,” Mynahan said.

Only subscribers are eligible to post comments. Please subscribe or login first for digital access. 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.

filed under: