YARMOUTH — Dirigo’s game plan going into Friday night’s game with defending Class C champion Yarmouth was to pound the ball up the gut against the smaller, rebuilding Clippers.

When it became clear after a couple of series that the Clippers are actually pretty stout up the middle, the Cougars went to their time-tested Plan B, which consists of senior QB Brett Whittemore getting the ball to Spencer Trenoweth in space and letting the senior running back do what he does best — outrun everyone.

Whittemore threw for 214 yards and three touchdowns, two of them to Trenoweth, who caught four passes for 182 of those yards and added another score on a fake punt as Dirigo emerged with a 35-20 victory on a cold, windy evening.

“We wanted to come down here and punch it at these guys right up the middle, and they pretty well shut it down,” Dirigo coach Dave Crutchfield said. “So we went to our pass game and we were on with it, thank God.”

Whittemore and Trenoweth connected on scoring passes of 46 and 88 yards. Whittemore later added a 2-yard TD pass to Nelson Pepin while completing nine of 16 attempts.

“The blocking was great. I didn’t get touched on any pass,” Whittemore said.

Trenoweth did get touched when he lined up to punt on Dirigo’s first offensive series. He bobbled the snap and was tackled at his own 8. Thomas Lord ran it in from there three plays later to give Yarmouth (1-6) an early 6-0 lead.

Dirigo (6-1) answered on its next possession when Whittemore threw into the left flat for Trenoweth, who burst down the sideline untouched for a 46-yard touchdown. Nelson Pepin’s extra point put the Cougars in front for good.

“The flats were open all night,” Trenoweth said.

Yarmouth appeared to have the Cougars stopped on their next series when Rhys Eddy dropped Tyler Frost for a 4-yard loss on 3rd and 1. Dirigo lined up with Trenoweth in punt formation, but this time he fielded the snap cleanly, ran to his right past the first down marker, cut back left at the Yarmouth 30, kicked out of a tackle at the 25 and raced to the end zone for a 14-6 lead early in the second quarter.

“We’ve been practicing that a lot. Coach called it and I had to (make up) for the last one,” Trenoweth said.

 “We put that in a little while ago, and I didn’t want to show it until we absolutely needed it. I don’t know that that was the absolute time,” Crutchfield said. “We were going to do it against Maranacook, but we were pinned deep and the guys were all mad at me. We pulled it off. Now everyone knows we can do it.”

Yarmouth threatened to cut into the lead or tie on its ensuing possession, marching to Dirigo’s 6, but Tyler Frost forced and recovered a Lord fumble at the 11.

Dirigo converted the turnover into another score, Frost’s 2-yard TD run, that made it 21-6.

Later in the half, Yarmouth had another promising drive stall deep in Cougar territory, negating a Brady Neujahr TD pass with a holding penalty.

“That’s the lack of experience from a youthful team. That’s what I’ve been saying all year,” Yarmouth coach Chris Pingatore said. “We’ve moved the ball on everybody all year. The problem is the inability to finish making those little mistakes.”

Whittemore and Trenoweth made the mistake sting that much more with an 88-yard TD pass into the right flat with 1:06 remaining in the half.

“He was on the outside, so I threw it a little bit behind him. I was hoping he would read that and he did,” Whittemore said. “He read it well and just picked up the speed and went.”

“It was instinct to cut back to the inside the way I caught the ball,” Trenoweth said.

Dirigo added the Whittemore-to-Pepin touchdown on its opening drive of the second half. Caleb Uhl (13 carries, 167 yards) capped the scoring with a 99-yard TD run late in the fourth quarter.

“Dirigo’s a hell of a team,” Pingatore said. “I think talent-wise, they’re probably the best team we played this year.”


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