FARMINGTON — Hard to imagine facing a football team that had lost one regular-season game in eight seasons with a sense of self-efficacy that is anything more than bravado.

To hear the Mt. Blue seniors tell it, however, Maine and the rest of Eastern Class B got exactly what they expected to deliver Saturday night — a sound thrashing of Lawrence on the absorbent, new turf at Caldwell Field.

“We were told it was going to be a close game,” lineman Connor Farrington said.  But we just came out hard hitting and …

“We decided not to make it one,” receiver and return threat Nate Backus completed the thought.

They howled, politely and respectfully, and why not? This was a laugher, a 39-0 Cougars victory in a would-be showdown game that was every bit that one-sided.

Mt. Blue (2-0) scored on the opening kickoff, courtesy of Backus’ electrifying 97-yard dash, then rolled up 432 yards of total offense.

Backus also grabbed a 55-yard touchdown pass from Andrew Pratt. Kindle Bonsall, J.T. Williams and Alex Gilbert each rushed for a touchdown. Anthony Franchetti kicked a 24-yard field goal.

The Cougars limited Lawrence (1-1) to 44 total yards and two first downs in the first half on their way to a 17-0 advantage.

“The thing we talked about all week was it was a respect game,” Mt. Blue coach Gary Parlin said. “To lose one regular season game since (the end of the 2005 season), that’s like De La Salle or something like that. It’s the program in this area that everyone achieves to want to beat.”

Lawrence’s deepest drive of the night advanced only to the Mt. Blue 23, and that came late in the third quarter.

Williams and Tyler Sennick made consecutive stops of Ethan Powers and Beau Grenier on second and third down, and James Leathers’ fourth-down pass fell incomplete.

Leathers completed only 1 of his 10 aerials on the night. Cam Abbott and Nate Pratt-Holt each had an interception. Mt. Blue contained Powers and Grenier to 63 yards apiece.

“We have a lot of work to do. We kind of realize that. We’re trying to learn who we are,” Lawrence coach John Hersom said. “It would have been nice to put one on the board and maybe feel better about it. I think it’s kind of reinforcing that we’ve still got a lot of work to do.”

Defending Class B champion Mt. Blue hadn’t faced Lawrence in the regular season since leaving the Class A division of the Pine Tree Conference after the 2010 season.

The Bulldogs were the East’s perennial representative in the Class A state final before this year’s reclassification.

“It was a statement game,” Farrington said. “Everybody was watching this game. We knew what we had to do and we did it.”

If anyone in the captive audience arrived even 15 seconds late, they missed the opening argument.

Backus cradled the boot with his feet straddling the 3-yard line that marks the spot for two-point conversions. He caught two blocks near his own 20-yard on the home sideline, then benefited from one final crunching hit from William Gunter on a Lawrence pursuer at midfield before breaking into the clear.

“We set up a double wall and some kids made some great blocks,” Backus said. “Connor made a nice one for me. Abbott made a nice one for me and it was left open. Great blocks all the way around.”

Two lost fumbles cost Mt. Blue’s offense in the first quarter. Kyle McLain and Seth Powers made the recoveries for Lawrence.

But the Cougars roared to life in the second. Backus went 31 yards to the Lawrence 5 with a screen pass on the first play. Though the Bulldogs tightened the defensive clamps, Bonsall barreled in from 2 yards out on fourth down.

After a 24-yard run by Bonsall, Pratt (7-for-12, 167 yards) made consecutive completions of 37 yards to Abbott and 17 to Backus to set up Franchetti’s field goal with 27 seconds left in the half.

“We’ve got some good offensive linemen, some skill guys,” Parlin said. “I still think we should be running the ball a little better, but that gives us something to work on for next week.”

Backus finished with more than 200 all-purpose yards.

His TD catch was one for the highlight film. Pratt was hit as he released, forcing the ball to be underthrown slightly. But the 5-foot-9 Backus caught the ball off defensive back J.T. Nutting’s fingertips and went the distance.

“I went to Coach and I told him the fade ball’s not going to be there, (but) that post ball, that guy’s turning in on me,” Backus said. “I ran it and Andrew was like, ‘I’m slinging it. I’m throwing it and you better go up for it.’ I think he got nicked on the throw, so no blame on him. I went up and got it. It was great blocking by the line, and everything worked out well.”

That came with 9:58 left. Williams and Gilbert tacked on TD jaunts of 68 and 61 yards, respectively.

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