Junior tailback Shawn Grover, all 5-foot-7, 140 pounds of him, certainly tried.

Grover, the latest in a long line of little engines that could in the Greyhounds’ camp, rushed for 203 yards and two touchdowns, lifting No. 1 Lisbon to a 25-12 victory over relentless No. 4 Old Orchard Beach in the Class D West semifinals at Thompson Field.

“I’ve gotten in short rhythms like that, but not like this game,” Grover said. “I knew I had to really dig down deep and punch it in.”

Noah Francis also ran for two touchdowns to lift Lisbon (8-1), which will host Oak Hill (9-1) in the regional title game at 12:30 p.m. next Saturday.

It was 7-0, Greyhounds, when Bourget stumbled to the ground while blocking for Tyler Halls on a routine punt return with 10:18 remaining in the first half.

Lisbon needed a while to gain its regain its mental and physical advantages. It remained a one-touchdown, defensive slugfest until Francis’ interception at the OOB 25 set up Grover’s 16-yard scoring scamper with 3:34 to go in the third quarter.


Do-it-all quarterback Bryan Roberts reeled off an 80-yard TD run to get OOB within 13-6 late in the third, but scores of 6 yards by Grover and 9 yards Francis sent the Greyhounds on their way.

“Losing Kyle in the first half really killed us,” Lisbon senior fullback and linebacker Joe Philbrick said. “He’s definitely a key leader on this team. At halftime Coach (Dick Mynahan) just talked to us and got us going. It took us a while.”

Grover rushed for 181 of his yards in the second half to counter a brilliant game by Roberts, who ran for 180 and two scores, threw for 82 more, and was in on more than 20 tackles.

“He’s the best player in the league and he’s a top-10 player in the state. He could play anywhere, and you’re a horse’s (bleep) if you don’t believe that,” OOB coach Dean Plante said. “The kid’s a … stud. He does everything, and we were fortunate to have him for four years. He’s a warrior. He’s a football coach’s dream. He plays on that edge.”

Lisbon’s defense — led by Philbrick and Darren Ward in the middle — dominated early.

The Greyhounds converted Blake Berube’s strip and fumble recovery into a quick score by Francis from a yard away. Tyler Halls and R.J. Sargent also picked off Roberts prior to the half.


Andrew Graves knocked down Bourget’s fourth-down pass in the end zone after the second turnover, however. Lisbon’s first series after the Bourget injury ended when Evan Christensen intercepted Halls at the OOB 4-yard line.

“Kyle going down in the first half set us back a little bit, as it would anybody,” Mynahan said. “He’s a great player. We kind of thought coming in that one of the two quarterbacks was going to win the game.”

Bourget’s injury is to the ACL in his right knee, Mynahan added. Although the prognosis didn’t look good, Lisbon won’t know the extent of the damage until the quarterback undergoes an MRI.

Neither team hit triple-digit yardage in the first half. After losing 42-7 during the regular season, the Seagulls (5-4) had no complaints about their halftime plight.

“They had us reeling. They did a nice job on Bryan early. We turned the ball over and we set them up with short fields a couple times, but we still hung around, so we felt really good at halftime,” Plante said. “They answered before we did. We got moving a little bit late.”

Roberts’ rapid response to Grover’s first touchdown revived OOB’s upset hopes, but Grover quickly quashed them.


He rattled off runs of 20, 16 and 13 yards prior to a 6-yard scoring surge off right tackle. Halls, a sophomore who moved from flanker to replace Bourget, also gained a baker’s dozen on a keeper in the middle of the 10-play, 68-yard, 4:27 march.

“It was just really reading my blocks all the way, and they were on point every single time,” Grover said. “I haven’t had this much yardage. They were looking at me, because I heard them screaming, ’24! 24!’ But I don’t think they expected me to be cutting as much as I was.”

“It was just a matter of getting the kids to keep their composure, and I thought Shawn Grover handled the rest,” Mynahan said. “That was huge for us. Shawn did a great job keeping us in the game. At times we were just looking to change the field around a little bit. He broke a couple for us. He had a real breakout game today.”

Tanton Mattson made a key stop of Roberts and then a pass deflection to silence an OOB drive at the Lisbon 41 with eight minutes remaining in the fourth.

Roberts’ punt rolled dead at the 15 before Grover galloped 72 yards on the next play, breaking three tackles at the line of scrimmage. Francis freed himself from the same number of would-be denials en route to his second score.

“He definitely came ready,” Philbrick said of Grover. “He wanted it more than anything.”


Lisbon didn’t complete a pass after Bourget left the game. Halls rushed for 41 yards. Francis and Philbick combined for another 50.

“I think the biggest adjustment was just having our kids understand that we could come out and play without him and play for him,” Mynahan said. “It’s quite a blow when someone like Kyle goes down. He’s a great athlete. He’s a pressure player. His passing game has been big for us all year and would have been big for us again today.”

OOB wasn’t done.

Roberts rattled off runs of 22 and 19 yards. Sandwiched between them, while Roberts spent a play recuperating after getting the breath knocked out of him, Dylan Creswell completed a 13-yard pass to Erik Hogan.

The drive ended with Roberts’ second score, a 2-yarder.

Hunter Boutot recovered the ensuing onside kick. Roberts’ 37-yard slant to Christensen fueled a drive that reached the 3 before Philbrick and Josh Collier collaborated to stuff Roberts on fourth-and-1.

“I never question our effort. Our kids fight. We’re one of the smallest schools in the state playing football, and we’ve been in the thick of things the last five years,” Plante said. “You win with seniors, and we won. Today it just wasn’t meant to be.”

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