LISBON — There was little working for the Lisbon High School football team through three quarters in Saturday’s Campbell Conference high school football showdown with Dirigo on Thompson Field.

Not only were the Greyhounds shooting themselves in the foot with penalties (seven for 50 yards), by the Cougars owned a 21-0 lead thanks to quarterback Riley Robinson and his solid supporting cast.

Still, Lisbon put a scare into Dirigo, scoring 14 fourth-quarter points to make it interesting before Robinson made two more key plays to salt away the final three minutes in Dirigo’s 21-14 victory.

A win was essential on Saturday for the Cougars, who entered the game with a 1-2 mark after tough losses to Oak Hill and Winthrop/Monmouth. Dirigo improved to 2-2, while Lisbon fell to 2-1. The Greyhounds host Boothbay next Saturday, while the Cougars are home against Old Orchard Beach.

“The mistakes we made today, we shouldn’t have been in the game,” Lisbon coach Dick Mynahan said. “Their first drive, they went right down the field and made no mistakes. Then we got the ball and were driving, then we get a penalty. I don’t know how many times we got stopped on penalties.”

“We had it in control, but it is always tough to win here” Dirigo coach Jim Hersom said. “The kids did a great job. Our backs were against the wall. They rallied and did a great job. Just a lot of character with these kids. This is huge right now, particularly after last week.”

In the fourth quarter, Lisbon quarterback Tyler Halls nearly brought the Greyhounds back. He was nearly perfect, completing 14-of-17 passes in all, including a 67-yard TD pass to Henry Adams (eight receptions, 129 yards, TD) that put Lisbon on the board with 11:47 remaining in the final frame.

After Dirigo held the ball for more than six minutes before punting, Halls, who threw for 209 yards, led a 97-yard, two-minute drive, with running back Noah Francis punching into the end zone from the 2-yard line to get the Greyhounds to 21-14 with 3:10 remaining.

“Our passing game got better, and of course we stopped getting penalties,” Mynahan said.

Dirigo’s Bryce Whittemore recovered an onside kick, and Robinson finished the win off for the Cougars, picking up two first downs. In all, Robinson rushed for 139 yards on 22 carries and scored a pair of touchdowns. He also threw for 116 yards (5-for-8), the big strike a 33-yard touchdown to receiver Gus Brown to open the third quarter.

“He is the man, our guy,” said Hersom of his quarterback. “He is a tough hombre. He was big today.”

“I think their quarterback is excellent, and I thought he got yards that weren’t there,” Mynahan added.

Opening drive

Dirigo received the opening kickoff and went to work. Robinson ran four times for 23 yards, including a 3-yard run to pay dirt and a 6-0 Cougars lead.

That 71-yard drive turned out to be the only score of the first half. The Cougars had a golden opportunity to score in the second quarter, but Robinson’s pass was tipped and intercepted by Lisbon linebacker Dakota McIver at the L-3 to squash the drive.

The Greyhounds followed by putting together their best drive of the first half. Halls completed four passes, two each to Caleb Little and Adams to move the ball to the D-13. But, Dirigo’s Bennett Dorion sacked Halls to end the half.

After Dirigo held Lisbon on downs to start the second half, the Cougars moved quickly down the field, with Robinson gaining 11 and 13 yards on runs, along with a 13-yard burst by Mike Casey. With Lisbon cheating to the line to stop the run, Robinson stepped back and floated a pass to Brown for a touchdown. Robinson ran in the 2-point conversion for a 14-0 lead.

A holding penalty hurt Lisbon’s next drive, forcing a Halls punt. This time Robinson led a 66-yard, 10-play drive, with the quarterback scoring on a 4-yard run. Brown tacked on the point-after kick to give Dirigo a 21-point lead.

Halls wasn’t done. His pass to Adams was tipped by a Dirigo defender, with the receiver hauling in the ball and racing to the end zone to close the Greyhounds to 21-6 on the first play of the fourth quarter.

“Halls is a great quarterback, but I think it speaks to the character of this team that we hung together and came out on top,” said Robinson, who praised the work of running back/linebacker Vincent Hebert, who lost his mom this week and dedicated the game to her. “Hebert was a beast out there today.”

Mynahan said his team will regroup and learn from the loss.

“We are still a team that has a lot to learn and ways to go. We will come out on Monday and work hard. Win, lose or draw, Monday is the beginning of a new week,” the Lisbon coach said.

Gavin Arsenault had 46 yards receiving and 24 yards on the ground for Dirigo. Defensively, Hebert added five tackles and a sack.

Lucas Francis paced Lisbon’s defense with seven tackles, with Halls, Jared Glover and Reece Martin-Morong adding six each.

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