Ever since Tyler Halls took over the starting quarterback position for Lisbon, head coach Dick Mynahan has been trying to get him out of the spot.

It’s not that Halls is a bad quarterback. He has a great throwing arm, he has the smarts to play the position, and Mynahan has been able to craft an offense around Halls being the signal-caller. But what putting Halls at quarterback did was take him out of his natural position of wide receiver.

Well, Mynahan finally got his wish during Saturday’s Class D South semifinal against Oak Hill.

The Greyhounds came out of halftime with a new look. Halls was no longer behind center, but split out wide left at his old receiver position. It was six plays into the drive that Halls’ re-acquaintance with being a receiver was complete. Lucas Francis, a sophomore starting running back, now slotted in as the signal-caller, threw a pass to Halls in the right flat, and the senior speedster took it for 16 yards. Halls later caught a 39-yard touchdown pass from Francis.

“We kind of had that planned out through the season because that’s what I want to be in college,” Halls said of playing receiver again. “Coach found ways to get me involved on the offense at different positions than quarterback.”

Mynahan, who thrust Halls into the quarterback spot two years ago in the playoffs and hadn’t taken him out since, might have realized the future for both his outgoing senior and his incoming quarterback.

“Lucas threw some nice balls out there today. He’s quite an athlete,” Mynahan said. “And Tyler made some pretty sensational catches. I guess he’s showing everybody that his true position is a receiver. He’s amazing out there.”

Francis at QB and Halls at receiver was something that the Greyhounds had been planning on since earlier in the season.

“I played once in a JV game this year, an exhibition against Sacopee Valley,” Francis said. “I think I threw like three touchdowns in that one.”

Francis, built like a prototypical running back, said his preference of position is “wherever I’m getting the ball, really.”

That could be at QB next year. If it is, Halls said his teammate is ready.

“I’m handing him the baton next year,” Halls said.

Differing styles

Dirigo likes to run the ball. Winthrop/Monmouth likes to run a balanced offense. That’s just what they do.

Except things were a little different than usual when the two teams faced off in a Class D South semifinal on Friday night.

The Cougars actually passed the ball more times than the Ramblers did, 12 times to 11.

“Against a team like Winthrop, unless you’re a real physical team up front, you’re going to have to throw the ball some,” Dirigo coach Jim Hersom said.

The Cougars tried running the ball, but found tough footing in the first half, netting just 15 yards on 15 carries. They finished with just 99 yards on 33 carries — including a late touchdown drive in a 38-8 loss — good enough for 3 yards per carry.

But when they passed the ball they didn’t fare much better, completing only 4 of 12 attempts, with four interceptions.

The Ramblers also only completed four passes but were able to avoid any costly picks. They ran the ball 40 times for 196 yards — nearly five yards per rush.

“We think (the passing game) could have been there,” Ramblers coach Dave St. Hilaire said. “The run was so much there that we kind of just went with that. We know that if they stop the run we’re going to pass, and if they stop the pass we’ll run.”

What a win!

There weren’t many upsets in the semifinal round of the football playoffs. Just three of the 16 games were won by the lower seed.

But one upset in particular opened some eyes. In Class A South, No. 3 Scarborough ended No. 2 Thornton Academy’s two-year reign in Class A. The Golden Trojans looked primed for another championship run, but the Red Storm — part of an athletics program that has seen championship success in just about every sport besides football — took a lead early and held on for a 36-29 victory.

The other upsets came in Class C North (two-time defending state champ and third-seeded Winslow got revenge against No. 2 Madison/Carrabec, 41-21) and Class D North (No. 3 Dexter edged No. 2 Orono 21-15 for its own revenge from a regular-season loss).

The only other close games were No. 6 Cony giving No. 2 Brewer a game in Class B North, before falling 44-34, No. 1 and undefeated Kennebunk holding off two-time defending champ and No. 4 Marshwood in Class B South, and No. 2 Windham edging No. 3 Cheverus 9-7 in Class A North.

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