SKOWHEGAN — It wasn’t his best game statistically. He was punished — over and over again — by a defense that sacked him eight times.

But Skowhegan quarterback Marcus Christopher fought. So did his teammates. And after trailing by 14 points entering the fourth quarter, the Indians came back to beat Mt. Blue 29-28 in front of a capacity crowd at Clark Field.

“I’m extremely proud, through the roof,” Skowhegan coach Ryan Libby said. “Not exactly how you script it out, but the kids fought every second of the way and did what they needed to do to get the win.”

Both Skowhegan (5-3) and Mt. Blue (4-4) will enter the Class B North playoffs, but the win keeps the Indians at the top in the Class B North standings.

Down 21-7 and having earlier scored on back-to-back possessions, the Indians tested their luck after Colby Miller scored on a 75-yard kickoff return to trail 28-27. Initially, the Skowhegan offense trotted on the field for a two-point conversion, but soon called a timeout.

“Originally, we were going to throw it,” Christopher said. “Then we had a little discussion, and I told (Libby) I can get it in.”

“Just before that drive, our kicker had been removed for an injury. So we’re out a kicker,” Libby said. “We want momentum for the win, anyway, so we were set in going for two. We lined them up to take a look, didn’t like (the defense) and took a time out. (Christopher) is saying, ‘Give me the ball, give me the ball.’”

Christopher rewarded Libby’s faith. Running out of the spread formation, Christopher took the snap, tucked it under his arm and darted forward on a quarterback sneak, pushing through Mt. Blue defenders to score and take the 29-28 lead.

Christopher was 15 of 28 passing for 166 yards and a touchdown, a 30-yard connection with Aidan Louder in the second quarter.

Up 21-7 entering the fourth quarter, it seemed the Cougars were well on the way to victory. Mt. Blue’s defense was excellent in the first half — holding the Indians to 135 total yards — and by game’s end the Cougars racked up eight sacks. Three came from defensive tackle Colin Hutchins.

“What we wanted to get from our players was to play with confidence,” Mt. Blue coach Nate Quirion said. “We certainly did that here tonight. Their intensity and passion is what made the difference in being competitive.”

But Skowhegan cut into the lead after a 54-yard drive capped by a 2-yard touchdown run by Christopher on a bootleg. The extra point kick was missed, and the Indians trailed 21-13.

But Skowhegan recovered the ensuing kickoff on a squib kick, and immediately took advantage, scoring nine plays later, as Christopher scored on a 3-yard draw play.

Zeb Tibbetts scored on a counter for the two-point conversion, tying the game 21-21.

Skowhegan recovered the following kickoff — off another squib quick — but didn’t score on the next drive.

It looked like the Cougars would take the win after Hunter Meeks hit Randy Barker with a pass in the flats, which Barker promptly took 54 yards for a touchdown and a 28-21 lead. But Miller gave life to the Indians with his touchdown return.

Hunter Washburn has 77 yards rushing and 40 yards receiving for Skowhegan.

Barker accounted for two of Mt. Blue’s touchdowns to go along with 81 rushing yards and 62 receiving yards.


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