Lisbon’s Daytona McIver looks for a path through Spruce Mountain’s defense during Friday night’s football game in Livermore Falls. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

LIVERMORE FALLS — Spruce Mountain scored two plays into the second half to take the lead, but that only served to get Lisbon going.

The Greyhounds dominated on both sides of the ball for the final 23 minutes of the game, which they won 35-21 on the road at Griffin Field on Friday night.

It was the first loss of the season for the Phoenix, who entered the game 4-0 and were the final undefeated team in Class D South.

“They’re a good football team,” Phoenix coach David Frey said of Lisbon. “I don’t think we, in a way, we were flying high. I think we just took this a little too lightly, I think, in a way.”

The Phoenix offense looked like it was flying at the end of the first quarter and through the second.

After Daytona McIver gave the Greyhounds (3-2) a 7-0 lead on a 13-yard touchdown run late in the first quarter, Spruce senior quarterback Jack Bryant completed his next 7-of-9 passes over the next quarter-plus, culminating in a 32-yard touchdown pass to Brandon Coates 48 seconds into the third quarter. Mixed in were a pair of Bryant touchdowns in the second quarter — the first one on a keeper from 3 yards out, the second a 14-yard connection with Brandon Frey.

The Greyhounds made an adjustment after Bryant’s second touchdown pass put the Phoenix up 21-14.

“I think we just communicated with the defensive backs, we talked a little bit,” Lisbon coach Chris Kates said. “We had a little bit of a breakdown in coverage there, and it’s been a little bit of a weak spot for us the past couple weeks.”

Bryant was only 5-of-12 after his scoring strike to Coates, with four of those completions coming on the Phoenix’s final drive in the fourth quarter.

Cam Bourget completes a 2-yard touchdown run to tie the game against Spruce Mountain on Friday night in Livermore Falls. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

“They played a little off a little bit, they cushioned. When Brandon got deep, they were there,” Frey said. “Defensively, I mean, they stunted a couple times in blitzes and it messed us up, it threw us off rhythm.”

Frey commended the Greyhounds for playing “power football,” and that showed in the second half. Lisbon attempted only one pass in the second half (which was intercepted), while running the ball 34 times for 170 yards.

“We thought we were a little more physical inside, but they definitely had us on the speed aspect of it on the outside, so it was a big emphasis for us to kind of the keep the game between the tackles a little bit if we could,” Kates said.

All five Lisbon touchdowns came on the ground, including Cam Bourget’s 2-yard rumble with 20 seconds left in the first half to make it a 14-14 game.

Lisbon’s Daytona McIver gets pushed out of bounds by Spruce Mountain’s Brandon Frey during Friday night’s football game in Livermore Falls. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal

“It helped momentum a lot,” Kates said. “And especially where we knew they were getting the ball (to start the second half). I mean, we were having a hard time stopping them towards the end of the first half, so we definitely felt like we had to get one in there to kind of turn the momentum a little bit.”

Kates admitted his team couldn’t keep momentum, thanks to Bryant’s connection with Coates, but the Greyhounds responded with another Bourget touchdown run about four minutes into the third quarter.

“Feels great. Punching them right back in the mouth,” Bourget said. “Like when we get hit, we hit back, and then we did it this week. It was great.”

The Greyhounds’ defense then forced a Spruce three-and-out, which was followed by Lisbon quarterback Seth Leeman and Bryant both getting picked off to end short drives. The Greyhounds then finished their next drive with a Leeman keeper for a touchdown early in the fourth quarter, making it 28-21 Lisbon.

Bryant was picked off again two plays later, and the Greyhounds’ ground game finished off the scoring on Nick Blair’s 1-yard touchdown run with five minutes to play.

“We started feeling it,” Bourget said. “We were picking up in the third, and then we just kept it rolling in the fourth quarter.”


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