It took about a month into the 2019 season for Lisbon, which also includes players from St. Dom’s, to find its identity. Once October started, the Greyhounds (7-3) rediscovered the patented blue-collar Lisbon mentality and gradually developed into a balanced, single-minded team with a chip on its collective shoulder. They gained momentum in the second half of the season that carried into a memorable playoff run that included victories over rivals Oak Hill and Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale.

Lisbon defenders gang tackle Fryeburg’s Bryce Micklon as he tries to get into the end zone during the season opener in Lisbon. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Week 1: Fryeburg Academy 14, Lisbon 6

A year after Lisbon spoiled opening day in Fryeburg, the then-reigning Class C South champions started the Greyhounds’ season on a sour note. Lisbon lost senior starting quarterback Seth Leeman to a concussion after he made a tackle on defense, and while the Greyhounds still moved the ball with sophomore backup Nick Ferrence under center, they couldn’t collect any points after Nick Blair’s one-yard touchdown run gave them a 6-0 lead late in the first half. Led by Hunter Mason, Justin Le and Robbie Dick, Lisbon’s defense played well and gave the offense good field position all day. But Fryeburg ultimately took the lead with a long drive in the third quarter and broke the Greyhounds with a long touchdown run in the final two minutes.

Lisbon running back Daytona McIver, right, prepares to stiff-arm a Madison defender during a September game in Lisbon. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

Week 2: Lisbon 44, Madison 6

The Greyhounds bounced back from their season-opening loss in a big way, aided by a bad punt snap by the Bulldogs that gave Lisbon the ball at Madison’s 1-yard line for its first possession. Daytona McIver scored from there, added the two-point conversion and the rout was on. McIver ran in two more touchdowns in the first half and Riley Quatrano and Cam Bourget added one apiece. Ferrence, starting in place of Lehman, threw for 48 yards and returned an interception 60 yards for a touchdown.

Week 3: Lisbon 12, Mountain Valley 6

For the second week in a row, the Greyhounds took an early lead, but their next score wouldn’t come so easily. Mountain Valley tied it 6-6 late in the first half. Leeman returned from his injury and ran for a touchdown, along with McIver. The defense made those two scores stand up as Quatrano and Leeman came up with key interceptions late in the second half, one to set up the winning score and one in the end zone to deny the Falcons’ bid to tie or take the lead.

Lisbon’s Seth Leeman, center, attempts to break up a pass intended for Beau Schmelzer, right, of Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale during the teams’ regular season meeting in Lisbon in September. Daryn Slover/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Week 4: Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale 49, Lisbon 14

In a game the Greyhounds now consider a turning point, the Ramblers shut down Lisbon’s running game and torched Lisbon’s run and pass defense to roar out to a 29-7 lead. Leeman had some success through the air, particularly working with Quatrano (three catches, 103 yards). But Winthrop controlled the ball, spreading 204 rushing yards among eight rushers to send the Greyhounds into October with a 2-2 record.

Lisbon’s Cam Bourget cross the goal line for a 2-yard touchdown run that tied the game against Spruce Mountain in Livermore Falls in early October. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Week 5: Lisbon 35, Spruce Mountain 21

The Greyhounds heeded the wake-up call from the previous week’s loss with their best performance to date, dominating most of the second half to hand the Phoenix their first loss. Lisbon neutralized Spruce’s explosive offense by grinding out long scoring drives capped by five rushing touchdowns. Bourget scored tying TDs in the second and third quarters, and two interceptions by the defense set up the winning and insurance touchdowns, by Leeman and Blair, respectively.

Week 6: York 42, Lisbon 33

While Lisbon couldn’t stay in the win column, it did take some encouraging signs from battling the eventual Class C regional finalist Wildcats in a four-quarter shootout. Quatrano caught a touchdown pass from Leeman and returned a kickoff for another score. McIver found the end zone once each rushing and receiving, while Bourget and Le also added rushing touchdowns before the Wildcats took control in the fourth quarter.

Week 7: Lisbon 39, Camden Hills 12

The Greyhounds got back over .500 to stay and kicked off their current four-game winning streak. The offense kept rolling, scoring four touchdowns in the first six minutes to roar out to a 26-0 lead. Leeman ran for a touchdown and threw TD passes to Dick and Quatrano, then the varsity turned it over to the JVs for most of the final three quarters.

Lisbon’s Seth Leeman takes down Oak Hill’s Sam Lindsay during the regular season finale in Wales last month. Andree Kehn/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Week 8: Lisbon 16, Oak Hill 13

A rivalry win is always sweet, but it’s even sweeter when that win clinches a first-round bye in the playoffs and home field in the expected playoff rematch. After a scoreless standoff in the first half, the Greyhounds controlled the ball in the second half thanks to 126 yards rushing courtesy of Bourget, Le and Leeman. Le’s two-yard TD plunge and Leeman’s two-point conversion gave the Greyhounds an 8-7 lead late in the third quarter. The Raiders regained the lead quickly before Lisbon methodically mixed a 30-yard Leeman completion to Dick and 13 running plays on a 14-play, six-minute drive to go in front for good on Bourget’s 1-yard TD run and Leeman’s two-point conversion. After a Quatrano interception, the Greyhounds killed the final 6:30 on the clock to end the regular season at 5-3.

Week 9: Bye

Lisbon’s Nick Blair blocks an extra point against Oak Hill during a Class D South semifinal game earlier this month in Lisbon. Russ Dillingham/Sun Journal Buy this Photo

Week 10: Lisbon 48, Oak Hill 20 (Class D South semifinal)

The bye week seemed to refresh the second-seeded Greyhounds’ legs as the Class D South semifinal turned into an extension of their smashmouth second half from their previous win over the Raiders. Leeman scored on runs of 33, 69 and 74 yards en route to 188 yards on only 10 carries in the first half alone as the Greyhounds racked up 401 yards on the ground for the game. Le and Bourget also found paydirt to help open an insurmountable 34-13 halftime lead. Le added a forced fumble and a touchdown in the second half sending Lisbon back to the regional final for the first time since 2016.

Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale’s Logan Baird tries to stop Lisbon’s Riley Quatrano (8) during the Class D South championship game last week at Don Roux Field in Lewiston. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal  Buy this Photo

Week 11: Lisbon 25, Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale 15
(Class D South championship)

Snow, ice and mud rendered Winthrop’s Maxwell Field unplayable, so the game was moved to Lewiston High School’s Don Roux Field hours before kickoff. The Greyhounds found the turf to their liking, ditching its run-first mentality so that Leeman could get the ball to his speedy receivers, Dick and Quatrano, for big plays early in each half. Quatrano’s fingertip catch of a 29-yard strike from Leeman on fourth-and-5 gave Lisbon a 14-7 lead early in the second half. The top-seeded Ramblers scored and briefly took the lead with a two-point conversion. But Quatrano’s 51-yard return on the ensuing kickoff set up Bourget’s four-yard touchdown and Leeman’s two-point conversion for a 22-15 lead with 4:42 to play. Levi Levesque’s clutch 30-yard field goal with 1:45 left sealed the Greyhounds’ berth in the state title game.

Lisbon’s Isaac Burnell holds up the Class D South championship plaque as the team celebrates its victory over Winthrop/Monmouth/Hall-Dale last week in Lewiston. Joe Phelan/Kennebec Journal Buy this Photo

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